Student News Reporter Contest Added to Mock Trial Championship

Taegan Jacobs, a student at Bellevue West High School, is the first winner in the Judge Lyle Strom High School Mock Trial Student News Reporter Contest. The 2018 State Championship, which took place Dec. 3-4 in Omaha, marked the inaugural Mock Trial Student News Reporter Contest.

The Student News Reporter Contest is offered at the state championship competition. Each team qualifying for state could add a student news reporter to its team. This enabled schools to draw students from other academic areas and offer more educational opportunities as part of  the Mock Trial Program. The contest was created to help students practice news reporting skills at the local level.

In the contest, participating students observed and then reported on the first-round trial. Students met with media professionals who served as mentors and with a sitting judge. Components of a trial were explained, and students received advice from the news media professionals. The contest is intended to help students learn to identify and report the important facts of a trial to the public in a complete, concise and objective manner.

The Student News Reporter Contest adds another realistic component to the Mock Trial competition. It was developed through a collaboration of the Bench Media Committee of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation; Doris Huffman, Executive Director of the Foundation; and Jim Timm, President and Executive Director of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association.