Jackson Kurtz is from Overland Park, Kansas, and graduated in May 2018. He was a reporter and anchor for KUJH-TV as well as a member of the Diversity Inclusion Action Group and Journalism Student Leadership Board. Kurtz has previously interned at KCTV5 News in Kansas City and CBS News at CBS This Morning in New York City. He now works as a multimedia journalist for WJCL in Savannah, Georgia.
I grew up with a single mom. She’s the number one influential person in my life. She tells me to be proud of what you have become and who you are but be humble about everything and how you speak about yourself.
I would pretend to mock the anchor on the TV when I was growing up. I’ve always been really personable with people and it wasn’t until I got into high school that I started to get into journalism.
I didn’t want to go to KU at all. I wanted to go to Seton Hall because it was close to New York, but the tuition was too high. I did the most stereotypical visit to KU. I went out with a friend of mine who was rushing a fraternity house, and I realized KU was a great school.
You have to put yourself out there, which I think is important. But the journalism school is here for you, they will guide you and direct you in a direction where you will best succeed. I feel like at some schools you are just a number and another face in the crowd. Any program should be able to help you at some capacity, and I think the J-School has done that for me and has been super helpful.
My favorite journalism moments are winning the Hearst, meeting Charlie Rose and interviewing Bob Schieffer.
I felt betrayed by Charlie Rose after women reported he had sexually harassed them because I was raised by mostly women and came from a background of respecting women. It did not sit well with me and it, to me, invalidated his entire career of important journalism.
I want to do really important journalism. My dream job would be anchoring the evening or nightly news or 60 Minutes -- that’s the gold standard.
My advice to freshman would be to get involved, work hard and relax. Life is too short and you can’t live in Dole; you need to go out and enjoy college.
I interned at CBS News, and I was so overwhelmed at first. I was the most annoying intern, but I started doing things that weren’t important but things that people would notice me doing. I would sort the mail when it came, and I just felt I really needed to stand out.
Brianna Childers is a senior from Sedalia, Missouri, majoring in journalism. Childers has written for the University Daily Kansan and The Topeka Capital-Journal. After graduation, she plans to move to Kansas City to pursue a job in newspaper writing.