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Reporting on the reporters

Sarah Moomaw is obsessed with Twitter, and she’s the first person who will tell you that.

“I can be talking to my friends and getting news about the world, all in this constant stream of information,” said Moomaw, a junior journalism student in Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design.

So it was fitting that Twitter was Moomaw’s entryway into an opportunity for young journalists to attend the 2011 Online News Association (ONA) conference, held last month at Boston’s Copley Marriott Hotel. She was part of a team of student reporters providing in-depth, multimedia coverage of the annual event through the Student Newsroom program.

“The conference was an awesome experience,” Moomaw said. “The Student Newsroom was made up of college journalists from across the United States and there was this culture of collaboration — everyone was really open to new ideas and worked together on everything.”

Moomaw worked on co-op for the Globe South section of The Boston Globe and is a columnist and staff writer for the Huntington News. She is also a contributor to the Northeastern branch of the online news outlet HerCampus and the social media chair for the Northeastern chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

At the ONA conference, a team of 20 student journalists was mentored by a group of 12 veteran journalists and college professors. But they were ultimately responsible for the news coverage, from selecting stories to creating videos, photo galleries and interactive web features and applications on social media.

“We quickly got down to business,” Moomaw said. “We dived right in and started planning the budgets — what we wanted to do, what stories we wanted to cover.”

Moomaw reported on topics including the use of augmented reality in news websites and perspectives from students who attended the conference. She said her role as a working journalist at the conference made it easy for her to interview high-profile executives from companies including Facebook and Google.

“It would’ve been great just to be able to go to the conference, but it was such a great opportunity to be a part of covering everything that was happening there,” Moomaw said.

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