Production, Newsday and the Long Island Ducks!

The Stony Brook School of Journalism control room. Photo by Emily Palazzotto. (July 18, 2018)

A very eventful Day 4 here at the Greene Experience, and just when I doubt that I can become any more intrigued by journalism than I am, I become even more mesmerized by the amazing things that comes along with this career path.

Early this morning, after a speedy quick breakfast, we all made our way over to the broadcast studio, where we had the amazing opportunity to put together a newscast. I got to be the anchor and the weather girl. I also got to work in the control room to do some of the “behind-the-scenes” work. It was a little intimidating at first to get up and speak in front of the camera, but after a while, it felt more normal to me. It was so astonishing to me how much work was put into producing only a two- to three-minute newscast. But as chaotic it could be at times, it was a blast and we all got good laughs out of the experience.

At the end of the lesson, watching back the newscasts, both good and bad, showed how much we improved from newscast to newscast.

Later today, we are going to Newsday to see how a real newsroom works and all that goes into producing a newspaper. After that, we are going to Bethpage Ballpark to conduct field work for stories on the Long Island Ducks. My team chose to cover the All-Star Game jersey auction.

I am very excited to try to apply all of these skills that I have learned so far this week. I’ve learned so much about many aspects of journalism and have gained so many new friends that I know I will keep after this week concludes. I am loving every second of this whole process!

Tuesday: Learning from each other

Emily Palazzotto, Manoli Figetakis and Rachel Schneider. Photo by Parker Schug. (July 17, 2018)

We are nearing the end of our second full day as The Greene Team.

The past 48 hours have been packed. Whether we are in the newsroom, outside shooting videos and taking photos, or getting in a quick meal, we are always doing something. Despite our 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. schedule, we’ve made sure to squeeze in time to get to know each other at night.

So far, I am over the moon about this program. I’ve met some incredibly hard workers, and we’ve been being taught by the best of the best. One of my favorite mentors has been John Williams. Not only has he taught us the intricacies of photography, such as how to get the perfect exposure, but he has reminded us that each photo we take should tell a story. “Sometimes our ‘mistakes’ create something beautiful,” he said when admiring Chelsea’s photo of a bench pattern being struck by the sun.

I never thought I’d enjoy photography the way I do. While I have struggled a bit, I am determined to get better. At first I did not completely understand why we were setting our ISO, shutter speed and f/stop at certain numbers, but with practice it became easier to understand. The same went for shooting videos. I didn’t completely grasp what was necessary to capture in each b-roll, but again, by filming over and over again, I became more comfortable. My passion for journalism has driven me to make the most of my week here at Stony Brook University.

While I have enjoyed the hands-on learning experience, one of my favorite parts of the past two days have been speaking to those around me. During our lunch break, I spoke to Zoe and Taylor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On our first day of the program, I was reluctant to ask them about their feelings and the state of their community after the recent tragedies. But they were comfortable opening up about it.

Not only did they change my perspective, but they made me understand the reality of the situation like never before. I was so inspired by their strength, and their ability to speak about these issues. Because of people like Taylor and Zoe, changes are being made in society, in politics, and in our everyday lives.

I have learned a lot about journalism, but even more about important issues impacting the world we live in. I feel so fortunate to be part of The Robert W. Greene Summer Institute because of all that I have discovered—and for what’s to come.

Day three and four

On day three, we started by taking portraits using the still camera. Then we learned more about how to shoot videos by doing mini-videos. One thing that I understood is that you can’t just point and shoot. You have to really think about how you want to tell a story using photos and videos. It was not as easy as it looks. That day is the day that I started getting used to news over breakfast. In the beginning, it was uncomfortable to have a large paper on the table next to my food.

Our fourth day was my favorite. We had the opportunity to put together a newscast. learning with professionals. On the broadcast, you had two anchors making an announcement. Then the anchors introduced the reporter as well the weather person. There were several jobs done to accomplish one broadcast. Being in those seats was an immense privilege. I got to be the anchor and the camera girl. I also got to work in the control room to do some of the “behind-the-scenes” work. It was impressive to see the amount of work needed to do a two-minute newscast.

We then went to Newsday to see how a real newsroom works and all that goes into producing a newspaper. After that, we went to Bethpage Ballpark to conduct field work for stories on the Long Island Ducks. My team chose to cover the summer jobs opportunities at the Stadium.

It was really entertaining to walk around the stadium and find opportunities to take a shot of something or someone.

The Basics

Chelsea Sibri 

Our day started out with an awakening we found unusual at this time of the year. Before arriving I had yet to experience waking up before 8a.m. in the last couple of weeks, but that easily changed when breakfast was assigned at 7:30a.m. After doing the math, I would have to be awake by 6:30a.m. at the latest. And after a day of traveling, this almost seemed impossible for the first day.

Breakfast accompanied with morning news on print was something rather new to me, as I am more familiar with turning on the T.V. in the morning to listen to the news. I picked up a paper struggling to not get it in my food, but after succeeding I enjoyed the articles and pictures of the Word Cup game I hadn’t been able to watch the day prior just to attempt to replace the experience.

Our first lesson of the day took us back to some basics of journalism; and to some of us, including myself, they were rather new. Sitting at the desk hearing these small details and regulations, I would have to admit I was a little intimidated. To train my brain to acknowledge and identify every single one of these regulations seemed like a challenge, and although I love challenges, it also seemed like I would need to come across trial and error multiple times before mastering the details of journalism.

Later on in the day, we were able to receive a photography lesson from Pulitzer Prize winner and Newsday Assistant Photo Editor John Williams. I have to say it was an extremely rewarding experience. With his feedback we will definitely be able to improve tomorrow and hopefully be much more comfortable with the multiple settings and aspects of the Nikon camera.

Our day ended with similar skills, but different areas. Instead of using cameras for still photography, we used them to capture the film basics. It was interesting to hear about the little aspects of filming for news. Some of these things would have never crossed my mind while just watching T.V.

So far, my knowledge about this industry has grown a great deal. I am very excited to explore all of the other subsections of this industry and be blown away by everything I had not known up to date.



Day Two

Our second day at the program was pretty intense but also very interesting. I own a camera, and I have never thought of all the different step you had to go through to take a picture. I would usually just set my camera on automatic and let it do all the work for me. Today was totally different. I had to worry about ISO, shutter speed, and F-stop all at once — it was compelling. After being outside taking pictures, we went back inside to observe and see what we had to improve. In my case, it was on the lighting. My pictures were over exposed.

Another category we worked on today was videography. A motto that we have been introduced to was “action, reaction,” which is to capture someone taking a picture by example, and then capture what they take in the picture. It was truly exciting to have a hands-on experience of the topics we heard our professors spend so much time talking about. Before all that, we were briefly introduced to reporting and interviewing.

This picture shows the main issue that I had when I started using the camera. My pictures were over exposed. (photo by Caroline Ledoux)


First Impressions

It’s hard to believe we’ve only been here for one day. So far we’ve already brainstormed about potential articles, learned the insiders tricks for conducting a good interview, and had an inspiring photography lesson. I think I’m not the only one who would say we’ve  had fun along the way, too. I loved bonding with my fellow Greene Team members over ice cream and trying not to get lost on our way back to the dorm. I can’t wait to make more great memories!

Snapshot of my time at Greene

Today marks the full second day of my time here at Greene. I feel simultaneously tired but happy. I am adjusting to dorm life nicely, but sleeping is still an issue I hope to fix as I want to be awake for the big game tomorrow. I love the commoraderie of dorm life, and how everyone is bonding. Each night is capped off with fun conversations between my hallway neighbors and I’m always laughing.

I love how hands-on the Greene team has allowed me to be. I had never used a professional camera before I came here, and I was worried at first. But Mr. Williams was so upbeat and fun and he made a lesson that was technical, engrossing and funny. What’s great about learning about this type of technology is that we get to use it right after. We took pictures all around the campus and it’s been so fun gaining skills and seeing myself grow in terms of what I’m able to capture.

I also learned how to use a camcorder and tripod. The tripod was more confusing than I had originally expected, but it was fun to learn and play around with. I also really loved shooting video and transitioning from a wide shot to a tight shot.

I am already learning a lot during my time here, and I have had my eyes open to factions of news that I had never even considered. I’m excited to dive in even further and collaborate with my team to produce pieces we will all be proud of.


Learning the Basics of a Good Interview

Changing can be painful, but often times, it is not the change itself we fear, but the process that accompanies it. As one who has never conducted a formal interview for a story or newspaper, I find myself both intrigued yet reluctant to step forth into this aspect of journalism.

While I have experienced reaching out to people through email, and reading latest updates and events over the PA system for Baldwin High School’s morning announcements, I would imagine that this could not equate to face-to-face interactions and I am sure many others would agree. As opposed to communicating with sources electronically, an interview conducted in person offers journalists the chance to observe alternate components of human interaction; this includes the source’s body language or tone of voice,  details that would otherwise be lost or overlooked when contacting someone by email or phone.

As an aspiring interviewer, I strive to make those I interview comfortable within their environment, as I would want the same if I were put in their shoes. Though mutual respect is a crucial principle of a successful interview, it is still important to be our authentic selves while doing so.

I look forward to improving and discovering my strengths, but more importantly, confronting my weaknesses during my time in the Robert W. Greene program; I am very grateful for this opprtunity.



Greene Gazette 2018: Day Two

The Greene Program has been off to a great start. For the past two days, we’ve been immersed into the world of news. From writing, photography, video, and eventually audio tracking, we’ll have done it all.

 Yesterday and today, we’ve been working on priming our photography skills, learning about patterns, the depth of a picture, and taking news and feature shots. We’ve also focused on news etiquette and the importance of visuals matching words.

Even though it’s only been two days, it’s amazing how much information I’ve retained. There’s so much more to learn, and I can’t wait to share it all with my family, friends, and the newspaper staff at my school.




Forging Forever Friendships on Day Two

Though the day was slow and sweaty, I can more than safely say that it was one of the best  I’ve had in my entire life. Having the opportunity to learn photography from a Pulitzer prize winner and videography from a professor here at Stony Brook is something that I will forever be grateful for. This experience is a complete honor, and what we learned in the newsroom today was amazing. The friends I’ve made within the program are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, and it already feels like I’ve known each and every one of them for a lifetime. The fact that we all share one common interest is what unites us, and just like the inverted pyramid, our love for journalism is the most important aspect of our friendship. It’s what brings us together as a family and as we go further down the pyramid, we learn about the little things that we have in common with each other. For instance, my roommate and I both sleep with stuffed animals. I was secretly afraid to bring mine with me in fear of being judged, but when I saw a teddy bear sitting on her bed, I mentioned it and we both laughed. Another way we’ve been getting to know each other is by hosting little “slumber parties” in the basement. Each night, we invite everyone into someone’s room and we play different icebreaking games; as a result, we find out what others like to do for fun, what our lives are like at our own schools, and more. I’m extremely thankful to be a member of the Greene Team, and I’m also extremely thankful for my fellow Greene Team members as well as the people who taught us so many new things about photography and videography today. I can’t wait for what the next five days will bring!

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