Sports editor takes over Wildcat

By Mike DeStasio
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Editor Brett Fera will assume student paper's top position

Two-time Wildcat Sports Editor Brett Fera is playing a new game next semester.

Fera, a journalism and communication senior, will be editor in chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat in the spring after working at the paper for six semesters.

Described by Arizona Student Media Director Mark S. Woodhams as a veteran of the newsroom, Fera should have no problem assuming the role of EIC because he has worked as a page designer, sports writer and sports editor throughout the past three years, Woodhams said.

As the men's basketball beat writer last year, Fera said he followed the team across the country and reported alongside writers from the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Citizen, The Arizona Republic and The Associated Press.

Woodhams said Fera understands how the Wildcat operates, and its role on campus.

"He's branched out to be very versatile," Woodhams said. "The media board liked the breadth of his experience."

The media board is a panel of representatives of Arizona Student Media, the journalism department and other campus organizations and prestigious student media alumni. The panel selects the editor in chief from a pool of applicants each semester.

Caitlin Hall, the outgoing EIC, said Fera has grown into his responsibilities at the Wildcat.

"He's really developed the mentality that if something needs to get done, he'll make sure it will," she said.

EIC is something Fera said he has worked towards since he started working at the Wildcat as a sophomore. His goals for the spring semester newspaper include possibly changing the entertainment section to a magazine format, and bringing back AP national and world news on a more regular basis.

"Just because we're good, doesn't mean we can't be better," Fera said.

For the spring, Fera will be challenged with maintaining the momentum of the fall semester, Woodhams said.

Fera also hopes to improve outreach to the university community.

"I think a lot of campus doesn't understand why we report the way we do," Fera said. "We're more than the crossword and Police Beat."

Fera said he wants to reach out to campus organizations to explain what the Wildcat does, and find out what those organizations expect to see from the campus newspaper.

With Fera's experience, the transition from sports editor should not be a difficult one, Hall said. Fera said he has a good grasp of what goes on at other desks because he spends up to 60 hours a week at the Wildcat.

"I've been pretty cognizant of the news aspect of sports. I've tried to take an active role in management," Fera said.

Hall said Fera is willing to be the hardest worker at the paper, without expecting credit for it.

"I think Brett brings a lot of enthusiasm to the job. He's always thinking. He always has new ideas. I've never seen anybody work as hard as he has," Hall said.