Scott Ammons, a senior Mass Communications major from Laurinburg, N.C., was named editor of The Pine Needle, UNC Pembroke’s student newspaper.
Ammons was a staff writer for The Pine Needle in 2004-05 and reported on some of the University’s biggest news stories of the year, said Dr. Judy Curtis, journalism professor and faculty advisor for the newspaper.
“Scott's enthusiasm and nose for news motivated others on The Pine Needle staff,” Dr. Curtis said. The Student Publications Board was impressed by his commitment to digging out important news stories, his leadership and team-building skills and the accuracy and objectivity of his reporting, Dr. Curtis said. “ The Pine Needle staff this spring experienced the adrenaline rush of covering many big breaking news stories that will have lasting impact on the campus community,” Dr. Curtis said. “I'm very proud they had the contacts, interviewing, writing and photography skills needed to be on top of these stories.”
Ammons joins a growing list of editors who made major improvements at The Pine Needle in recent years, Dr. Curtis said. The newspaper now boasts a staff of 40, a Website, color photos and more news pages.
"The Pine Needle had an outstanding group of editors in recent years who took the newspaper to a new level of professionalism in its coverage,” said Dr. Anthony Curtis, professor in the Department of Mass Communications, who advises the newspaper’s Website (www.uncp.edu/pineneedle).
"Our current editor was interviewed by a Washington Times reporter when our story broke about the NCAA controversy over the Braves logo, and Scott was interviewed by a reporter from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, about our provost going to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.” Dr. Judy Curtis said. “These are concrete examples that The Pine Needle, its Website and its editors have become a professionally regarded news organization.”
Ammons said he would seek wider recognition for the student newspaper off campus, in part, through wider use of the Internet.
“I would like to establish The Pine Needle name outside the University community,” Ammons said. “I would like to provide more timely news throughout the year on our Website.”
At age 33, Ammons came to college as a non-traditional student and is making the most of it.
“I don’t think I would do it any other way,” he said. “I’m getting the most out of college. I’ve found doors and windows of opportunity here.”
Ammons was a senator for the Student Government Association and served on the board of directors for the Leadership and Service Opportunities Program. He will spend the summer as an intern at the Raeford (N.C.) News-Journal.
“I’ve been lucky to meet and work with a lot of great people here,” he said.