On Monday, April 17 Lindsey Theis and Mike Lucas visited our class to talk about what it is like in the field of reporting for local news. Theis is a reporter and fill-in anchor at KMTV. Lucas works with Theis as well. He’s a photojournalist (photo and video) and also a UNO grad.
Theis has been in the business for about 10 years. She graduated in 2007 from North Central College (in Illinois) with a major in broadcast communications and a minor in journalism and theatre.
She did a few internships in college including radio promotions, a radio producer, rock, and then news talk. She also got involved in TV documentaries (PBS style documentaries in Chicago). Her internship in Atlanta was for CNN as a radio producer and video journalist. With CNN, it was both international and domestic new. She learned a lot behind the scenes at CNN. She also took part in the video journalist program where she learned how to direct scripts and how to interview people. She also had a short stint as an intern with ABC in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Right now, she works during the 4 p.m. newscast. Her hours are pretty regular working from Monday through Friday. She also fills in on the anchor desk when they need her.
She gave some insight into what being a reporter is like. She said it’s not just sitting and reading a teleprompter. As a reporter, you write a lot of your own scripts for reporting and anchoring.
“Writing is a huge skill—even more important than how you look on camera or how comfortable you feel on camera,” said Theis.
Lucas graduated from UNO just two years ago. He found part time work at the station with Theis and within two months started working fulltime. Theis and Lucas are quite the duo at KMTV.
Lucas said the video work he did in college prepared him for where he is today. He went through the broadcast journalism program. While in college he rented gear in his spare time—outside of his TV classes—to get better at his craft.
“I wanted to find a job where I could play with a video camera and I did,” said Lucas.
With video, he said you learn through the process of doing. It’s a lot of trial and error. A lot of things story and video wise he has picked up over the years through experience.
Lucas and Theis put a lot of emphasis on getting internships while in college and networking as much as possible.