Nikki Rudd; A Headstrong Journalist and Positive Influence within the Community

Nikki Rudd; A Headstrong Journalist and Positive Influence within the Community

You first met Che in Rochester works for actor Che Holloway, an impromptu interview and amble through the Neighborhood of the Arts.

An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!

Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.

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Photos courtesy of Nikki Rudd

For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews

Nikki Rudd; A Headstrong Journalist and Positive Influence within the Community

In this highlight we turn our attention to Nikki Rudd of News 10 NBC. A vivacious news anchor making contributions within the world of journalism.

I asked Nikki a series of questions. Here is what we discussed.

Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.

I was born in Detroit, Michigan, but raised in Des Moines, Iowa. I went to North High School and was part of the Radio/TV program. That’s where I first knew I wanted to be a reporter/anchor. I went to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and majored in Communication Arts with an emphasis on Electronic Media.

In college, I interned at KCCI in Des Moines. This is where I learned the art of telling stories from the amazing journalists there. I still stay in contact with some of them today. I was even given the opportunity to report on-air while I was at KCCI. I remember how nervous I was for my first live shots! Sometimes I still feel those nerves on a big breaking story.

My first on-air job was at KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota. I was a one-man-band. I shot, edited, wrote and reported my stories on the evening news. I eventually was a fill-in anchor and also produced shows. You learn to do it all! This really helps moving forward in your career because you know what your co-workers need to do their jobs well. I also learned – it takes a TEAM to do good work!Nikki also

After two years at KTTC, I took a job at News10NBC here in Rochester as the morning show reporter and fill-in anchor.  I learned so much working with Rebecca Leclair and Gabe Dalmath. After a few years, I became the weekend evening anchor and reported dayside and nightside during the week. Then after five years on the weekend, I moved back to mornings as an anchor/reporter.

What inspired you to be a journalist? Early experiences worth sharing?

When I was a kid, my sister and I would pretend to do radio newscasts with our tape recorder. Do millennials even know what that is? My family couldn’t afford a video camera – so there were no pretend television newscasts.

I always liked to be the first one to tell my friends some news. Whether it was a kid getting sent to the principal’s office or a friend having a crush on someone in class. Writing and storytelling have also been some of my passions.Nikki 1

Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.

The first time I tried to read off a teleprompter in my high school Radio/TV class – I couldn’t do it! The segment I was doing for the local tv access channel had to be edited heavily because I was so bad at it. At that point, I thought – I guess this dream of being a tv reporter is over! But I kept at it.

In college we had a weekly news program that aired on television. I tried out to be one of the anchors. I found out one of the professors didn’t want me. However, another professor did and pushed for me to be on the anchor desk. Without her, I may not be where I am today.

The lesson I’ve learned being in this business – not everyone will like you. You’ll always have some people who don’t! You can’t please everyone. My mom told me growing up, “Just do your best!” That’s what I try to do every day.

What do you believe sets you apart from other journalists?

Storytelling. There’s an art to it. It’s something I learned from the journalists at KCCI. How to use natural sound and video mixed with soundbites and short tracks to tell a story. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

I also think being genuine is key. Don’t be a fake. Be you!

Do you have other interests or hobbies?

I’m a crazy cat lady! I LOVE cats. I also love going to movies. I’m a regular at The Little Theatre. Travel is important to me. I promised myself I’d leave the country every year after I graduated from college. Even when I was making $10/hour at my first job and paying off college loans – I made it happen! Go see the WORLD!nikki 2

Any projects you have out or currently working on?

Right now, I’m looking into doing a story on missing children from our area who have never been found. Most of us have heard of Brittanee Drexel and Brian Sullivan, but what about the other cases that haven’t received as much attention?

We’re always working to highlight the good things around Rochester. I helped launch Rochester ROCS – a series where the viewers pick the best of the best of everything around town. We just came up with our categories for July and November. It will be fun! Stay tuned!

Where would you like to see yourself family in 5 years?

I’d be thrilled if I was still working with the same team. Pat Taney and Rich Caniglia have become family to me. I’d be lost without them.nikki 5

What advice can you give to aspiring journalists?

Writing, writing, writing. I’ve seen a lot of college graduates who don’t have command of the English language. There’s also an art to broadcast writing. Learn it. Intern with a station, go out with reporters, see what the job is really like. This business is changing so much, but the basics will never change. Learn how to tell a good story.nikki 3

Also – be prepared to do it all and not make a lot of money. Don’t expect a photographer. Don’t expect an editor. Learn how to do all these things yourself. If you do get one – it’s a perk! Like I said – my first job paid $10/hour. I made more doing summer jobs! Good paying jobs are hard to come by in every industry these days – including broadcasting.

How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?

You can find me on Facebook (Nikki Rudd) and Twitter (@whec_nrudd) 


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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