The first winner of the John Callaway Excellence in Online Journalism Fellowship is Medill School of Journalism graduate student Bob Spoerl. The fellowship was created to pay tribute to "Chicago Tonight's" founding host, the late John Callaway. The fellowship is funded through contributions from family and friends of Callaway and Chicago public television station WTTW-Channel 11 viewers. Each online fellow receives a $3,000 stipend.
During his internship, which beings Jan. 3, 2011, Spoerl will work with WTTW producers and interactive staff to create original and supplemental content for the website that supports Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight." The internship is designed to give Spoerl hands-on experience with online journalism, as well as time to sharpen fact-checking and research skills and hone editorial judgment.
Spoerl is an alumnus of Loyola University, where he studied English and philosophy, and the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in journalism. He is currently a candidate for a master of science degree in journalism at Medill.