CoJMC welcomes alumna to Nebraska for homecomingWednesday, October 2, 2019 - 5:45pm
by Molly Roe
The College of Journalism and Mass Communications (CoJMC) welcomes home Angel Jennings, a 2008 journalism graduate originally from the Washington, D.C., area.
Jennings is a regional reporter for South Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Times. Since 2011, she has covered some of the West Coast’s most infamous cities including Compton, Inglewood and South Central L.A. She writes about the societal forces that are remaking historically black neighborhoods and how these issues affect black Angelenos.
Jennings was recruited by the University when she was still in high school. She played a vital role in helping resurrect her high school’s newspaper, which had partnerships with the Washington Post. A copy editor there was a Nebraska alum and passed Jennings’s information along to the CoJMC.
Professor Joe Starita ultimately recruited Jennings, flying to D.C. twice to talk to her about what the CoJMC could offer her. As a first generation college student, Jennings said the idea of moving halfway across the country for college was daunting, but she’s glad she did it.
“The CoJMC has lived up to all my expectations,” she said. “Coming to Nebraska has probably been the single most formative move in my life.”
Jennings credits much of her success in college and in her career to Starita’s dedication as her academic adviser. She said he pushed her and helped her get internships that propelled her career.
“He had all the secrets and I followed his lead,” she said. “I feel like that relationship has served me very well.”
In college, Jennings held four internships – at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Shreveport Times, New York Times and The Boston Globe. Her advice to current students is to seek out paid internships that will hold you accountable for your work.
“Put yourself out there, apply and be able to leave your comfort zone,” she said.
In addition, Jennings noted the importance of remaining vigilant and following your gut as a reporter. She recommends talking to leaders and people in the community you cover, and even living in the community to better understand its needs.
“As a beat reporter, you’re accountable to the people you cover,” she said. “[Your work should] make a good reflection of what’s going on in the community.”
Jennings is visiting the CoJMC this week for homecoming, where she will be talking to several classes. To see some of Jennings work, visit https://www.latimes.com/search?q=angel+jennings.