Meet Alicia Thomas, a fourth-year studying political science, who, for the past year, has been the managing editor at Technician, one of the student newspapers at NC State. Through her position, Thomas strives to help curate the most relevant, informative and engaging content possible throughout every editorial section.
“I’m basically the direct supervisor of the editorial staff, which includes the news, sports, opinion and A&E section, as well as some digital media content,” Thomas said. “My job is to make our editors’ lives easier by pushing each section to put out the best content possible.”
Thomas said she reviews the stories from each section to ensure they are newsworthy, not just with the news section, but with all writing sections at Technician. As a managing editor, she also covers the blind spots of each section, searching for content that may have been left out.
“I read every story that goes on the website,” Thomas said. “I want to make sure it's the best content we can put out, and if it's not, we have a meeting to see what we can do better.”
Thomas gained experience writing for her high school newspaper, which led her to consider writing in college. Despite her experience, writing wasn’t necessarily her first choice coming into her first year.
“I really wanted to join the Indian dance team, but I broke my foot freshman year,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t participate in the activities where I was expecting to make new friends.”
Despite the setback, Thomas decided to explore her talents as a writer for Technician’s news section, where she developed her skills and her eye for relevant stories. Although it didn’t come easy at first, Thomas continued to work and eventually found a passion for covering Student Government and politics.
“With the first article I wrote, my editor changed almost every single word of the draft,” Thomas said. “That's how it was for the first two articles, but I kept writing and started covering Student Government, which is how I really got interested.”
Thomas recalled a moment in her early experience that put her responsibility of covering NC State news into perspective.
“During the 2018 student body president election, one of the candidates said a really sexist thing during the debate,” Thomas said. “It really hit me that I had the power to write about it and make people aware of what was said. It was kind of a defining moment for me.”
With the encouragement of Kennedy McCutchen, assistant news editor at the time, and Mary Dare Martin, news editor at the time, Thomas applied to join the Technician editorial board and has been involved since. Thomas said she has met some of her best friends through her experience at Technician, and they have made her college experience that much better.
“I care so much about the people that work here,” Thomas said. “They all put so much time and effort into making our news outlet the best it can be. These people are like my best friends. I literally live with some of them.”
Through her experience at Technician, Thomas has found her passion for writing and educating her peers on important matters in news and politics. Thomas said she sees a successful future where her experience pays off.
“I would love to pursue journalism as a career path,” Thomas said. “Ideally, I also want a happy life where I can travel a lot, eat good food and be surrounded with my friends and family and a ton of animals all the time.”