UNCP's student newspaper goes online

Chris Nicolini (left) with Nathan Walls (Photo by Elizabeth Butler)

You can never be too far away to read UNC Pembroke's The Pine Needle. For the first time in its history, the bi-monthly student newspaper can be found online at www.uncp.edu/pineneedle/.

This summer Editor Nathan Walls realized it was time for The Pine Needle to step into cyberspace.

"I felt that it was necessary for us to produce a medium that could be seen by parents, alumni and others around the world," Walls said.

Getting the paper online has been a gradual process that started last year.

"We really didn't have the equipment or staff needed to maintain a website consistently last year," Walls said. "Once we built up our staff, got equipment and found a web editor, I knew we had built a group that would be able to sustain the amount of work it takes to get the job done."

Advisor, Dr. Judy Curtis also credits Walls and Web Editor Chris Nicolini for making an idea a reality.

"Very few schools in the UNC system have their student newspapers online," Dr. Curtis said. "Chris puts Pine Needle stories online when they are complete, and you can see them online before the newspaper comes out."

This is Wall's third year with The Pine Needle and second as editor. He is double majoring in journalism and public relations and is a senior after just three years at UNC Pembroke. He is a 2001 graduate of Forbush High School in East Bend, N.C.

"Ultimately, I would like to work my way up to magazines," Walls said. "I had an article in 'Eastern Basketball' this summer, and it was a great feeling to see my work published for a larger audience and alongside Dick Vitale's work."

The newspaper is gaining momentum in other areas as well, with a 12-page October edition. Walls is hoping the big next step for The Pine Needle will be a full-color front page.

"Nathan has put together a team that is interested in journalism, and they are learning what they need to know to be successful in their first jobs," Dr. Curtis said.