Nebraska Nightly launches with first live newscast

Saturday, November 6, 2021 - 7:15am

Nebraska Nightly, a new live newscast from the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications, aired its first episode on Nov. 5.

Nebraska Nightly is one of the programs in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ new Experience Lab. Working with faculty liaisons and professionals-in-residence, the Experience Lab offers students the opportunity to get hands-on experience working in broadcasting, journalism, sports media or advertising and public relations while still in college.

Eight students participated in the inaugural semester of Nebraska Nightly. The program requires no experience to participate so students have spent the past eight weeks learning how to produce a live newscast and preparing for their first show.

“These students are amazing,” said Brian Petrotta, assistant professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and Nebraska Nightly faculty liaison. “They had no experience and no training. But in just two months, they put on their first newscast.”

The students have been working with local professionals who are volunteering their time as mentors in the program. Geoff Roth, news director, KMTV Channel 3, Omaha; Serese Cole, morning anchor, KMTV Channel 3, Omaha; Mikel Lauber, news director, KOLN/KGIN Channel 10/11, Lincoln; and Shaun Cummins, senior technical director, KLKN-TV Channel 8 News, Lincoln, helped students prepare for their roles.

The eight Experience Lab students were joined by two from the Department of Meteorology for the first show. The student newscast participants were:

  • Kloee Sander, anchor and student lead
  • Hallie Gutzwiller, anchor and student lead
  • Hannah-Kate Kinney, producer
  • Kellen Sturgis, director
  • Macy Byars, reporter
  • Kierstin Foote, reporter
  • Hannah Roebke, reporter
  • Molly Robinson, sports
  • Michael Amankwaa, meteorologist
  • Jessica Blum, meteorologist

The first show aired at 3:30 p.m. on the Nebraska News Service YouTube Channel.

“I’m incredibly proud of these students and what they have accomplished,” said Jill Martin, assistant professor of practice in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and Experience Lab co-director. “We had hiccups, but the students handled it with poise and professionalism. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Students stand  in front of camera during newscast
Anchors Kloee Sander, left, and Hallie Gutzwiller prepare for the Nebraska Nightly show open. Faculty liaison Brian Petrotta provides a countdown.
Students work in front of monitors during newscast
Geoff Roth, KMTV news director, watches as CoJMC students Kellen Sturgis and Hannah-Kate Kinney direct and produce Nebraska Nightly's first newscast Nov. 5.
Group photo of newscast participants
Pictured are, from left: (front row) Geoff Roth, news director, KMTV Channel 3 Omaha, students Molly Robinson and Hallie Gutzwiller; (middle row) Hannah Roebke and Hannah-Kate Kinney; and (back row) Kierstin Foote, Macy Byars, Kloee Sander, Kellen Sturgis and Shaun Cummings, senior technical director, KLKN-TV Channel 8, Lincoln.