All posts by Jacqueline Napolitano (Commack High School)

And that’s a wrap

Well, this is it. Today is the last day at the newsroom, the last day at the desk with the really nice dual-screen macs, the last day getting meals at the SAC and never having a seat because we always end up waiting on the biggest line they have.  Today is the last day, but it is the start of a brand new journey for me.

On Wednesday, before Newsday and the Duck’s game, we went to the TV studio and got to do broadcasts, which is what I was waiting for. We have a studio at my school and I always loved going and

Lisa Angell and Jacqueline Napolitano practice their broadcast skills in the School of Journalism's broadcast studio on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.
Lisa Angell and I being pretend anchors getting ready for our broadcast. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

reporting the news for my classmates in school. This was ten times more professional; it was a nicer set with chairs that spin and we had a script and a reporter to interview. The only part I felt most comfortable with was anchoring, and I loved every part of it. I love the rush it gives me while I am up there. Looking at the different cameras and getting sit at the big desk chair made me feel really happy and content.

When you see the same people everyday for a week, you tend to get to know them on personal levels. My roommate (Laura) and I are the definition of fast friends. When we both got accepted into the Greene Gazette, we became friendly in school only because we were accepted into the program. Now I can’t imagine being in the program without her. She is an amazing friend that I will forever know because of my experience here.

If you think we look alike, you wouldn't be the first to think so.
If you think we look alike, you wouldn’t be the first.

This was an unforgettable experience. It was the first time I stayed at a college dorm, the first time I got to use a Mac computer for more time than my dad spends in the Apple store; it was also the first time I met people from Long Island whom I have developed a bond with, that I cannot imagine will fade.

It blows my mind how much has changed since last Sunday. We all came into this barely knowing each other and being scared about how much work we would get, what we would get to do and if we would all get along. I’m not sure when it happened, there wasn’t a certain time where everything changed and we were all friends from strangers. We all became comfortable with each other fast and it was easy.

Here’s to all of you in this program and all of you in this program in the future and in the past. We all have something in common; we all have drive in us to work from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., which was tough, but we got through it.

I want to thank the Greene Team for making my experience here something I will never forget. Thank you to these wonderful professors whom are probably more cranky than us but still manage to teach and teach well. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and for friendships I hope to keep and a week to remember for time and time to come.

Slightly obsessed with this picture and everyone in it.
Slightly obsessed with this picture and everyone in it.
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Ducks Press Conference

Does anyone even know the score?

My team and I had so much fun getting B-roll and interviewing fans at the Long Island Ducks game about the rivalry between the two teams. Most people didn’t even know who the other team was (The Bridgeport Bluefish). We found it hysterical, and perfect for a story in itself. Is there a rivalry that no one even knows about?

And here's the pitch...
And here’s the pitch…

Before the interviewing, we went to a press conference with Michael PolakMedia Relations & Broadcasting Manager for the Ducks. That was stressful and chaotic because everyone was trying to go in different directions and the camera people wanted the best spot, but so did the interviewers. Poor Colin had to hold everyone’s microphone on the ground while Polak explained his position and answered questions about the game.

Our team had a story about the “other” fans, the Bridgeport Bluefish fans from Connecticut. We asked anyone with a blue shirt to a blue hat if they were rooting for the other team, and sadly, most people said no. Some people didn’t even know who the Bluefish were.

We made our story about the rivalry between the Bluefish and the Ducks and asked Duck fans about the other team, which got them riled up and made for a good news story. We got B-roll and people dancing and having a good time supporting their favorite Long Island team. As we were walking around I noticed people were not paying attention to the game itself. I think I heard more kids screaming and cheering, which just explains the way the atmosphere at the Ducks game is. It was a great night filled with missing camera bags, duckbills, and bad, spicy and expensive chicken tenders.

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Gregory Commodore "quacking"

Ducks v. Bluefish: Real rivalry or quixotic quackery?

Long Islanders flocked to Bethpage Ballpark for Wednesday night’s Ducks game against Bridgeport, but is there a cross-Sound rivalry?

“They have one?” said Ducks fan Jonathan Softy.

“I don’t know how much of a rivalry it is, being that Bridgeport doesn’t draw much. I’d like to see it improve, but I don’t know if it will,” said Dan Erickson.

There was a limited number of Bluefish fans and a lot of cheerful Long Island kids and adults. One Bluefish fan did have an idea about why there so few in the crowd.

Dan Cunningham who was one of the few Bridgeport Bluefish fans at the game. He says it is hard to get fans to come out to the games in Long Island. (Alejandro Serrano)
Dan Cunningham, who was one of the few Bridgeport Bluefish fans at the game. He says it is hard to get fans to come out to the games in Long Island. (Alejandro Serrano)

“Getting people from Bridgeport to here is pretty tough. With the ferry it is not exactly easy,” said Dan Cunningham, a Bluefish fan.

The Ducks have not had a good season but that doesn’t take away from the crowd and energy from the ballpark. The Ducks have endured an 11-game losing streak as of July 23 and fans believe the players are feeling the pressure.

“Any time you have a losing streak you start pressing, I’m sure they feel it ,” said Erickson.

The Bluefish don’t draw at home as well as the Ducks. “Maybe half if they are lucky,” said Cunningham.

The ‘rivalry’ between the Ducks and the Bluefish is not one to break out into chaos. Ducks fans said they don’t trash talk and they like to have fun with their family and enjoy all the aspects a Ducks game has to offer.

“The atmosphere is great, the stuff they do in between innings is great, it keeps the fans involved,” said Cunningham. “The Ducks have a pretty loyal fan base, nothing but good things to say about the Ducks, they are a good organization and run very well.”


Ducks fans do come to the games for the entertainment, enjoy the team and the sport, but some have a die-hard obsession with the minor league team itself.

“I eat, sleep and breathe Ducks, so when I wake up in the morning I just think Ducks all the time, I quack randomly,” said Brian from Patchogue, who asked that his last name not to be used.

“[The Bluefish] are not our kind of team,” added another fan, Jordan Buffy of Selden, who embraced the rivalry with Bridgeport.

So did Brian. “Bluefish? I don’t like seafood,” he said.

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Thirsting for a good story

We got right onto the world of a real journalist today. We were on our way to the interview with Assistant Police Chief Eric Olsen without even knowing who Eric Olsen was or what he did. Professor Ahmad said it happened all the time – sometimes journalists have to work on the spot and don’t have time for research or to prepare. We missed the bus that took us to Stony Brook’s police station, where we had the story. It was a half hour walk, which was in the heat, and brutal. It went relatively quick because we had to do all our research for the story on our walk. We came up with questions, walked up hills and streets in the blazing sun carrying all of our video equipment, being true journalists on the job.

We got into the police station (eventually) sweating with and thirsty, but ready to start the interview. We met with the chief of police, Robert Lenahan, and all acted as a team all doing different things to conduct an interview. I was in charge of taking pictures of the interview. In the second interview, I got to videotape and was in control of all the shots, which made me feel in control and able to express my own ideas with my group members. We shot a lot of B-roll with the interviews which I was already comfortable with from previous TV classes at my school.

The eventful day and heat continued as we finished the interview. We had to walk back to the library as we missed the bus, again. This walk was easier and quicker than the first because we all weren’t as tense to how we were going to go on the scene to write this story.

Since we missed the bus both ways to the police station, Professor Ahmad said he would treat us to Starbucks. Well, since our transportation didn’t go well the entire time of the interview why would anything go right? Right? Right. Starbucks was closed and we continued the journey of heat back to the library. We eventually got to the SAC and took a breather after a long and sweaty walk and decided to capture the unexplainable journey with none other than a selfie.

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Jason Reid

Jason Reid: From a hard past to a better beginning

Seventeen-year-old Jason Reid likes to stand out in the crowd— wearing a bow tie every day and portraying a sense of individualism in his writing.

Jason’s freshman English teacher sparked an interest in Jason for journalism. The class did a project in which they had to interview their peers, which Jason found very fascinating.

“I found interviewing people and recording who they are and bringing them to life on paper was something I could do,” Jason said.

Being the editor of his school newspaper, The Golden Wave, has had many high points, Jason said, especially for his writing career so far. In a recent article, he wrote about voters passing his school budget, a year after it was cut. He felt that the article opened a lot of eyes to the administration of his school. It made him feel his writing mattered.

“The effects that my writing had on people made it seem like I had a great impact,” Jason said.

Many journalists have a role model in the business, someone they want to emulate or someone that inspired them to become a journalist. For Jason, it is Anderson Cooper. In 2010, Jason was on CNN with Anderson Cooper when he talked about being bullied in the past.

“Seeing what he did and watching his other shows, how he goes to other places and shows what is really happening made me want to do the same,” Jason said.

Jason has a mindset of being who you are and not caring about what other people think; he doesn’t feel the need to fit in if he is not being himself.

“Hence the bow ties,” said Jason.

His mother, Michele Reid, said it takes a while for her son to get comfortable – but that he eventually opens up.

“Once he is pulled out of his shell he is funny and witty,” she said. “Jason is very artistic and has a thirst for knowledge.”

Jason’s past of being mistreated physically and emotionally by other students is the main reason he chose to get into journalism.  After his experience with Anderson Cooper and that of other students who were being picked on constantly in school, Jason wanted to be the person that found the good in the bad things.

After the CNN experience, he knew journalism was something he wanted to do.

“[Journalism] has not only let me stand out as a person. It has allowed me to take in sharing topics that might otherwise go unnoticed,” said Jason.

As Jason develops a new chapter in his life of being unique and his own person, he embarks on the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists and hopes for it to be a learning experience. He hopes to be taught a new writing technique and expand his horizons on how to put pen to paper, while also being excited about about having new experiences.

Jason hopes one day to work for Newsday. But, as far as college goes, Jason wants to study at SUNY Plattsburgh and dual major in journalism and communications. He strives to be the editor of the newspaper on campus and one day hopes to become a political journalist.

“Journalism has become endangered and I want to be part of the wave of reporters that bring it back,” Jason said.

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Yawning while smiling

Yesterday was an unexplainable day filled with laughs, yawns, and a lot of learning. We started with an empty cafeteria filled with all the Greene Team hopefuls, anxious about the first day. In the early morning we researched Shawn Heilbron who is the newest Athletic Director at Stony Brook University. We got to ask him anything we wanted and were the first students to do so since he started working here. We had to stand and say our name before asking our question, which was intimidating and nerve-racking, but once it was over, I felt like I could ask anything again and again.

I have not decided if I like the Student Activities Center (SAC) food yet, I think it is growing on me, but I will opt far away from the pizza and stay close to the pancakes. During lunch it actually feels like we are all attending Stony Brook as college students. There are a lot of different students and camps and people. It is eye opening to see all the diversity at the university, which makes it one big unit.

After lunch we met with Newsday Assistant Photo Editor John Williams. We had a big lesson about things I didn’t even know the camera was capable of doing. We learned so much in such a short amount of time. John Williams made me look at the camera in a different light, to appreciate everything around me and to always capture a moment. His slideshow of the pictures he has taken inspired me, they were captivating and real yet it looked like a different world all at the same time. We got to go outside and take photos of each other doing movements. Laura Fallick and I took full advantage of running, walking, jumping, cartwheels, and any other movement we thought of. It was one of my favorite parts of the day where I saw a camera in a different perspective.

We also like to play with iPhoto on the Mac, and lost our eyes somewhere on the roller coaster of doom.

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First Blog

The first day of the Greene Team has officially started and so has the ‘college life.’

The residence hall, the ‘SAC’ (Student Activities Center), the lounge, and the actual dorms are all new things to me. In my sixteen years of existence, I have never shared a room with anyone. I can also say it has not been a hard adjustment, with the spacious rooms and semi-comfortable beds. Not the worst, not the best.

I’m also very comfortable with my roommate considering she goes to my school and we have known each other throughout the school year. It has been smooth sailing so far. The code to get into the bathroom is a struggle in itself, but the breeze from the fans makes it all better.  The newsroom is also my new favorite place. It is also where this picture was taken:

Jacqueline Napolitano and Laura Fallick
Jacqueline Napolitano and Laura Fallick in the School of Journalism’s newsroom at Stony Brook University on Monday, July 21, 2014. Photo by Jacqueline Napolitano.
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