News of Mass Communications Students

Robert Deckert: Pine Needle Editor for Spring 2008

Pine Needle editor Robert Deckert
Robert Deckert, editor of the The Pine Needle for Spring 2008, second from right in the back row, with others from the Spring 2008 Investigative Journalism class. The other students are: Front row from left, Colleen Griffiths, Michael Graham, Terri Rorke. Back row from left, Dan Kelly, Tashieka Hammond, Robert Deckert, Jessica Mellet. All were graduated from UNCP in Spring 2008.
Robert Deckert, a senior journalism major at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke from Fayetteville, N.C., was editor of The Pine Needle campus newspaper for the Spring 2008 semester.

Enrolled in UNCP's Mass Communications Department in the journalism track, Deckert had revealed his journalistic skills and leadership capabilities as he reported and edited campus news stories during his earlier undergraduate years. Before receiving the editorship assignment for his senior semester, Deckert had most recently served as managing 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. It's page dimensions have grown 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.

The Student Publications Board, which was was impressed with Deckert's work for the paper, 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.

Deckert continued to enhance the student newspaper's strongly positive reputation on campus and around town.

"Robert assembled an inspired, hard working team that took the newspaper to new heights in the last semester of the 2007-2008 school year," Dr. Curtis said.

Posted: 2008 MAY 1

2006 ARC