Three journalists who worked in Nebraska over the last two centuries were inducted into the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame Saturday, April 23, in York.

Nina Meisinger, Mary Kay Quinlan and Shirley Sneve were inducted at the awards luncheon during the 2022 Nebraska Press Women Spring Conference.

Nina Meisinger, who began her work life teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Chillicothe, Mo., first moved to Springfield, Neb., in the early 1920s. She married and had two children, but in 1940, when the local newspaper’s reporter walked off the job, she accepted a “temporary” job that became her life’s work and her mission.

For 46 years, she was a reporter, ad salesperson and managing editor of the Springfield Monitor, and the staff member who made sure the paper’s subscribers received their paper every week. The publisher changed over the years, but the constant was the editor, Nina Meisinger.

When the publisher closed the paper’s Main Street office in 1950, the office was moved to her home. She had a desk in the corner of her dining room where she spent three days a week gathering and writing the news and then shifted to selling ads and record keeping on Thursday and Friday. From social news, to reporting on fires and accidents, to writing about the local boys killed during World War II, whatever the news was, she printed it for her community.

Local kids knew her as the “Cookie Lady” who handed out fresh cookies to any children who stopped by, but everyone also knew her as “Mrs. Monitor.”

The second inductee, Mary Kay Quinlan, a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska — Lincoln graduate, began her journalism career as a suburban schools reporter at the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle and then in 1974, began a 10-year stint working for the Omaha World-Herald Washington Bureau. She then worked from 1985 to 1989 as a regional correspondent for Gannett News Service in Washington, writing for Midwestern newspapers.

This journalism experience then served her well over the next three decades as she shared her knowledge and experience with future journalists as a university professor, first at the University of Maryland and then at UNL, where she went on to serve as an associate dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

She retired in 2020 but has continued to support the college in various ways, including volunteer work with Nebraska News Service students. She has also served as a professional-in-residence in the College of Journalism’s Experience Lab. Quinlan is editor of the Oral History Association Newsletter, published three times a year by the national professional organization of oral historians, and has presented oral history workshops at numerous local, regional and national conferences.

Shirley Sneve, born in Rapid City, S.D., to a Norwegian father and a Rosebud Sioux mother, learned from both cultures while absorbing both parents’ interests in media. She majored in journalism at South Dakota State University, where she got her first experience in broadcasting with the public television affiliate in Brookings.

After more than two years as director of the Visual Arts Center in the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls, S.D., and three years as executive director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sneve moved to Nebraska and become executive director of Vision Maker Media at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in June 2004. There, she worked to empower and engage Native people to share their stories. She served as the executive producer for more than 150 documentaries, online series, apps and e-books during her 15 years there. Then she moved on in November of 2019 to become president and CEO of Tiwahe Foundation, which provides resources to American Indian people to live culturally centered, economically independent and healthy lives. In 2021 she became vice president of broadcasting at IndiJ Public Media.

With the induction of Nina Meisinger, Mary Kay Quinlan and Shirley Sneve, the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame now has 31 members.

The Hall is displayed on the third floor of UNL’s Andersen Hall. It also can be seen at the Hall of Fame section of the NPW website, Other honorees are Rheta Childe Dorr, Lori Potter, Mary Blythe Packwood, Jill Claflin, Ruth Brown, Maggie Mobley, Rose Ann Shannon, Mary Kay Quinlan, Eileen Wirth, Willa Cather, Mary Ann Koch Blackledge, Sharron Hollen, Joan Rossiter Burney, Beverly Deepe Keever, Leta Powell Drake, Gwen Lindberg, Elia Wilkinson Peattie, Maxine Moul, Clara Bewick Colby, Mary McGrath, Mildred Brown, Harriet Dakin MacMurphy, Bess Furman Armstrong, Marj Marlette, Wilma Crumley, Beverly Pollack, Lynne Grasz and Deanna Sands.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2011 by NPW, with funding support by Harold and Marian Andersen, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the organization as an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women. These women journalists are recognized for their talent, initiative, intelligence and stamina, and for making a difference for the profession, for their communities and for those who follow in their footsteps. Nominees are sought from the general public and honorees are chosen by the NPW Board of Directors.

A nonprofit professional organization of women and men in communication, Nebraska Press Women provides professional development opportunities for Nebraska’s communicators.