Nimmer has been a constant steward of the highest standards of journalism
in this community for 38 years. He joined the staff of the Minneapolis
Star in 1963 as a cub, and cut his teeth in the trenches as a cops and
courts reporter. His style began to
develop along with his saw tooth personality; informed by the characters
he covered on both sides of the law.
years on the beat, with stints as a tough investigative reporter, Nimmer
selected to become part of the Star's management team. For four years
Dave led the paper as its managing editor, fighting to keep the afternoon
daily alive in the face of
competition from evening television newscasts. As Nimmer built the paper's
strategy, he analyzed the strengths and values of broadcast journalism,
and found them attractive.
In 1979 WCCO-TV hired Dave Nimmer as a general assignment reporter.
immediately became a community favorite. His natural mix of hard-bitten,
Chandleresque prose, and his love of this community and people, was
combination to set him apart from his fellow storytellers. In 1983 WCCO
recognized the same leadership qualities the newspaper had discovered
and elevated Nimmer to the
position of Associate News Director. That move certified a role he'd
been playing since he arrived at the station: mentor. Hundreds of young
reporters today say that Dave Nimmer was an instrumental figure in their
own professional and personal development.
1986 WCCO-TV began a new style news program called Newsday. Teamed with
a good friend and veteran journalist Marcia Fleur, the program broke
new ground in public affairs reporting. It was also in 1986 that Father
James Whalen selected Nimmer to teach young journalists at the College
of St. Thomas. It was a part-time job, but Dave quickly discovered that
it was his full-time passion. When he eventually left WCCO-TV, he
permanently joined the faculty of the new University of St. Thomas.
Students in his
classes learned that journalism is nothing more than the first draft
of history, written as a story. Very few journalists have so completely
grasped the importance of story telling to public comprehension of critical
issues. As if to demonstrated the point, Nimmer quietly authored two
books of short stories, based on the people he met and places he admired
through his career. He was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for
his very first effort.
honoring Dave Nimmer one wonders how best to describe him. Investigative
Reporter? Editor of a large metropolitan daily, television reporter,
professor, or author? He may choose, storyteller. We choose teacher.
Because, in every one of his
journalistic roles, we never stopped learning from him.