Writing Up a Storm at the U of A: Amanda Mourelatos


Marley Gandee, Associate Editor-In-Chief

Recently, The Paper Cut was lucky enough to get one of their own alumni back to speak about her job as the Arts and Life Editor for The Daily Wildcat at the U of A. Amanda began her journalism career writing for The Paper Cut for all four years of high school, including being Editor-in-Chief, and she has used that experience in her current newspaper endeavors, as well as writing her own blog.

Amanda’s blog, Head Banging Reviews, is all about different rock artists and bands, and reviews of the concerts she attends. She also gets to interview some of the artists she sees. “I really just wanted an outlet, kind of like the freedom I had to write about things I wanted in high school. I wanted to have that all the time.” She takes all of her own pictures, writes articles and reviews, conducts her interviews, and mostly does all the editing. Her favorite article she has written so far was an interview with Noah Martin. To get this experience, she ran into Martin’s mom after the show. She sold her a shirt from the back of her car, and Amanda asked to interview him. His mom got her the interview, and she said, “That interview had to be like an hour-long…he’s super passionate about what he does, and I love talking to passionate people I think that’s part of the reason I really like music and writing. So many people are so passionate about what they’re doing, and they all have different reasons for doing it.”

To get accepted by The Wildcat, she had to go through an interview process, after first filling out a Google form. Just like other jobs, they ask about your past experience. Amanda said, “If you are inexperienced, you may not get in on your first year, but kids like this with a lot of experience definitely have a good shot of getting in.” Like any newspaper, having an editing role in your second year is huge, especially in college where there are students who have been there longer.

As the Arts and Life Editor, she spends about 15 hours a week editing, setting up meetings, and writing articles. Like any other job, she gets paid for her time. The editing starts with her, she gets the story from her reporters, then reads, does the initial editing, and fact-checks. In a bigger newspaper, like The Daily Wildcat, they have to make sure that all of the sources are credible and that the interviews were done correctly. She has to make sure that the captions, abstracts, and photos line up correctly with the story, and it all makes sense. After that, it goes on to the copy editors and the copy chief who ensure that all of the grammar and punctuation make sense. Finally, it goes on to the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, or Training Coordinator.

After a few more semesters of being arts editor, she could see potentially trying to get Editor-in-Chief, depending on openings. She is inspired to go to this position through her leadership abilities and she said, “It brought me back to my time in high school where I was an editor and I really like having control over things like that. So being able to have my own desk of reporters and look over them is really cool.”