PHOTO BY EPHREM TILAHUN/MULTIMEDIA SPECIALIST
After sifting through resumes, applications and conducting interviews, the Alabama State University Student Media Board selected Kendal Manns as the 2022-23 editor-in-chief for the official student newspaper, The Hornet Tribune.
Manns, a 20-year-old native of Baltimore, Maryland, is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism who hopes to one day work in the sports media field. He started as a sports reporter/writer in the 2020-21 academic year and was promoted to sports editor for the 2021-22 academic year.
Carlos Morrison, Ph.D., a professor of communications and chairman of the Alabama State University Student Media Board for the past five years, expressed his thoughts about Mann’s selection.
“I believe that Mr. Manns will do an excellent job as the editor-in-chief,” Morrison said. “He is an excellent writer and thinker and he is a true visionary.”
Manns has five initiatives that he would like to cultivate this upcoming year to produce a better sense of community within the publication’s staff.
“I would like to see The Hornet Tribune become more visible to the public; I would like to see the staff become more competitive and win in all three newspaper competitions (regional, state and national); continue to build our social media presence, bring in more students from the communications department and sponsor more forums during the year to get the student body more involved,” Manns said.
“I want to be a person that can foster that engagement that people have now and really create an environment at The Hornet Tribune that is just welcoming and friendly. I want everyone to be able to experience the experience I’ve had, which has been very positive. I’ve met a lot of my close friends through the newspaper, so I really hope to foster that kind of environment.”
Manns said The Hornet Tribune is important to him because it is the first organization that he became a member, even before arriving on campus.
“The Hornet Tribune was the first organization I became a member of before I stepped foot on campus,” he said. “It allowed me to get out of my comfort zone, form great relationships, and establish and improve upon my communication skills. I owe a lot to The Hornet Tribune and I cannot imagine what my two years at ASU would be like without it.”
Kenneth Dean, J.D., general manager for The Hornet Tribune, said he was not at all surprised at Mann’s selection.
“As the general manager, you are able to see the students who have a passion for this kind of work, and Mann’s passion is obvious,” he said. “He was hard to really read upon his arrival and his stories needed some work, but now his stories are ready to go to print as soon as he completes them. The other thing that I noticed about Manns is his social acumen. He is a people person and people seem to be attracted to him. However, when it is time to do the work, he is the first one to ensure that the work is being completed.”
Khalil Stewart, Mann’s co-host on their weekly podcast, The Wild Card, shared his thoughts about Mann’s promotion.
“I think Kendal has gained all the necessary tools to become a great leader of this staff,” Stewart said. “After spending a year as a reporter and a year as an editor, he’s worked hard day by day to perfect his journalism skills which have improved tremendously. Not only has he worked hard for the staff he’s also a hardworking student that tends to do more than is required.”
Current Editor-in-Chief Micah Sanders said he has enjoyed seeing Mann’s growth within the publication.
“His selection as the new editor-in-chief was of no surprise to me. Since I met Kendal two years ago, I always saw someone who embodied leadership, but was just afraid of being distinct and leading others. Fast-forward to the 2021-22 academic school year, Kendal has flourished not only as a writer but also as a person and a leader. He is very outgoing, steadfast, and has a vibrant personality that a lot of the staff members gravitate toward. I have seen this man take so much leadership and initiative with the sports podcast “The Wild Card” in which he co-hosts with his co-worker and friend, Khalil Stewart. Though I know he is nervous about this huge responsibility and becoming the face of the paper, he will not be alone. He will have me and the previous editors before me, Christine Shelton, and Nefsa’Hyatt Brown in his back pocket to provide support and encouragement so that he can lead The Hornet Tribune to greatness along with his staffers and general manager!
“I know through Mr. Manns leadership, the staff will have high morale, a strong bond and award-winning publications,” Sanders said. “I am so proud of my friend and I will be cheering him on from the sideline. I wish you much success!”