Tag Archives: Bob Greene

Greene’s legacy fulfilled

Coordinators and volunteers
Greene Team volunteers Briana Finneran, Rebecca Anzel, Nicole Siciliano and Frank Posillico stand in the newsroom with Institute Coordinators Zachary Dowdy, Cathrine Duffy and Wasim Ahmad after finishing www.greenegazette.com on Friday, July 25, 2014.
Being a member of the Greene Team has always been a privilege for journalists — in the days when Bob Greene headed the investigations unit at Newsday and over the past six years, when high school journalists have taken part in this program named in his honor.

Each summer, Greene Team members have embraced the ideals Bob held so dear: honest, thorough reporting; hard work and tenacity in the service of the public good.

We never said it would be easy. It’s not. Bob was one of the toughest and beloved editors in American journalism. He had high standards because he cared about his reporters and his community. The program founded in his name must live up to the same ideals.

We did say that this work could be rewarding beyond measure and that some of the young journalists who work alongside us — students of Bob’s methods and standards — would be changed forever.

We were impressed with this year’s Greene Team members who rose up to the challenge. Once again, Bob would be proud.

- Zack, Cathrine and Wasim

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An unforgettable week

I can’t believe the week is coming to an end. The days were certainly longer, and the nights shorter. But the experience was definitely one that will last forever. I am so grateful that I was chosen to be part of this program that cost me nothing, but taught everything; the different aspects of journalism, friendship, living the college life. I couldn’t have asked a better way to spend this last week of July. I wish it could have last longer.

Here at Stony Brook University, the Greene Gazette program is the first summer getaway I have ever experienced throughout my teenage life. I made great friends in the span of one week and we bonded as if we’ve been friends our whole lives. I enjoy having girl nights with them because we talked, laughed and joked about everything. My roommate, Kelly Colligan, was the best roommate I could have ever asked for.

YaYa, Kelly, Hanna, Reid
YaYa, Kelly, Hanna, Reid

Going to Newsday showed me that journalism is not simple and a lot of work has to be done. It also gave me a clearer picture of how diligently people work in the field. In addition, I enjoyed going to my first ball game ever, the Ducks. I took pictures and  jumped in the bouncing house with Hanna, Reid, Madison and Noelia.

Most importantly, I am thankful that the team and I had amazing and supportive professors who organized this program in honor of the late Bob Greene, who left them motivated enough to organize this institute. Wasim Ahmad for teaching us about blogging, Cathrine  Duffy  for her lessons and patience and Zachary Dowdy for his motivation and the other professors who also participated in the program.

Their teachings have changed our perspective on journalism for the better. I took what they had to offer in such a small amount of time and applied it to what I really want to do in life. I know for sure wherever life takes me, I will definitely take some type of photography and writing courses in college. They will both be an aspect in my life. This experience has really been a week to remember.

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Kelly Colligan and Dan Walocha

We don’t actually work for Newsday

I had a chance to work the camera with Jacqueline. We managed to snap this quick selfie in the broadcast studio.
I had a chance to work the camera with Jacqueline. We managed to snap this quick selfie in the broadcast studio.
I can’t believe the week is already half over. Yesterday was jam-packed with ducks, cameras and good advice. The first thing we got to do was practice filming in front of a real broadcast studio. We each got our turn to play the anchor, the cameraman, floor manager, and more. Being on-camera wasn’t too much pressure, but I actually liked being at the teleprompter the most. It was really cool to see how broadcasting really works, and I loved seeing everyone laugh and have fun on camera.

Next, we visited Newsday to see the facility and talk to some journalists employed there. I was surprised at how huge the newsroom actually was. Everyone from sports writers to entertainment writers were hard at work. We even got some free t-shirts for our travels.

After visiting the newsroom, we sat down to hear some guest speakers. We listened to four or five journalists who spoke about their experiences, and how we could become better journalists. Each and every story was so inspiring and everyone seemed to genuinely love their jobs.

Following our Newsday tour, we drove straight to the Long Island Ducks game. I had never been to a Ducks game before, so I didn’t realize the amount of people that would come to support the team. Families, little league teams, couples, and loyal fans were just some of the enthusiastic fans that sat in the seats of the Bethpage Ballpark.

We got to work right away, beginning with a quick press conference with Ducks Media Relations & Broadcasting Manager Mike Polak. Everyone in the stands looked at us as we wore our green “Greene” shirts labeled “PRESS” on the back. I think the Newsday backpacks gave people a false impression that we worked for Newsday, but that was just fine to me. Once the game started, we got right to interviewing.

We interviewed about five or six fans on the rivalry between the teams, the Bridgeport Bluefish and the Ducks. It was fun filming B-roll, or background shots/action, because we got to watch all the diverse and interesting fans. The only downside was since I volunteered to film that day, I had to carry the camera, camera bag, and tripod everywhere we went.

Once we were finally finished interviewing, we left the game a little early. On the 45 minute bus ride home, we relaxed and listened to Bob Herzog talk about life as a sports writer.

After we got off the bus, we spent some time in the dorm’s recreation room, and played ping pong and pool with some of the students from the math program. Yaya and I walked up to our room like zombies, and crawled into bed to relieve ourselves of exhaustion. We woke up today again, at 6:30 a.m., and now we are blogging, at 8:37, at it again.

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Returning to my grandfather’s roots

My feet are sore, my eyes are barely open, and I feel as if I’m going to fall asleep any second.

Wednesday was fun. We got to go into Studio B and played with different broadcast journalism equipment. That was fun. Then we went to Newsday and I got to see pictures of my grandfather and hear stories that made me cry because I was proud. I haven’t really talked about him for a long time.

Then, at the Ducks game, they lost big but we didn’t stay for the whole game. We interviewed 12 kids and took pictures. I ate fries, ice cream, and cotton candy. We got back to our dorms around 10:30 p.m.

Bob Woodward and Bob Greene
Bob Woodward and Bob Greene.
This morning, I didn’t get woken up until 6:50 a.m. I put my hair in a bun, put on some foundation, brushed my teeth, and got dressed. Now all I want to do is sleep.

It’s so bad for us kids to be up so early and sleeping so late. Every time we have a speaker I’m just trying to stay awake. I need an energy drink ASAP!!!

I’m excited for this to be over so I can be able to sleep.

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Lea Greene

Lea Greene: Learning her grandfather’s legacy

Lea Greene is perhaps the one member of the Greene Team who has the greatest reason to participate in this program. Lea’s grandfather was Robert Greene, the famous Newsday investigative reporter and the man whom this program is named after.

Bob Greene earned his fame by writing gripping investigative articles. One of his most famous articles was about tracing how heroin moved through the Middle East and across Europe and how it eventually ended up on Long Island’s streets.

But, having a famous last name does have some drawbacks.

“I feel a lot of pressure, and that everyone is curious about me,” said Lea. “[But] one of the reasons I decided to attend this program was to see what people thought about my grandfather.”

Lea was born on January 11, 1996 in Saint James, Long Island. However, when she was three years old her family moved to the small town of Fuquay Varina, North Carolina. Lea is a rising senior at Southern Wake Academy, a charter school in her town.

She chose to attend Southern Wake Academy over her local public high school because of the smaller class sizes at the charter school, which allows teachers to focus their efforts on a smaller amount of students.

Teaching methods are especially important to Lea because of her plans for the future. She hopes to attend East Carolina University and earn a teaching degree. She aspires to become a teacher specializing in early education. Her primary motivation for choosing this career path as she described was “to see and help kids learn and grow.”

Besides journalism, Lea has a wide variety of interests. She played soccer for various teams over seven years before a knee injury forced her to give up the sport. Lea has a passion for reading. In fact, when asked to name her favorite book she simply replied “I have too many favorite books to name.”

However, she did admit to being “in love” with the bestselling young adult novel “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (unrelated to the Greene family by the way). In addition, Lea is also a fan of Shakespeare’s works. She particularly enjoys his most famous tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet.”

Just like “The Fault in Our Stars,” the play centers on an unlikely romance between two young people. In the world of music, Lea’s favorite band is All Time Low. But her favorite song is by a completely different artist. It is called “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves.

For most members of the Greene Team, this program is primarily about improving our journalism skills, developing new ones and getting a taste of what college life will be like. But, for Lea Greene, there is an additional reason.

Lea desires to experience the profession to which her grandfather dedicated his entire life, learning some of the skills that he used on a daily basis, and connecting with her grandfather’s past.

“It [being part of the program] brings back flashbacks and stories about by grandfather doing what he loved,” Lea said.

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Colin Maloney

Colin Maloney: A leader in and out of the newsroom

For Colin Maloney, a rising junior at Chaminade High School, writing has been a longtime passion.

“I’ve always been interested in writing since I was in grade school,” Colin said. “My freshman year in high school is when I got involved in journalism and joined my high school newspaper, Tarmac.”

The process of writing and editing intrigues Colin, he said.

“My favorite part about working for the Tarmac is getting the chance to come up with a story idea, investigate it and then see it through to its publication.”

But it’s not always easy, he said.

“The challenging part is, if I’m editing someone else’s work and I miss something, it’s my fault now, not the writer’s,” Colin said. “The way I handle it is just to take my time and be very thorough.”

In addition to journalism, Colin has played basketball, practiced the trumpet and participated in student government.

He’s also an officer in his school’s Intramural Officials Club.

“We run all of the intramural sports that take place after school,” Colin said. “As an officer, I have to make sure the other refs are signed in and on time to set up all the equipment and to make sure everything’s cleaned up when it’s over.”

He’s drawn to such leadership positions, he said, because he wants to make a difference.

“I hate seeing things sloppily done. I never say it’s someone else’s problem. If something’s wrong I try to fix it,” said Colin. “My whole family is the same way. In fact, my dad has to edit contracts for a living as a lawyer and if he makes a mistake it can cost him his job so I think that’s where the thoroughness comes from.”

Colin enjoys following foreign affairs, and he said he hopes one day to be either a foreign correspondent or a State Department employee.

Participating in the Greene program is one more step along that path.

“Colin was very interested in learning to be an investigative reporter and what better place to learn those skills then the Greene Institute founded by one of the country’s best investigative reporters, Bob Greene,” said his mother, Lisa Maloney. “He appreciates the skills and efforts of journalists who are able to bring important issues affecting the world to a wide audience through their stories, often at great personal risk.”

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Day two – So much to do, so little time


Everybody is telling me what to blog or what looks good to blog. I’m just freaked out a little that I see my name basically everywhere. Hearing people talk about my grandfather makes me choke up a little. Good thing about tonight is that a handful of us are going to the film festival. The only movie we can see is a wartime movie because it’s at 9:30 and we get back at 9:00 , So not so bad, time-wise.

All us girls had game night in one dorm with snacks and laughter, like you see in the movies. But I hit the hay at 11:30 p.m. and when I woke up at 6:15 a.m. I wanted to go back to sleep, but I got up and took a shower, I’m proud of myself. Now all I feel is sleepy. I might need a protein bar. I should have taken advantage of naptime in kindergarten. I take more naps now than when I was little.

Yesterday we worked with still cameras and video cameras. John Conrad Williams is our instructor with the camera. He is an award winning photographer. I took an amazing picture of Professor Wasim Ahmad as payback for Sunday. It’s on Instagram and soon to be on the Greene Gazette website! What goes around must come around.

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And so the work begins

This morning we met Sandra Peddie an investigative journalist for Newsday. Hearing her talk about her experiences with Bob Greene and watching how excited she was to share her stories truly made me realize that investigative journalism is my career goal. Photography is also on my mind, though yesterday was the first time I ever truly did photography other than vacation snapshots or the more-than-occasional-selfie.

Capturing Prof. Ahmad capturing students. Photo by Jason Reid.
Capturing Prof. Ahmad capturing students. Photo by Jason Reid.

Everything we started yesterday really does have me hungry to learn more. We had our first press conference and we practiced with video cameras later that day as well. Oddly enough, never once did I feel overwhelmed by a task. I even came out of my shell a bit and asked Shawn Heilbron, SBU’s new athletics director, a question during our press conference. Today is a new day, however, and apparently this is where the work truly begins.

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No pillow. No fan. No problem.

Forgetting my pillow and fan seemed to be the worst way to begin my journey with the Greene Gazette team at Stony Brook University. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying my first day with students I barely knew, who within the night became the best group of friends. I’m eager to learn new techniques and methods about journalism, and also looking forward to make and keep wonderful friends.

With a charming welcome and a barbecue, the team was able to learn a little bit about everyone and everything. We were also accompanied by a quick lesson on blogging and photography by our program advisors. They are wonderful people who take their time to teach us in order to accomplish Bob Greene’s dream.

My first night with the group has been excellent since my arrival. For someone who has never been in a residence hall or any summer program whatsoever, I quickly adapted to my short, but new environment. The students welcomed me kindly and even nicknamed me “YaYa.” I was pleased with the idea since I’ve never been given a nickname with my real name, Yardalie.

My roommate, Kelly, has been nothing but wonderful and friendly to me. We all spent the night eating pizza, chatting about boys, dancing and singing to the craziest music. It felt like we’ve been roomates our entire lives. And I enjoy every minute of it. As I’m excited to develop new ideas, I also hope this week could be longer and never end.

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