News of Mass Communications Students

Amanda Hickey: Pine Needle Editor for Fall 2007

Pine Needle editor Amanda Hickey
Amanda Hickey, right, editor of the The Pine Needle student newspaper for Fall 2008, with Katrina Hampton, editor of UNCP's Indianhead yearbook.
Amanda Hickey, a senior journalism major at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke from Jacksonville, N.C., was editor of The Pine Needle campus newspaper for the Fall 2008 semester.

Enrolled in UNCP's Mass Communications Department in the journalism track, Hickey had revealed her journalistic skills and leadership capabilities earlier as she reported, photographed and edited campus news stories during her undergraduate years.

Before receiving the editor-in-chief assignment, Hickey had been crime beat reporter, senior staff writer, and news editor for The Pine Needle.

The Pine Needle has experienced exponential growth in quality and circulation over the last six years, according to Dr. Judy Curtis, Pine Needle faculty advisor and a professor in the Mass Communications Dept.

The number of pages in the paper has grown by 50 percent and more for some issues. Under Hickey's administration, the newspaper's page dimensions grew from tabloid to full-width broadsheet. Circulation has expanded around town and at UNCP satellite campuses. The addition of a section of local off-campus news coverage brought about a closer relationship with the Pembroke community. Video news packages, podcasts and blogs added to the newspaper's website brought new ways for residents and alumni at a distance to keep up with campus news.

"Amanda set a record that still stands when she put out an edition of 20 pages for Homecoming in Fall 2007," Dr. Curtis said. "That paper had two sections with eight color pages."

The Student Publications Board, which was was impressed with Hickey's work for the paper and her leadership skills, serves as the selection committee for the newspaper editor position as well as arbitrator in the event censorship pressures arise. However, the board does not attempt to provide active oversight of the day-to-day workings of The Pine Needle.

Hickey led the paper to enhanced productivity while continuing to enhance the its strongly positive reputation on campus and around town.

"Amanda gathered and inspired a top notch team that led the newspaper to new achievements in the fall semester of the 2007-2008 school year," Dr. Curtis said.

Posted: 2008 JANUARY 1

2006 ARC