Kernel chooses editorial, advertising leaders for 2008-09

By Jordan Bishop

For three consecutive years, Brad Luttrell has shown his journalistic versatility at the Kentucky Kernel as a writer, photographer, editor and designer. Starting in Fall 2008, Luttrell will be given the opportunity to prove himself on the highest level — as editor in chief of the paper.

The Kentucky Kernel Board of Advisers selected Luttrell as the Kernel’s editor-in-chief for the 2008-09 school year yesterday, and Samantha Saracino was selected for the advertising director position.

Board members lauded the candidates for their leadership skills and for their vision of the Kernel heading into the next school year.

“Both of these students are going to make great leaders,” said Duane Bonifer, president of the seven-member board who unanimously approved both selections. “They are a reflection of great mentoring by the Kernel staff and the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.”

Luttrell is a journalism junior from Middlesboro, Ky., who has worked for the Kernel since his freshman year. He has held duties as a photographer, photo editor, writer, Web site designer and mixed media editor. Bonifer compared him to a “five-tool player” in baseball — someone who possesses the versatility in the newsroom to properly cover all aspects of the industry.

Luttrell’s primary concern as editor is to make the paper’s Web site more user-friendly, he said. He plans to do this by making the site easier to navigate and easier for the Kernel staff to update.

“I’ve known since I’ve gone to UK that the Kernel’s a great service to the community, and I feel like I could bring lots of positive changes,” Luttrell said.

The Kernel’s Web site will incorporate more videos, and more breaking news will be covered at the time of the incident — hopefully with incorporation of video broadcasting, he said.

“The big thing readers will notice is the diminishing line between our print and our online product,” said Chris Poore, faculty adviser to the Kernel. “Both of these students have great ideas to increase multimedia storytelling.”

Luttrell said some other changes readers may notice when the Kernel hits newsstands in the fall is the paper’s print layout. The paper will be physically shorter and narrower due to financial reasons, he said. But Luttrell said the same quality of stories will fill the spread, including more personable articles that readers can directly relate to.

Saracino is a journalism sophomore from Freehold, N.J. She has served as advertising manager this semester and said she plans on incorporating an aggressive approach to raise money for the paper.

“We are going to be on a little more strict regiment by trying to get more face time with our clients,” Saracino said. “We want our entire staff trying to make sales, not just a handful.”

Jacob Knight, the advertising director of the Kernel, said he was pleased Saracino got the job.

“She’s a very, very motivated person who loves this job,” Knight said. “She will make sure the sales department exceeds, and in turn, the Kernel succeeds.”

Before their hiring, both candidates went through an intense interview with the Kentucky Board of Advisers, a panel of distinguished figures with ties to UK’s journalism department.

“Both of the candidates see over the horizon as to where journalism is heading,” Bonifer said. “They realize that the papers of 1998 and 2008 are completely different but that they still must adhere to the basic bedrock principles that a paper can’t take for granted.”