News Without Natter
JAMM Propels Journalism Student to Market’s Top News Network
John Webb began his trek toward a journalism career as a 12-year-old.
That is when he met a well-known TV news reporter who covered a story in Webb’s hometown of Wallace.
“I had planned on becoming a singer,” Webb said. “That encounter changed everything.”
Within three years of meeting popular KREM-TV chief meteorologist Tom Sherry, Webb worked at a local radio station and started a hometown cable news program. By the time he finished high school, he had covered crime stories, interviewed gubernatorial candidates, and accrued more hands-on journalism experience than many professional reporters.
When he graduates from the University of Idaho’s Journalism and Mass Media (JAMM) program next semester with a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science, Webb will have earned two top-10 Hearst National TV News Competition awards for his reporting and his face will already be known to Inland Northwest viewers. Webb will finish his fall semester online while working for KHQ-TV, where he completed an internship as a JAMM student.
“When I came to the University of Idaho, I knew the basics of reporting, but the JAMM program and its instructors really helped me propel,” Webb said. “They gave me focus and the kind of professional mentorship I needed in a comfortable environment.”
Webb began broadcasting from an empty broom closet with a green screen during his freshman year at U of I.
“John is where he is because of himself. It’s all him,” said Glenn Mosley, senior instructor and director of the broadcast program at JAMM. “He has great passion and enthusiasm for his work.”
As a student, Webb worked at the Argonaut student newspaper, completed internships in television news, worked for Pullman Radio News as a news anchor to hone his skills, was selected as chair of the student media board and a became a ASUI student representative.
“The university environment was welcoming and tightly knit, so I took advantage a lot of opportunities I probably would not have gotten at larger schools,” Webb said. “I know my professors really well and consider them friends.”
When he joined the broadcast program at JAMM — a separate entity from student media — the TV studio exceeded his expectations, Webb said.
“JAMM provides students with top-of-the-line equipment that helps familiarize them with what they will find at a television station,” he said.
JAMM gave me focus and the kind of professional mentorship I needed. John Webb, senior, broadcast journalism
Webb mentored fellow students during his four years in U of I’s journalism program. He brought to his projects a high standard that other students emulated, Mosley said.
“John is a great learner and a great teacher to younger members of the program,” Mosley said. “He was always looking for ways to help students become better reporters and communicators. He lifted them up and raised the bar.”
Webb’s mother works in the Silver Valley’s mining industry, and his dad works for environmental quality management. He is not sure how he became the most talkative family member.
“Neither of them say a lot, so I speak for all three of us,” he said.
Webb’s outgoing nature and curiosity were well suited for JAMM’s hands-on learning philosophy and its many production and media outlets, Mosley said. “He has been a great role model for his peers.”
Article by Ralph Bartholdt, University Communications and Marketing.
Photos by Joe Pallen, University Creative Services.
Published May 2022.