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New reporter joins Cedar County News staff

HARTINGTON – A community news reporter with Cornhusker State ties has joined the Cedar County News.

Mark Mahoney, an Omaha native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, will report on stories and take photos for the News and the four other Northeast Nebraska News Company newspapers located across Cedar, Knox and Pierce counties.

Even though he started working parttime for the company on Dec. 6, he began writing articles for the Hartington-based business on a freelance basis last spring.

Mahoney’s career as a news reporter began when he graduated from UNL in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

However, becoming a journalist was not his first choice as a career when he entered college. He was originally a biochemistry major.

Mahoney quickly realized, though, that science was not for him after taking a 100-level biochemistry course designed to determine whether people were cut out for that program.

“I looked at other possible majors and I realized I was a good writer, so I considered English and journalism for a bachelor’s degree,” he said. “I thought journalism was a better career path for me and I never looked back.”

Mahoney wrote for the Daily Nebraskan student newspaper from 2004 to 2006 while he attended UNL, starting as a sportswriter before becoming a news reporter.

After graduating from college, he worked for:

-The Voice News, based in Hickman. The weekly newspaper covers more than 20 southeast Nebraska communities.

-The Missouri Valley Times-News, a twice-a-week newspaper that covers Harrison County in western Iowa.

-The N’West Iowa REVIEW, the flagship publication of Iowa Information Publishers and Printers.

The REVIEW, based in Sheldon, Iowa, is the largest weekly newspaper in that state, covering a rural, fourcounty region in its northwest corner.

Mahoney also reported for The Sheldon Mail-Sun and other weekly newspapers published by Iowa Information.

-The Summerland Advocate-Messenger, based in Clearwater. The weekly newspaper covers five communities in northeast Nebraska’s Antelope and Holt counties.

“I was drawn to community journalism because I enjoy telling people’s stories and getting to know the people I interview,” Mahoney said.

He noted that he likes to establish a good rapport with the people he meets and interviews.

“Many times, those same people will provide me with story ideas and tips down the road,” Mahoney said. “I’ve learned that people appreciate good reporting, especially at the local level.”

He received an Outstanding Young Journalist Award in 2010 from the Nebraska Press Association. Mahoney has won multiple

Mahoney has won multiple awards from the NPA and the Iowa Newspaper Association.

He said he is happy to join the Northeast Nebraska News Company as a community news reporter.

“I look forward to getting to know the people in the business’ coverage area and learning more about the region,” Mahoney said. “I’m an Omaha native who has come to appreciate small-town living and community journalism.”

Mahoney lives in Bloomfield with his wife, Christina, and their daughter, Hazel, and son, Robert.