In lieu of flowers please contribute to the Carol Stark Excellence in Journalism Scholarship Fund. For more information visit, www.mssu.edu/giving . In the ‘Chose school or fund’ field choose ‘other’ and indicate that you would like your gift to go towards the Carol Stark Excellence in Journalism Scholarship Fund.
Carol Stark spent 36-years at the Joplin Globe, starting her journalism career first at the Carthage Press before moving to the Globe in 1983. The 61-year old Editor of the newspaper passed away at Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis on August 14, 2019 at the age of 61. She won numerous award and honors over her over three decades of work as a journalist in Southwest Missouri.
Scott Meeker remembers his first day working at the Joplin Globe in 1998. The publication had hired him to “enter lunch menus and write obituaries” as he told me last Friday inside of his office at Missouri Southern State University. Meekers first day at the Globe was also the first time that he met Stark. At the time Stark was one of the Globe’s feature writers, an aspiration that Meeker himself wanted to work towards.
As readers, viewers or listeners we invite members of the media into our lives to entertain, inform and help us better understand the world around us. Meeker had read Stark’s columns in the Globe for years and was already greatly aware of the kind of detailed storyteller she was before they met. What he didn’t know was that he had met a lifelong friend and a mentor and that their relationship would grow stronger over the next 20-years.
Stark’s work went far beyond the Joplin Globe. She both mentored and advised journalism students at Joplin High School’s newspaper, the Spyglass, in addition to spending time with students of Missouri Southern’s newspaper, the Chart. Stark’s roots also crossed the border west into Kansas, as she gave Josh Letner, now the Director of Student Publications at Pittsburg State University his first job in journalism. Meeker remembers how well Stark’s storytelling abilities connected with readers, a trait that he attributes to her rising to become the first female executive editor in the Globe’s 111-year history.
May 22, 2011 was a day that residents of Joplin, Missouri will never forget. The day that an EF-5 tornado ripped through the city killing 158-people and causing almost 3-billion dollars in damage. Thousands of residents lost everything, including several employees of the Joplin Globe. The following year the newspaper would go on to earn several awards for its coverage and aftermath of the tornado, including the Distinguished Writing Award for Deadline News Reporting from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Also, in 2012 the Globe was named Community Newspaper Holding Incorporated (NHCI) Newspaper of the Year and awarded first place in public service. Scott Meeker was apart of the Globe’s tornado coverage and saw firsthand the kind of fierce and thoughtful leader that Carol Stark was. Meeker says that he will remember Stark most for her strength.