Sedalia Democrat News Editor and City Reporter Nicole Cooke was chosen this week to receive the William E. James Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year award by the Missouri Press Association.
Cooke, 24, is the city reporter and police reporter for the Democrat, covering local government and crime. She is also the secondary editor for the paper when the editor is unavailable. Cooke started as the education reporter in August 2013, and has been the city reporter since May 2014.
“I am not surprised that Nicole received this prestigious award,” said Democrat Editor Tim Epperson. “She is a talented, driven young journalist who sacrifices a lot to provide the most current, accurate and fair news to this community.
“Before I started at the Democrat last month as editor, Nicole was running the newsroom as interim editor. For such a young journalist to have the knowledge and responsibility to tackle such a difficult task speaks volumes about her talent, abilities and dedication. We are all extremely proud of her achievements.”
According to the MPA website, “winners of this award will have demonstrated excellence in the field of journalism and maintained the quality, ethics and standards of the Journalist’s Creed. The aim of the award is to reinforce the importance of a journalist’s role by recognizing and nurturing talent to further promote quality journalism.”
Cooke will receive her award Sept. 12 at the Missouri Press Association Awards luncheon in Columbia. Cooke is a native Missourian and 2013 graduate of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.