The Hornet Tribune leadership vows to integrate news media with technology


Kenneth Dean

(Seated)) Robert Mukuchura, Lateef Okolo, Obaloluwa Olaniran will serve as managing editors for The Hornet Tribune. Not pictured is Anthoni A. Wardlaw, who is also a managing editor. (Standing) Micah Sanders wll serve as the editor-in-chief

Camille Zanders, Senior Reporter/Writer

The Hornet Tribune, the official newspaper of Hornet Nation since 1879, is written, produced, and published by Alabama State University students and allows every member of the Hornet community to receive constant updates on all things black and old gold.
Though publishing this weekly paper is no easy task, the student leaders of the staff welcome the challenge with fully charged laptops and fingers itching to type.
“I feel like this year gives us a chance to redeem ourselves,” Kendell Grant, a sophomore studying criminal justice, said. “I am just ready to be able to see The Hornet Tribune grow.”
Though Grant is only a sophomore, he is no rookie to his leadership positions. With this being his second semester serving as the Communications and Public Affairs Chief, he is well acquainted with the title’s responsibilities.
“I am responsible for everything dealing with public information and how we look to people outside and inside campus,” he said. “How we look physically, mentally, and verbally.”
From designing The Hornet Tribune’s paraphernalia to hosting the weekly Nancy Parker Boyd Lecture Series, seminars presented by well-established professionals and journalists, Grant ensures that the newspaper leaves a lasting impression on every individual it comes into contact with.
Serving as The Hornet Tribune’s Editor-in-Chief is Micah Sanders, a senior studying communications with a focus in radio and television. With only two prior semesters of experience on the weekly newspaper, Sanders’s skill has allowed him to rapidly progress through the ranks. He plans to emphasize the importance of direction and organization during his term as chief as he oversees all operations of the paper.
“I manage six managing editors, along with content editors and the writers underneath them,” he said. “I work alongside the other divisions of Communications and Public Affairs and Media Advertising and Marketing. I provide revisions for the paper every week, making sure articles are grammatically correct, the stories are appealing to the student body, and making sure the website is up and running.”
One of the managing editors responsible for the visuals of The Hornet Tribune is sophomore Obaloluwa David Olaniran, the managing editor for visual and multimedia. As a student studying computer science, he uses his work with the newspaper to hone his passion for photography. Though free of formal training himself, his work at a photography firm in Nigeria partners with his determination in order to take the perfect photos to accompany each article.
“If I want to do something, I put my whole heart into it,” Olaniran said. “That is key!”
With the many on-campus events planned for the semester, Olaniran is eager to capture each memory. Considering he is one of two photographers of The Hornet Tribune, one might ask his secret to manage it all along with his school work.
“I just have to reduce my sleep,” he said.
Robert Mukuchura, a junior serving as the managing editor for digital and interactive media, also uses his position on The Hornet Tribune as a way to delve into his passion.
“I have always liked technology,” he said. “From using programs on computers, I have always thought, ‘Who makes these (programs) behind the screen?’”
Responsible for data analytics, Mukuchura monitors all things technical regarding The Hornet Tribune, especially the online site. His work allows the newspaper staff to know which stories the audience views the most, shares most frequently, likes or dislikes, and many more. Mukuchura’s work has not only allowed The Hornet Tribune’s internet presence to grow but also his skillset.
“I have learned a lot in terms of analytics, design, storytelling, and what is involved in the future of news publication,” he said. “Just being the head of this team right now, I think it is a good position for me to learn to get things done.”
Another leader directly honing their craft is senior Lateef Okolo, managing editor for presentation and design. While majoring in graphic design, he works with The Hornet Tribune to design the layout of the print version. Taking all stories, photos, and more, he places them in the most aesthetically and visually pleasing ways to attract the reader.
While he values the professional experience provided by The Hornet Tribune, he most appreciates the camaraderie amongst the staff.
“I am delighted to be on the team,” Okolo said. “I have learned a lot and met a lot of people … As we come together and work together, we can achieve our goals and fulfill our assignments.”
Anthoni Anna Wardlaw, senior managing editor of standards, ethics, and quality control, shares Okola’s appreciation for the fellowship of the staff.
“You cannot go through life by yourself,” she said. “You have to know when to ask for help, when to talk to people, and when to reach out. That is what I have learned from being here.”
In her position, Wardlaw is responsible for managing the copy editors and proofreaders of The Hornet Tribune. As a veteran member of The Hornet Tribune staff, every article must receive her seal of approval before publishing. Though a pre-med psychology major, her natural knack for English and attention to detail allows her to catch the smallest of errors that might otherwise go unnoticed.
“Things on paper, or even on a screen, I have always been able to spot errors pretty quickly,” she said.
Fresh out of an internship with Paramount Pictures, where he worked on research projects regarding the films Paw Patrol, Snake Eyes, and more, Sanders is ready to implement all the skills learned while interning to make The Hornet Tribune as great as possible.
“A lot of research,” he said. “A lot of teamwork. A lot of networking. A lot of everything.”
Sanders is sure he is the right man for the job, as his approachability allows him to lead his staff of relatively new Hornets. From his leadership, he wishes to leave The Hornet Tribune with a staff that could take it to new heights.
“I am always going to be a team player,” he said. “I am very outgoing, I am very detail-oriented, and have the charisma to keep it going … I want to make sure that all the information and experience I garnered will be transferred to the next person after me.”
Hoping to leave an impact on the entire ASU community, Sanders and the rest of The Hornet Tribune’s managerial staff have a number of projects up their sleeves.
“Expect to see stories that are of importance to you and follow our social media channels @hornettribune67_ on Instagram, @HornetTribune21 on Twitter, and @hornettribune1867 on Facebook,” Sanders said. “I want to make sure that our student body is informed in the best way possible!”
From podcasts to YouTube specials, The Hornet Tribune plans to cover it all.