Gateway to Success: Jessica Wade makes a name for herself at the Omaha World-Herald


Jenna Janssen

News Editor

Photo courtesy of Jessica Wade.

Gateway to Success is a series focused on Gateway alumni and their journey from campus to career.

Jessica Wade speaks with a sweet, yet powerful voice that oozes confidence. She expressed her excitement in a recent Gateway interview when we asked to highlight her journalistic accomplishments.

Wade is currently a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where she mainly covers city government and city issues. She is one of the many talented alumni of The Gateway, of which she was the editor-in-chief from 2018 to 2019.

“I started as a contributor my sophomore year, mostly contributing to the opinion section and occasionally dabbling in news,” Wade said. “Then, I became the editor of the opinion section for a year to finally become the editor-in-chief my senior year”. 

Wade fondly described being a part of The Gateway as “the best part of college.” She cites the newspaper as being a great source to get real life experience with journalism and the long lasting connections she made within the program. 

Like a majority of college students. She entered UNO with an open mind and no set major.

“I wasn’t really positive on what I wanted to do,” Wade said. “I was really into writing and journalism in high school, but I was afraid to major in it in college.” 

Wade was afraid that it was going to be really hard to get a job, but was quickly proven wrong after she joined The Gateway. 

“I started meeting people like Josie Loza and Chris Burbach and people who were actual real-life reporters and I was like, ‘oh, this is actually an option for me, people actually can do this for a living,” Wade said.

She cites Loza and Burbach as mentors who influenced her writing, with Loza’s helpful nature of advocating for students and Burbach’s ability to give helpful career advice.

Wade expressed disbelief that she is able to enjoy her job as much as she does, sharing how much she loves her career. Anyone could tell just by hearing her voice how passionate she is about writing.

Wade got her start in the Omaha World-Herald as an intern the summer she graduated college, covering mostly breaking news and crime. At that point, they had an opening for a job in which she’d write a combination of breaking news and online editing, and she’s been there ever since. 

“I am actually kind of proud of how I’ve grown as a journalist, from the time starting at The Gateway, to time as a breaking news intern reporter, to what I do now, which is city issues,” Wade said. 

She described how getting into journalism full time in 2020 pushed her into pretty big stories that helped her grow as a writer. Being a journalist is a hard job with factors like burn out and constant heavy material to write about. 

“I like that it’s something new everyday and it keeps me on my toes, and it’s exciting,” Wade said. “I’m not trapped at a desk and I’m constantly getting to learn about different topics and meet different people on the part of it too. I really do feel like local journalism is an important pillar of democracy, so I feel people need to understand the reality they live in and local journalism is really a tool for that. I want to help people make informed decisions and to understand what’s going on in the world around them”.  

She advocates for journalists to give therapy a try or take time to talk to fellow journalists about how certain material affected them.

 “A lot of the reporters I work alongside every day are also fellow women and we’re getting the job done, and we’re killing it, so women rock!” Wade said. 

She recommends if you are interested in a job, just apply. Wade said to not be afraid to stick up for yourself, no matter who is talking to you. Lastly, don’t take things personally. Sometimes sources are going to be difficult; that’s all a part of the job.