New interim executive editor talks about new vision and plans for the campus newspaper


David Evans/Chief Photographer

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Nefsa’Hyatt Brown is infectious. She has an ever present smile and a smirk when she’s being snarky. She is consistent, quick on her feet, a critical thinker and now she is a sophomore international relations major who will serve as the interim executive editor of The Hornet Tribune until she is named as the executive editor for the 2018-19 year.

While she expects challenges, her foremost vision is “to print consistently, increase visibility and connect with the surrounding community.” She hopes that the campus newspaper will “act as a beacon of truth in this age of fake news.”

When Brown entered as a freshman in the Fall of 2017, she was “immediately drawn” to The Hornet Tribune, which in past years, garnered several top collegiate journalism awards and competed in numerous campus newspaper competitions.

“This air of prestige and seriousness drew me in because I wanted to know if I had what it takes to be a news reporter for “thee” Hornet Tribune.”

The Tribune has not entered collegiate competitions in recent years “due to a tremendous lack of funding, which has resulted in inconsistencies in printing and student staffing,” said General Manager Kenneth Dean.

While it has been difficult to draw committed students to The Hornet Tribune, Brown believes she can change that and is already off to a great start.

“Currently, I have one staff member, Aliyah Sellars. Although she is not a reporter, she is vital to the staff; she writes the questions for my interviews, sets up times for them, and gets me the contact information I need. She is the reason I am able to balance my course load and this position so well because she does some of the work for me. In the fall, I will have Carly Moore Christine Shelton and about 10 or 11 freshmen who have applied.”

Moore made her debut with the Tribune after writing an op-ed piece that focused on feminism. The original piece was written by Shelton.

Dean has high hopes for Brown and believes that “she has what it takes to propel The Hornet Tribune to the Top Ten collegiate newspapers, but she will need the right student staff.” He said that “students, today, are not really reading and when you are not reading, you are not writing. In fact, when some students hear the word writing, they turn around immediately!”

Brown is a student of the generation referenced by Dean, however, the Mobile native believes that “too many precautions have been taken to keep people uninformed and I plan on ensuring that ASU does not fall victim to that; we are bombarded with so much irrelevant information that distracts us.” She goes on to say that she wants “to ensure that we are keeping up with the times and constantly evolving so that we do not become stagnant.”

In addition to the Tribune going digital, Brown wants students to realize that getting news in the traditional format is vital as “oldies are goodies.”

Business Insider reports that while “Students said they preferred and performed better when reading on screens” their actual performance “tended to suffer,” meaning that they did not retain nor comprehend the information read on-screen as much as they did when they read in print. Business Insider called this “speed at a cost.”

The good news: Forbes reports that 69% of the U.S. population is reading news and Pew Research Institute claims that 65% of readers are reading print.

Brown plans to capitalize on this by creating a sleek and professional website design that compliments the printed newspaper: “a perfect mix between tradition and innovation.” She believes it is time to “solidify our place in the list of prestigious newspapers. “It’s time to reenter the spotlight as the superpower I know we can be.”

While she anticipates a slow build, she hopes for a more informed student base.

“This is holy ground,” says Brown. “I want The Hornet Tribune to consistently highlight that, so that students who arrive never forget where we come from.”