Journalism college launches news service

More than 60 newspapers, television and radio stations throughout Nebraska will receive regular news updates about state government and the Legislature's actions from a new reporting service of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Nebraska News Service will provide stories and photographs to participating state news organizations free of charge. During legislative sessions, news coverage will focus on the Legislature's activities. The rest of the year, the Nebraska News Service will cover state agencies and issues.

"This is a great way for the college to help inform people throughout the state about how important state government is to all of our lives," said Gary Kebbel, dean of the journalism college. "Most news organizations simply can't afford to have a full-time reporter covering state government. The College of Journalism and Mass Communications can help those organizations inform Nebraska citizens about decisions that affect our lives in important ways every day."

Mary Kay Quinlan, who will oversee the student reporters, said "NNS will not only provide a real-world learning experience for students but will also assist the state's news organizations in covering government decisions made daily at the State Capitol."

Journalism sequence head Tim Anderson says the rigorous course will simulate an intensive newsroom setting. "Students will learn what covering state government is all about as they report on the 2011 session of the Nebraska Legislature."

Media outlets wishing to contact the Nebraska News Service may do so by sending an e-mail to

Nebraska News Service student reporters

Front row left to right: Paige Yowell, Emily Nohr, Krista Vogel
Back Row: Steven Cain and Steve Scharf

Steven Cain, of Dakota City, Neb., is a senior news-editorial and broadcasting student, who is planning to graduate in August 2011. Cain said he learned "firsthand the importance of rural newspapers" during a summer internship with the Seward County Independent. Additionally, he served as assistant producer for Star City News to cover the 2010 mid-term elections for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Cain plans to pursue a career in news following graduation.

Emily Nohr, of Crofton, Neb., is a junior news-editorial and broadcasting student. Nohr has worked as a fellow for The Omaha World-Herald and interned at the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan and the USDA Rural Development State Office. Her other experience includes writing stories for the Grand Island Independent, Norfolk Daily News, J News alumni magazine and the Daily Nebraskan. Nohr is vice president of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, secretary for the CoJMC Student Advisory Board and a mentor for the TeamMates program. Nohr hopes to work at a big newspaper in the Midwest following graduation.

Steve Scharf of Lincoln, Neb., is a senior double majoring in journalism and political science. He has served on several student government committees, was a member of the CoJMC Student Advisory Board and served as a page for the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature. He recently spent nine months becoming fluent in Spanish while studying and traveling in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. His trip covered a span longer than the distance between New York and San Francisco and included what he describes as several "eventful" overnight bus rides through Bolivia. Upon graduation, Steve says he aspires to serve his country in one way or another.

Krista Vogel, of Atkins, Iowa, is a senior news-editorial student graduating in May 2011. She was a reporter for the J school's groundbreaking New Voices project and is currently involved in editing her second CoJMC depth report magazine. In addition, she is a copy editor for Neighborhood Life, a local magazine, and does freelance editing. Vogel is a member of CoJMC JAMbassadors and the American Copy Editors Society. She plans to acquire a summer internship to pursue a career in magazine editing following graduation.

Paige Yowell, a lifelong Lincoln, Neb., resident, is a junior news-editorial student with concentrations in political science and religious studies. She has gained experience as an intern with the Seward County Independent, learning about the importance of small-town newspapers. Yowell was also a recipient of the Nancy Foreman Scholarship for the 2010-11 academic year. She plans to graduate in 2012 and pursue a law degree and a career in political reporting.

Students who have been selected to staff the inaugural news service are Steven Cain, Dakota City; Emily Nohr, Crofton; Steve Scharf, Lincoln; Krista Vogel, Atkins, Iowa; and Paige Yowell, Lincoln.

Quinlan, who has covered the U.S. Congress for 15 years and is an associate professor of journalism, joined UNL in 1999. She taught graduate and undergraduate classes at the University of Maryland College of Journalism where she was a Baltimore Sun Distinguished Lecturer and William Randolph Hearst Visiting Professional.

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications is an internationally recognized program, where more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the U.S. and the world get to practice hands-on journalism, advertising and public relations. UNL's program—accredited by ACEJMC since 1954 and Nebraska's only accredited journalism program—has attracted talented faculty members who have substantial professional experience in their fields. The Nebraska News Services joins three J school programs housed in Andersen Hall—the ABC News On Campus bureau, the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative and the training center for the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund.


Mary Kay Quinlan, associate professor, 402-472-2557,

Gary Kebbel, dean, 402-472-3041,

Marilyn Hahn, communications specialist, 402-472-0876,