Diamond Nunnally, B.A.J. 18, moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, to start a job as a news reporter at KSNB Local 4 in March 2020, just before the COVID-19 shutdowns. We asked Nunnally about her career journey:
1. You moved to another state for your job during a pandemic – what was that like? How have you been settling into your new job and community?
“Honestly, it was tough. I was used to living alone in college without family, but to live somewhere without knowing a single soul was difficult. I moved to Nebraska in March, a week after several states started shutting down and applying restrictions. It didn’t even occur to me that things would be different in the newsroom until I talked to a coworker days before I started, and they mentioned people were working from home, sitting and standing 6 feet apart, and wiping down everything. It wasn’t what I expected for my first job. Training was supposed to last two weeks but it ended up being a whole month. I asked questions when I could, refreshed myself on the editing system I used during my internship, and just rolled with it. The first six months was hard, and even now I’m learning new tricks every day from other reporters and learning from my mistakes. I feel stronger and more confident.”
2. What are some of the most interesting or popular stories you’ve covered?
“I’ve covered stories about mail-in ballots (I interviewed the Nebraska Secretary of State for that story), Black Lives Matter protests, and a high school polka band singing to the elderly at assisted living homes. I did a story about a woman who was struggling to pay her bills and found help through the local shelter’s COVID-19 assistance program. I did a story about a football team’s parents creating a watch party blocks away from the local high school because spectators were banned due to safety precautions. In the last 10 months, I’ve covered over 100 stories.”
3. You’ve reported a lot on your community and COVID-19. Has it been difficult to report on it so much?
“I actually like covering the health and hospital stories. I do get tired of adding a coronavirus angle to every story, but you kind of have to since this pandemic has affected pretty much everything.”
4. What is your favorite part about your job?
“The most rewarding part of the job is talking to people and having genuine conversations. Since I work a lot of hours and on weekends, seeing my hard work pay off into a story I’m proud of is also rewarding.”
5. What advice do you have for journalism students?
“Start doing internships as early as possible.
Also, learning Premiere Pro was one of the best skills I gained. If you know how to use this editing system, you can grasp all the others.
Lastly, if it takes you four, five, or however many years to finish college, don’t give up. It took me 5 1/2 years and then I took a year off. I worried about finding a job but it took two months and I landed my dream job. Put your best self out there, apply to as many jobs as possible, and go for it.”