Nick Coltrain, a 20-year-old journalism major and current managing editor of The Nevada Sagebrush, was chosen on April 12 to be the campus newspaper’s editor-in-chief for the 2008-2009 academic year. He succeeds Brian Duggan.
Coltrain was chosen by a board of 12 people that included Sagebrush staff as well as other prominent individuals from within the Reynolds School of Journalism.
He was selected by a 11-1 vote. It was the first year that the board was used to choose the Sagbrush’s editor. Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) Director Sandy Rodriguez was also present at the meeting, to ensure that the meeting went smoothly and that questions didn’t discriminate against candidates.
Coltrain was chosen over Amy Beck, a 21-year-old journalism major, and Corinna Cohn, a 32-year-old economics major. Each candidate gave PowerPoint presentations to show their vision on how to improve the current award-winning paper.
“I want to broaden its (The Nevada Sagebrush’) umbrella,” Coltrain said about his plans for the student newspaper. “I want to give them (students) a place to come learn and get published.”
Coltrain, as well as the other two candidates, spoke about improving the retention rate at the student-run newspaper. The candidates also touched upon the idea that The Nevada Sagebrush needs to be seen more as a professional media outlet, so that students will join the staff for that reason, and not to be part of a clique of friends.
“I’m friends with a lot of people (Sagebrush staffers) in there,” Coltrain said. But, he added, “Ultimately, what I care most about is the product.”
The Sagebrush team recently started producing its own broadcast pieces with iMovie and photo slide shows that can be viewed on its Web site.
“It shows potential if we put work into it,” Coltrain said about the online media. “We don’t have expertise.”
The Sagebrush started doing man-on-the-street broadcast pieces in which they get student feedback to events happening on campus including pieces on campus safety and new Campus Escort hours.
Eventually, Coltrain said he wants to start showing Pack TV, a video broadcast group in the journalism school, which broadcasts on the Sagebrush Web site.
“There’s definitely a place for broadcast,” Coltrain said. “There’s things that can be said through video that can’t be expressed through words or photos.”
As for breaking away from ASUN in order to become an independent newspaper, Coltrain said that such a move isn’t in the works.
“I don’t think that’s feasible,” Coltrain said about the Sagebrush’s independence.