CLASS OF 2016
Rose Ann Shannon graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha and embarked on a 43-year broadcasting career in Nebraska. She was the news director at KETV channel 7 Omaha for 24 of those years.
Shannon’s career began in 1973 just before the Omaha tornado of 1975. She was covering the city council meeting for KMTV at the time and latched on to Mayor Zorinsky going out to survey the damage. Shannon said that first-hand experience helped form her view of the importance of local broadcast journalism and the power and responsibility that comes with it.
After holding multiple positions over twelve years at KMTV, Shannon joined KETV in 1986 as assignment manager. She was assistant news director in 1991 and the news director two years after that.
Under Shannon’s direction, the KETV news team has earned dozens of awards including two National Edward R. Murrow Awards plus six Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and five Heartland Regional Emmy Awards.
Among other undertakings, Shannon led a multi-year challenge to allow cameras in Nebraska courtrooms. Shannon has also been a strong proponent of the First Amendment and of Freedom of Information initiatives across the state.
Her legacy includes an induction into the Omaha Press Club Hall of Fame and the University of Nebraska-Omaha School of Journalism Hall of Fame. When reaching retirement in 2018, Shannon recalled that from day one on the job, “I could never imagine myself doing anything else. I think what we do is very important and I will never stop fighting for the public’s right to know.”