Tag Archives: Newsday

Greene eggs and ham

It’s day four. We got to visit Newsday and cover the Ducks game yesterday. The game itself wasn’t all too great; the Ducks got dominated and the Bridgeport Bluefish won. We aren’t allowed to truly do anything by ourselves here; we usually just get escorted around. But yesterday gave us a taste of freedom as we were allowed to walk through the stadium as we pleased. It gave me a sense of relief, and I’m thankful for that.

The Greene Beans.
The Greene Beans.

The Newsday trip made my day yesterday. We visited the headquarters and got to learn some history behind the company. Did you know Newsday was started by a woman who just wanted to get into the family business? Because I didn’t until yesterday.

Even more so, we talked to a bunch of memorable figures that made me laugh. There was this one lady who talked to us about her job. She eventually started talking about license plates. She was fun though, and kept my attention (which I can’t say about everyone that comes to talk to us). She was wearing slippers and looked very comfortable in her workplace, making her by far my favorite Newsday employee.

Madison’s uncle even got us cool t-shirts. He’s my second favorite. His quirky attitude added to the personality of the trip. It was an enlightening experience, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The bus was nice too; it had air conditioning and comfortable seating. After Newsday, we went off to the Ducks game.

We laughed till we cried.
We laughed till we cried.

We got to the game an hour early, and overall, it wasn’t a bad experience. We had to wait to get into the actual stadium for about 40 minutes. The tickets were cheap ($10), so it was a good investment.

I thought we would be able to watch the game and enjoy ourselves for the whole time. However, when we got there, we were put to work right away. My group worked for the first hour and a half, but we got a little time in the end to actually watch the game. We left around the seventh inning of the game, and didn’t get to see the whole thing. We didn’t even get to see the fireworks show at the end of the game. The last score we saw was 11-1 Bluefish. Nonetheless, the piece of freedom we got was worth it.

Us taking video and a baseball goer in the background.
Us taking video and a baseball goer in the background.

Yesterday was the best day, but I wish we had more time for time for outdoor activities and things that were listed in the program. For example, we got to our dorms at around 10 p.m., but all the fun activities like volleyball start at around 7 p.m..  By the time we get back, everything is finished; we got one game of pool in with the other math campers, but that was it. We also haven’t experienced the film festival yet, so hopefully we, as a group, get to go tomorrow.

This whole week made me realize that I don’t want to pursue journalism as a career. I like writing articles and news stories, but everything else isn’t up my alley. Video editing is tedious and dull, photography isn’t too bad, but not extremely interesting or challenging, and news casting is too stressful. To find out what you love doing, you first have to experience what you don’t. My team, the Greene Beans, consisted of Madison, Hanna and Yardalie (“Yaya”); they keep me smiling throughout the day. They make me laugh, and we find ways to pass the time in the Newsroom when we aren’t doing anything.

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End of an awesome week

Colin Maloney preparing for one of his numerous interviews at the Ducks game.
Colin Maloney preparing for one of his numerous interviews at the Ducks game.

It is the last day of the program, and I cannot believe this is the final blog post I will write. This week has been amazing. I met 18 incredible teenagers who not only share my interest in journalism but also are just incredibly fun, and I will miss them all greatly.

Besides having fun with my fellow campers, this week has been jam-packed with truly unique experiences. I got to participate press conference with Stony Brook’s Athletic Director Shawn Heilbron, learned photography from the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist John Williams, interviewed cancer survivors and baseball fans, learned how a news broadcast is made and got to see an actual newsroom at Newsday.

The thing I most valued about this program was it made me go outside my comfort zone.  I had to interview complete strangers, which was at first absolute terrifying because working for my school newspaper Tarmac, I usually knew my interview subjects. But after several interviews, I began to relax and really enjoyed conducting the interviews.  Besides the interviewing, I also had to take and edit stills and video, which I had never had to do for my school program. But, doing all these things gave me valuable experience that I hope to use back at the Tarmac.

In closing, I would like to thank to all the professors for all the hard work they did and my fellow Greene Team members for being the funny, creative, and awesome. You guys made the week fly by and I hope to see you all again.


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Play ball

I have never been to a ball game…

Nor have I ever had the opportunity to gain private access into one of Long Island’s largest news corporations.

A day full of surreal experiences, visiting Newsday and going out to the Long Island Ducks game was truly a privilege.

Despite the fact that I was practically half-awake on the bus to Newsday and professor Zachary Dowdy had to shake me back to life, a surge of energy sparked through me once I saw the huge building with Newsday written on the side of it in big letters. Once we walked in, we learned about the amazing feats the man we are all here for today accomplished.

Robert W. Greene was winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on “The Heroin Trail.” Realizing the magnitude of the prodigious talent one must have in order to get such an award blew me away. As aspiring journalists, we are here to carry on his legend, and looking at his plaque on the wall at Newsday truly put things in perspective.

Moving on to the ball game: although there was only a very brief moment where I actually got to sit down and watch the game, I loved the overall

Play Ball!
The inspiring Newsday Logo reading, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Play Ball!
Visualizing the amazing Greene’s accomplishments in what I would describe to be an experience of a lifetime.

atmosphere of it. I also loved getting stared at for carrying around a six-foot tri-pod and notepad.

As the day wrapped up to an, end I realized that the Greene team had truly hit a home run that night. We got closer than ever.


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Mary Kate Guma: multimedia reporter (just kidding)

I sat in the same chair for about ten hours yesterday. It was an exciting time.

In the morning, Sharon and I worked on a story for the website about a 9/11 memorial at Bethpage Ballpark, and at that point, I still had quite a bit of energy, so it really wasn’t unpleasant. Then we met with Bob Herzog one last time so he could edit it, which was actually really nice.

He edited the story without losing the flavor we had created, and everything he said and reworked made sense. I was definitely glad he was a temporary Greene Team member. He was so conversational and friendly, and yet managed to teach us about sports reporting too. I was sad to see him go yesterday.

After the written piece, Sharon and I continued with the story by working on the script for our video clip, and that was and long and tortuous process, let me tell you. Script writing is not as easy as it sounds, though I believe Sharon did have fun recording it in the sound booth.

Then the real work began, sometime around six last night. We started putting the video together, which again, is more complicated than it sounds. I had never used FinalCut before, and though I got the general hang of it, anybody can just throw clips together, arranging them in a virtually pleasing, coherent, concise way is not something I have the hang of yet.

I’m still working on it, though. This morning, Sharon and I are trying to finish off the video. We need to learn how to put “lower thirds” into the video, and just get some general aid and hopefully, we should be done shortly. Fingers crossed!

(Quick update: We’re done! The story is finished and we’ve had pizza for lunch.)

Stony Brook’s Senior Associate Dean of Admissions Robert Pertusati came to speak to us about college which was actually really helpful. I don’t have any clue what I’m doing when it comes to college admissions, so any advice I can get is good advice. And I actually find it kind of exciting. It’s like a giant race, one in which hundreds of thousands of teenagers are running. I’m naturally very competitive, so the idea just kind of appeals to me. Just the idea, though—I don’t think I’ll be crazy about the process of being accepted or denied!

By the way, in case my title gets edited, I just want to make it clear I do not consider myself a skilled multimedia reporter. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just following Newsday reporter Lauren Harrison’s advice —Fake it ’til you make it.)

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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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We’re quacking up

I’m tired but up and quacking out after covering last night’s LI Ducks game. Covering an event is much different than attending an event. I always wondered about that when I saw a press team or photographers at a sporting event or concert. The game was fun in a really different way because you have a completely different perspective while working rather than attending; every time I was in foul territory and wandered off trying to snap a good picture, I felt a fear of getting hit by a ball.

Gregory Commodore "quacking"
Gregory Commodore “quacking”
Early into the reporting, I snapped a shot of a grown man with a “quacker” in his mouth, getting the crowd excited. Then he ran off chasing somebody that I’m assuming he recognized. Towards the end of the night, I remembered that when somebody is clearly identifiable in a picture you need his or her identity and I panicked; my eyes started racing through the general area where I caught the picture and I couldn’t find him. Then I noticed a man setting up a group of people for a picture and when I turned around I found the man taking a picture! Thus I got his name and where he is from. It was a a quacktastic evening from pictures to interviews to getting dirty looks from a couple die-hard Duck fans as I searched for a Bridgeport Blue Fish fans in what clearly appeared to be a home cozier than a pond for these Ducks.

Before the field trip, I must include that Newsday’s own Bob Herzog talked to us about his career covering sports and also about sports journalism, which in a way I think of it as a basis because everything else you that one can cover is sort of his or her “sport” and there are specific aspects that primarily pertain to sports reporting, but if you change the subject those techniques can help other types of reporting. After Bob’s lesson, Connie Conway gave a quick lesson that followed with a lot of hands on about television news.

Madison posing as I took a panoramic shot of studio B.
Madison posing as I took a panoramic shot of studio B.

Before the game, we visited Newsday and got to see how vast it is. Bob came along with us to Newsday (and the Ducks game), inside Newsday there were some writers and editors working quietly, but they were also welcoming. We also got to partially see the printing press at Newsday and learn about the paper’s history. Honestly, I didn’t know how large of a paper Newsday is, which made the experience so much cooler getting to know about its growth. All in all, the day was a fastball with a drop of knowledge that fit just right.

A partial view of one of the printing presses at Newsday
A partial view of one of the printing machines at Newsday
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Real journalists in real cubicles: a day of real-life experiences

Newsday cubicles. Photo Cred: Hanna Da'Mes
Newsday cubicles. Photo Cred: Hanna Da’Mes

Wednesday was probably the most eventful day out of the week so far. It began with an early breakfast as usual, and then after our morning lectures, we headed over to Newsday. We were able to see rooms full of cubicles that real journalists worked in, and we learned more about the history of both journalism and Newsday. Some people from Newsday volunteered to speak to us, telling their stories and letting us ask questions. Before the field trip, we went to a broadcast set on campus and worked the various jobs included in TV news. My favorite job was probably the sound booth.

Lisa Angell and Kayla Aponte sleeping. Photo Cred: Hanna Da'Mes
Lisa Angell and Kayla Aponte sleeping. Photo Cred: Hanna Da’Mes

Afterwards, we all got back on the bus and rode to the Ducks game. We separated into our groups and tried to figure out what we were going to write our stories on. My group, which consisted of Madison Flotteron,  Yardalie “Yaya” Daniel and Dan Walocha, wanted our story to be on the high school and college students who worked in the concession stands, but we were told later that we weren’t allowed to, so we had to settle for it being on the various groups and organizations that were attending the game. We walked around for hours, interviewing people, shooting b-roll and taking pictures for our story. After a couple of hours, we decided that we needed a break, so we went to the bouncy house, and it seemed that a little time acting like a kid was a good way to relieve stress. We quickly got back to work after eating, interviewing another baseball team and shooting some more b-roll.

It was a really long day, and the exhaustion showed as we drifted to sleep on the bus ride back to the university.

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Madison Flotteron and Courtney Taylor anchoring at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism broadcast studio on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

A visit to Newsday, followed by a Ducksday

The whirlwind day started in Stony Brook’s Studio B, where Prof. Conway showed us the ropes of TV news.

In a word: amazing.

a shot of Studio B!
a panorama shot of Studio B
I got to play at being an anchor, film a newsbreak, play on the soundboard and be tech director in the booth. Anchoring was a tad nerve-racking (despite my teleprompter blunders, I do know how to read, I swear), but the best job by far was tech director. Clicking buttons to switch cameras and move effects onscreen probably doesn’t sound all that fun, but you’ll have to take my word that it was a blast.

Pressing Buttons: Advanced Edition
Pressing Buttons: Advanced Edition
Next in the day’s long line-up was a talk on covering sports with Newsday Reporter and Editor Bob Herzog. While I’m certainly not a sports person, I found his to be one of the most interesting presentations of the week.

From there, it was off to Newsday to see what a real newsroom and other aspects of real-life journalism looked like. Seeing the timeline stretching around the halls was eye-opening as well – who knew that the paper on my dining room table each morning had such a rich history?

Gifts from Newsday to the Greene program
Gifts from Newsday to the Greene program
What was especially intriguing was the session after we walked the halls. In a special tour room, various Newsday professionals came in to tell about their jobs and answer questions. While each testimony was valuable, my favorite was that of Matt Clark, investigative reporter. The job sounds not only super-cool (he recounted a story he’d uncovered about a multi-state movie theater scam) but genuinely rewarding as well.

And next on the itinerary was a Ducks game at Bethpage Ballpark – Ducks v. Bluefish after the Ducks’ ten-game losing streak (pft, and I said I wasn’t a sports person). My team, Team Wasumesauce (as in “awesome sauce” with Prof. Ahmad’s name in front – I was pushing for “Wasim’s Dream Team,” but I digress) was covering the supposed rivalry between the two teams. The issue, however, was that Bluefish fans were nowhere to be found (that is, until the tail-end of the night, when a man in a Bluefish hat and shirt came to save the day).

As a reporter for that segment, my job involved asking random people if they’d like to be interviewed (or, for a large chunk of the beginning, if they were Bluefish fans – the answer a resounding “no”). Approaching people in the ballpark and asking them questions on camera ended up being a ton of fun. It felt like a real and serious job. (I even tried to speak in my best television voice, picturing the reporters on CNN.)

Behind the camera in Studio B
Behind the camera in Studio B

The team gathered useable material and some great soundbites about the rivalry between the teams (one man insisted he ate, slept, and breathed Ducks – even quacking at random).

I can’t tell much about the game itself, other than the fact that I had a great time (and got some great ballpark popcorn). I can’t wait to put the Ducks story together with my team and see how the final product comes out.

photo 5

On the ride home, after a night of reporting and laughing, Prof. Herzog regaled us with another talk on sports reporting, and the techniques he uses to tell a different story each time (even though, to a non-fan like myself, sports games don’t seem all that different from one another).

While I can’t say I plan on becoming a sports reporter, the stories about his career were incredibly interesting. Prior to his lecture, I would have written sports journalism off as something bland and monotonous. Bob Herzog’s stories, however, bring that field to life in a genuinely exciting light.


I’ve learned so much so fast – I feel like a real journalist at work!

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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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Laura Fallick

Laura Fallick: Following her father’s footsteps as a writer

Seventeen-year-old Laura Fallick has known she has a knack for editing and writing ever since she was a child. Having a dad who worked as an editor at Newsday, Laura would be brought Kidsday articles to critique and edit on a regular basis.

“Ever since the day my dad first brought me to Newsday, I’ve had a passion for journalism. I loved the aura of the newsroom and constant research and reporting on events,” said Laura, speaking of her father, Alan Fallick.

Shortly after that, the aspiring journalist began writing her own articles featuring celebrities, athletes and other remarkable figures.

“Two celebrities I interviewed were singer Colby O’Donis and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer,” she said. “Interviewing them was an exciting experience and it felt like I was a real reporter. It was exhilarating and enlightening.”

But her dedication and interest did not stop there; as she became older, her talent only matured and flourished as did her love for journalism, she said.

Laura’s commitment and determination shown in writing is also expressed in almost everything she does. She has been on the Honor Roll since sixth grade, is an avid member of the English Honor Society as well as the Quill and Scroll Honor Society, and regularly contributes to the high school yearbook at Commack High School.

Rising Senior Alyssa Smail, Fallick’s best friend, commented on her energy and diligence: “[Laura] is outgoing and energetic all the time… she has come a long way in the last few years;” she added, “I had English [class] with her this year and she was always willing to proofread my work.”

Smail further added that her high-achieving peer has very strong opinions and “always shows interest” in basically any subject. For example, Laura firmly believes that writing should be encouraged at a young age. Just as she was encouraged by learning from her dad, she advises “[parents and others should] let [their] child write about themselves and their feelings.”

Fallick strives to be a conscientious student and a rising writer.

As for her writing, Laura’s style is to focus is on one point.

She said that her strength lies in her grammar and spelling. The writer concentrates on one specific topic with immense and lucid detail(s). “I want them to feel as if they know every detail about the topic, but not overwhelmed.”

When asked about some weaknesses she humbly stated, “I am quite repetitive when I feel [as if] I have nothing else to say.”

This energy and excitement has led Laura to use her writing to convey different messages to her audience and make a difference.

“My favorite part about writing is that I have complete control over the intended message,” she said. By using the right amount of detail, not too much or too little, Laura manages to find the balance that allows her to write an article that is both concise and full of detail.

Laura is also furthering her own journalistic endeavors by becoming a part of the Greene Gazette community. Thrilled about the opportunity, Laura said she hopes to learn about the different technology used in the field and learn the various strategies and methods used to become a successful journalist.

“I’m hoping to hone my writing skills during the week,” she said. Even more so, Laura wants to pursue the profession in college, saying she wants study at Stony Brook University. This opportunity is one step closer to learning the ups and downs of the journalism field.

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Madison Flotteron

Madison Flotteron: Getting to the bottom of truth

Madison Flotteron had no intention of pursuing journalism as a career until her ninth grade English teacher, Walt Fishon, encouraged her to take the journalism class offered at her school, Bay Shore High School.

“I fell in love with how everything works and getting to the bottom of the truth,” she said.

This class was only the beginning of her journalistic journey. She says her uncle, Pat Mullooly, editor of Kidsday at Newsday, is the true inspiration behind her passion for journalism and writing. Madison was introduced to the “real world” of journalism when her uncle would take her to interviews, where she would help him write the stories.

“The one thing that attracts me most to journalism is that one answer isn’t good enough,” said Madison. “You need to talk to everyone to get a story straight and I love how reporters will do just that.”

She said she believes that a story does not only involve a single person, but everyone who has witnessed the same events and has participated in making the story what it is. She admires reporters who have the ability to look at a story from all perspectives.

“I look up to them because they don’t put their personal opinion into a story,” she said. “They’re able to tell it without having any bias.”

Madison, 17, heard about the Greene Gazette program from Fishon, a Stony Brook University alumnus who took courses in journalism. “Madi has the ability to connect with the person she is interviewing,” said Fishon. “She listens and builds off of the conversation.”

He described Madison as effervescent, inquisitive and passionate.

She also heard about the program from a classmate.

“My Editor-in-Chief, Brianne Garrett, also went here the year prior and told me to apply because she loved it,” Madison said.

In school, Madison is editor of the newspaper, Brightside, and she is also the news producer for the school’s broadcast, BSHS News.

“The experiences I have had in journalism makes me love it more and more,” Madison said. “My newfound interest is broadcasting because I love being in front of the camera. It just feels natural to me.”

She said she would love to be a reporter for major news channels, such as Fox and CNN. She said she would like to double major in business and communications in college. explaining,  “…communications because I like journalism and talking to people, and for business because I like money and being the boss,” she said.

Madison is captain of her cheerleading team, the coach for her town’s cheerleading youth program, and the head coxswain for her school’s crew team. “I am part of “Keep Islip Clean Junior Commissioners program,” which is a select few from many school districts who come together to think of ways to improve our community’s environment,” said Madison.

She said she hopes to change the world by giving the people information that will undoubtedly aid them in some way. “I believe journalism influences the world around us by getting straight to the truth,” said Madison.

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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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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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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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