Kearney sports editor adapts to multimedia world
By Sam Peshek
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Buck Mahoney is comfortable in his job. After all, he’s been doing it for 35 years.
As sports editor of the Kearney Hub, Mahoney has seen a lot of changes.
A Stapleton, Neb., native, Mahoney enrolled in classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a journalism major after high school graduation.
“There were a lot more opportunities in print than there were in broadcast at the time, so when I got to college I thought I would do the print side of editorial,” Mahoney said.
After graduation, Mahoney landed his first job at the Lexington Clipper-Independent in Lexington, Neb.
“Almost everything I do now I learned there,” Mahoney said. “I didn’t always have the chance to practice as a one-man sports staff in Lexington.”
After moving to Kearney in May 1984 when he was in his late-20s, he became responsible for page layout, proofreading, copy editing, writing, reporting and _ when the paper began its shift toward multimedia _ video and photography.
With two other sports reporters on staff, being a jack-of-all-trades and handling a heavy workload is simply part of the job.
The coverage area includes a readership of an estimated 68,000 in 10 counties in south-central Nebraska. Mahoney and his staff focus on high school sports in the region and University of Nebraska-Kearney athletics. And these days they reach readers online as well as in print.
News in the digital age came as a culture shock for someone with no formal training in these new ways of reporting.
“It changed a lot with multimedia and online. That I was never prepared for,” Mahoney said. “Journalists now need to stay on the cutting edge.”
Staying on the cutting edge is what Mahoney does with Nebraska Prep Zone as a contributor. On the site, users can see Mahoney’s tweets, stories, photos and video from across the region.
Covering sports as a career is not a bad gig, even though it can be stressful.
“Not enough time. Too many things, not enough time,” he said. What creates stress? “It’s a combination of size and staff and what is asked of them with new media and electronics.”
Even with those challenges, Mahoney likes his job.
“I’m doing work that I enjoy,” he said. “I enjoy talking sports with anybody and they pay me to do it.”