Student Media will operate under the leadership of a new General Manager and Editor in Chief for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Nia Young, a graduate student studying architecture, will serve as the general manager for The Roar, the University’s student-run radio station, while Martina Bretous, a senior studying communication arts, will serve as the editor in chief for Panther Press and PantherNOW.com, FIU’s student-run newspaper and news site.
“I chose to apply because I see the potential of the station, and wanted to continue the hard work that our current GM, started,” said Young.
Bretous says that the work she’s done with Student Media in the past compelled her to apply for the position.
“I started out as the copy chief almost a year ago, then I became the entertainment director and then the news director so I’ve seen a few sides of Student Media and I felt I could take everything I had learned to make it better and stronger,” Bretous said.
Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, the chair of Student Media’s overseeing Media Board, said that the plans the two have for the upcoming year was what helped them stand out from their competition.
“Both Nia and Martina presented solid plans for the future growth and success of their respective media outlets, and demonstrated that they had the requisite leadership skills for the position, along with a strong belief in the rights and responsibilities of Student Media with regard to the campus community,” Kopenhaver said.
The two will work closely in the upcoming year, something they say will not be an issue because they have bonded through their work together over the past year.
“Nia and I have been working side by side as entertainment and news directors and I think we work very well together. We always go back and forth on ideas and I can’t wait to start collaborating with her in the upcoming year,” Bretous said.
Young echoed the sentiment, adding that the two have bonded over late nights working to put together editions of Panther Press and she’s looking forward to the work Bretous will do.
“Martina is bringing digital initiatives to Student Media and making it more engaging, and I admire her dedication. She’s often one of the last people in the office on production day and I know she’ll bring that determination and passion to this position,” Young said.
Both plan to engage students by providing more digital content; for Young that will include video and podcasting shows to release online.
“I really appreciate the content that the station has, so my plans for the station are to increase the digital outreach and give our station’s content a second life online so that we can further bridge the gap between campuses,” Young said.
Similarly, Bretous wants to extend the life of content by packaging stories, photos and radio shows in a weekly newsletter.
“My plan is to increase our visibility both on campus and digitally. That’s the direction the industry is moving in and we’ve got to move with it if we want to stay relatable,” said Bretous. “I think a newsletter is a great way of connecting all three channels —print, website, radio— and getting students excited for our upcoming content.”
Erica Santiago, the current general manager of The Roar, says that after working with both women, she is confident in their abilities.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nia and Martina. I know that they will do a fantastic job, just as they did in their previous positions with Student Media,” Santiago said.
Bretous has worked as copy chief, entertainment director and most recently news director for Student Media; Young has worked with Student Media for a year, serving as the webmaster for PantherNOW.com, production manager for Panther Press and, most recently, entertainment director..
Robert Jaross, the director of Student Media, said that he believes the two will continue the work of their predecessors.
“Nia and Martina have big shoes to fill as our former general manager and editor set a high standard, but I have all the confidence in the world that they can take it a step further this coming academic year,” Jaross said.
The two began working with the current leadership on April 1, and officially begin their positions at the end of the semester.