Pine Needle turns 60!
The Pine Needle student newspaper reached its 60th anniversary of publication this fall and commemorated the occasion with record-setting accomplishments.
First published in 1947, the paper has grown into a significant, professional-quality medium, according to faculty adviser Dr. Judy Curtis (Mass Communication).
"I'm continually amazed at what our students have been able to accomplish," Dr. Curtis said. "They seem to outdo each other every year."
This year, the bi-weekly Pine Needle upgraded to full broadsheet-sized newspaper. The October 11 issue had two sections and reached a record 20 pages, 10 in full color.
"This was our first Homecoming during a football season in 56 years," Dr. Curtis explained. "With that spectacular event as well as all of the other news occurring around campus, there has been a lot to cover in the last two weeks."
The issue included an eight-page section on Homecoming and sports.
"The paper is an excellent learning laboratory for our students," Dr. Curtis said.
The Mass Communication Department offers academic tracks in journalism, public relations and broadcasting, and lots of students work on The Pine Needle each year. For 2007-08, the newspaper has a staff of 34 students.
Journalism senior Amanda Hickey is editor with Robert Deckert as managing editor and "around the campus" editor. Other senior staff members include Brad Crawford, sports editor; Hannah Simpson, "around the town" editor; Christian Felkl, news editor; and Maggie Damghani, opinion editor. Michael Graham is Web editor, and Marquita Brazier is photo editor and electronic news editor.
"Our staff this year is really energized," Hickey said. "Working on The Pine Needle gives us valuable experience in reporting, editing, photography, graphic design, and even advertising sales and circulation."
The paper accepts paid advertising from national as well as local businesses. Its circulation of 4,000 copies not only covers campus but also the Town of Pembroke via racks in restaurants, stores and public buildings. In addition, the paper is circulated at the University's satellite campuses.
"I am so proud of the students. It's a huge job putting out a 20-page paper," Dr. Curtis said. "We're always looking for energetic new reporters and photographers.
"Although journalism majors make up most of the staff, the paper is not just journalism students," Dr. Curtis pointed out. "All majors are welcome."
In addition to her traditional role in the classroom, Dr. Curtis provides professional mentoring to the student journalists.