The Team

Our dedicated team of passionate content creators constantly keeps the Planet rotating on a daily basis. The Planet proudly provides an outlet for others to utilize their voice in news, culture, comics and more. Learn how you can join the Planet and get to know our dedicated team bellow.

Zack Benz

Editor-in-chief

Zack Benz has been a fan of the Daily Planet since he was eight years old. The Daily Planet has always been a beacon of hope for him and it’s his life’s mission to make it shine in a similar light to so many around the world. Zack graduated with a degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2019.

Karli Kruse

Art Director

Karli Kruse will graduate from the University of Minnesota Duluth for Graphic Design with a Photo minor in 2021. She’s and avid fan of Taco Bell, Krispy Kreme, and all things Taylor Swift (although she likes to make sure people know that’s not her typical music style). Karli has always been a creative type and that side of her tends to come out in the late hours of the night.  If you wanna stalk her check out her Instagram.

Brianna Taggart

Managing Editor

Brianna Taggart gets way too emotionally invested in TV shows and loves to bring her love of stories and writing to her work in journalism. She has two degrees in journalism and communication from the University of Minnesota Duluth and works full time at a weekly newspaper in Minnesota. When she’s not covering community news, she’s covering entertainment for Bri’s Binge right here on the Daily Planet.

Rebecca Kottke

Art Consultant

Rebecca Kottke is a world-famous pizza connoisseur, avid wine-drinker, glitter and Game of Thrones enthusiast and a burgeoning cat lady.  Rebecca enjoys evenings in, listening to podcasts and doodling. Rebecca is currently residing with her cat, Cannoli The Fierce on planet Earth. To keep up with Rebecca and Cannoli’s hijinx, please head over to Rebecca’s Instagram.

Jahlil Rush

Editor & Photographer

Jahlil Rush attends CUNY Baruch College in New York City. He is double majoring in journalism and digital communication while also double minoring in photography and film. The passion for journalism has always resided within him. He loves covering topics of all kinds, from politics to entertainment to even fashion and technology. When it comes to covering anything related to superheroes, video games and animation, he gets extra excited. One day he hopes to achieve his career Goal of becoming an ABC News National Correspondent and Photojournalist. Check out some of his work on Flickr and find him on Contently.

Mira Ciganek

Editor

Mira Ciganek has always loved writing. “She knew how to use a pencil before she knew how to use a fork,” says her dad. Now, she has turned her favorite pastime into a future career. Inspired by her move to New York City and her love for meeting new people, Mira is pursuing a journalism degree at Baruch College. She hopes to talk to interesting people and share their stories with the world. In the more immediate future, Mira can be found thrifting, doing yoga, and trying new foods.

M’Niyah Lynn

Journalist

M’Niyah loves everything creative. She is a native New Yorker that grew up in Brooklyn and Harlem. She is also an artist with a love for drawing. M’Niyah is a fan of makeup, music and fashion. She also has a history of helping children as a camp counselor. Currently, M’Niyah is pursuing a journalism degree at Baruch College. She hopes to one day become a reporter.

Sanjayan Karthikeyan

Journalist

Sanjayan Karthikeyan has always loved super heroes and wants to become a comic book artist/writer. Over the years, he was introduced to Superman who went on to become an inspiration in his life. Superman was the reason he started writing, which has become one of his favorite activities. Karthikeyan just completed schooling and plans on pursuing a career in finance but also wants to pursue Journalism, a new passion of his.

Kentnco

Journalist

Logan is an ambitious, yet head-strong, “underdog.” He strives to support the overlooked and bring attention to both big and small happenings in the world through journalism.

Brendan Rooney

Editor

Brendan Rooney has always been full of creativity and enthusiasm towards the world of widespread media. He is also a passionate comic book fan along with a die-hard sports pedigree. Brendan has written various articles covering all topics. Brendan dreams of forging a long-lasting legacy by bringing respect to the Rooney name as either a teacher, journalist, or whatever else the future holds. Brendan plans to graduate from Westfield State University in the spring of 2022 with a degree in English, and a minor in Journalism.

Destiny Ricks

Content Contributor

Born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, Destiny Ricks doesn’t describe herself as the typical Southern Belle. Growing up, Ricks often lost herself in the various fascinating worlds she found in literature and comic books, particularly with Batman. Her mother, an educator, instilled a love of reading and writing in her and once her brother gifted her a camera, the rest, as they say, is history. On her YouTube channel, Ricks discusses and analyzes films and often geeks out about the latest comic book properties. Ricks is a nerd through and through and you can find her at her most chaotic on her Twitter.

Sarah Knieff

Co-host and Producer of “Uncovering the Truth in Minnesota” Podcast

Sarah Knieff is a lover of cats, books, fashion and traveling. Her perfect afternoon would be spent curled up next to a fireplace, drinking a hot cappuccino, petting her cat Charli and reading her newest book purchase. She might even do a little online shopping, but don’t tell her family because she is supposed to be cutting back on buying new clothes. When Sarah is not doing all of that, or spending quality time with her friends and family, she can be found poring over the new issue of The New York Times like the dedicated journalist she is. Sarah is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth and will graduate in December 2020 with a bachelor’s in journalism and a minor in professional writing.

Zach Moore

Podcaster

Zach Moore hosts Always Hold On To Smallville, a retrospective podcast about the Superman TV series “Smallville.” Having worked as a cinematographer, editor and photojournalist in the news, entertainment and medical fields, if there’s a camera or microphone involved Zach isn’t far behind. Zach is a veteran podcaster having hosted multiple shows over the years including Fanchise Fatigue and Saswatch on the United Federation of Podcasts, and Standard Orbit on Trek.FM. He is a native Houstonian and proud Texan.

Jimmy Reno

Daily Planet Columnist

Jimmy Reno has always had a passion for the creative arts. Singing and writing have been at the forefront of his career. A professional Christian country singer and songwriter, he discovered his love for writing and journalism later on. Working as a freelance journalist in addition to his music, he contributes to the Daily Planet. An avid, life-long Superman fan, discovering the Daily Planet, and contributing to it, was a dream come true. Learn more about Jimmy at his website.

Brian of Earth-16

Journalist

Brian of Earth-16 is a podcaster for the Earth-16 Comics Writer and a contributing writer/journalist for the Daily Planet. You can also hear Brian on the DC Comics Geeks Nation podcast. When not writing, Brian enjoys going to the world of comic books, TV shows, video games, and pro-wrestling. He also loves listening to other podcasts and having a philosophical conversation.

Selena M. Lane

Content Contributor

Selena is someone who fights to be a voice for the voiceless, a teller of truth and is an aspiring field journalist. Selena is also a DC Universe fanatic, with her favorite heroes being Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Izabel Johnson

Co-host and Producer of “Uncovering the Truth in Minnesota” Podcast

Izabel has always had a passion for reading, writing, and solving mysteries. These passions, along with the support of her family, friends, and coffee, are the driving forces behind Izabel’s work in investigative journalism. When she is not working, she is most likely spending time with friends and family or unwinding with some Netflix or a good book. Izabel is a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth and will graduate in December 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in communication. 


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