The Thunderbeat reporter earns 1st place in reporting at State Mock Trial

Brooke Jones, Reporter

Junior Taegan Jacobs won first place in the student reporter contest at the annual Nebraska State Mock Trial Competition. She made history by being the first student journalist to win the award and was the first reporter from Bellevue West to compete.

Reporters are eligible to compete once a school’s mock trial team qualifies for state.

Jacobs said she took as many notes as possible and documented the entire trial, then wrote a report on it. The objective of the reporting portion was to produce the most unbiased report on the given case within two hours.

“This is the first year they’ve really done the reporting side and had actual journalists come in and help us,” Jacobs said. “So this is basically the first time they’ve included journalism as a whole.”

Jacobs spent two days competing against two other student journalists while Mock Trial students litigated a DUI case.

“We had to take a lot of notes because we weren’t allowed to talk to anyone involved in the case,” Jacobs said. “But after the case we got the chance to talk to some reporters and they gave us some helpful tips going into it.”

Mock trial sponsor Robin Kratina said she feels as though reporting in mock trial is beneficial for several career paths, ranging from attending law school, to becoming a police officer. She said that mock trial can be a great experience for student journalists.

“In careers like the law, the most important asset you have is your ability to communicate and articulate what you have seen and to be an officer of the court, to bring the court an objective summary of what’s occured,” Kratina said.