Column: Editor-In-Chief looks toward the future of The Hornet Tribune


Micah Sanders, Editor-in-Chief

Joining in fall 2020 as The Hornet Tribune’s arts and entertainment editor, with no prior experience writing news stories or using the Associated Press Stylebook, to being named the editor-in-chief for the 2021-22 academic school year is an amazing opportunity.
Originally hailing from Kansas City, Missouri but calling Dallas, Texas my home, I grew up in a Black suburb called DeSoto, where I attended DeSoto High School and graduated with honors. Accumulating $1 million worth of scholarships to my name, I chose the illustrious Alabama State University, due to its rich history and the academic excellence scholarship I was awarded.
Since joining the Hornet family back in 2018, I have been a part of numerous clubs and organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the Honda Campus All-Stars, and the W.E.B. DuBois Honors Program, just to name a few.
As editor-in-chief, my main long-term objective is to submerge The Hornet Tribune into the digital world of social media in order to allow the student body multiple avenues of receiving information. News is disseminated every second on print, broadcast, and social media outlets. I want to make sure The Hornet Tribune is not only keeping up with current trends but is a front-runner with innovative ideas to keep our student body interested and engaged.
In order to fulfill my objectives, I will collaborate with the digital and interactive department, specifically the social media manager of The Hornet Tribune, to monitor and supervise the social media sites and our progression regarding followership and interactions weekly.
Although winning awards does not define success, preparing and training the staff to write quality content is of utmost importance. First impressions are everything, and if articles are written and published with errors, the newspaper’s credibility and reputation will dwindle. In order to combat that issue, the standards, ethics, and quality control department and I will thoroughly read each story for errors.
My other goals and objectives include publishing two special editions of The Hornet Tribune (Labor Day Classic and Magic City Classic), totaling 15 publications for the fall semester. I also look forward to making our website fully functional at all times decorated with vibrant pictures and videos.
Reflecting on my first anniversary with The Hornet Tribune, I was honestly afraid to take on such a vast responsibility as the managing editor for editorial and reportorial affairs in January 2021 without proper guidance and training. I like to ensure I can give all my dedication, time, and energy to any position I hold.
Luckily, after consulting with my parents, friends, and the general manager, Kenneth Dean, J.D., I decided to take a leap of faith and accepted the position. Many of the “old heads” on the staff embraced me with open arms. They made sure to let me know I was not doing this alone, and I will forever be grateful. I know I probably got on their nerves a bit because I kept asking several questions, but I want to thank them again, via the old pen and paper, for always being there and helping me.
Looking back, I have seen tremendous growth within myself as well as the entire editorial team. Several of my fellow staffers became well-rounded reporters and writers. They broke out from their required sections’ mold into excellent reporters who can write great content anywhere. I have seen some consistently turn stories in on time and produce immaculate stories about the alumni at ASU while others break down the sports articles play by play.
Putting together a weekly newspaper is certainly not a one-person job. Every person on the staff, from the writer to the copy editor, even the website designer, has done a tremendous job of producing visually appealing and grammatical content for the student body. Within my tenure as managing editor, my team and I have managed to put out nine newspapers that have displayed the spirit and professionalism of the university while also holding on to the slogan of “The Oldest Black College Newspaper in the Nation.”
Hopefully, as the newspaper continues to expand, I can see the continued growth and improvement, even after I graduate.
I never imagined becoming a part of a newspaper or seeing my name on the byline, but I have gotten used to it! Who would have thought I would be so involved and entangled in the everyday hustle and flow of contributing to The Hornet Tribune after working on the staff for only a year?
Looking toward the future, The Hornet Tribune certainly has helped me obtain numerous opportunities. I recently was a Paramount Pictures intern for the summer 2021 and will continue that position in September.
I am still learning what I want my career to be, but I know it will be something in the entertainment industry behind the scenes, and this newspaper is getting me one step closer to my goal.
I anticipate another fantastic year working for The Hornet Tribune and cannot wait to not only accomplish my objectives and goals but to see the entire staff flourish individually and collectively, both academically and professionally. I expect nothing less than perfection…or as close as possible.