It was a long journey to the story, but so worth it

Our Team 1 including Sebastian, Brianna, Chelsea, Emily B. and I walking along a grassy hill.

On our fourth day, Team 1 had walked long and far—some 40 minutes from the Stony Brook East Side Dining Hall to the Long Island State Veterans Home—to cover a special story. We traveled through grass, road sides and buildings, all with equipment in hand. Though tiring, we were enlightened by the stories and memories told by people at the home.

Once inside, we met 90-year-old Sheldon Polan, a World War II army veteran. We are currently producing a package about how he returns to the nursing home each year to provide eye care to other veterans at the home.

Final farewell

Carefully watching the view finder during the Long Island Ducks press conference.

The Whole Greene Team of 2018!

This past week at Stony Brook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute, I’ve learned so much about my potential in the journalism career. Through interaction and close mentoring with the professionals from Newsday and Stony Brook Univerity’s School of Journalism, I was able to carefully observe my mistakes, strengths and weaknesses in writing, photography and videography. During the process, slight mishaps motivated me to progressively work harder. The dedication from my fellow team members revealed how important this career is for our generation. I believe that in the future, people will be better informed knowing that there are journalists like us who seek justice, and truth. Every question made known, whether it be during a press conference, news briefing or daily discussion, have all raised valuable discussions around worldwide issues. My eyes have been opened wider and I will continue to share the skills I’ve learned to my own school. Thank you to everyone involved in the Greene Team of 2018!

Sebastian Germosen: Looking beyond the Major Leagues

By Taylor Yon
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Sebastian Germosen is devoted to journalism, but sees it as a backup career if his dream of becoming a professional baseball player falls through.

“My goal is to go to the Major Leagues as soon as possible,” said the 16-year-old junior at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens. “It’s my dream job and it’s what my life revolves around. But my backup plan if baseball doesn’t work out is to major in journalism.”

In pursuit of his goal, Germosen plays catcher and third baseman on the his school’s baseball team. His sports role model is José Altuve, a second baseman for the Houston Astros.

Germosen’s interest in journalism was sparked by attending a lecture last fall at Stony Brook University by longtime broadcast journalist Ted Koppel.

He is a staff writer on the school’s newspaper, The Stanner. “I like the newspaper club because it allows me to speak about topics outside of the school and allows me to express my ideas and thoughts on political or world issues freely,” he said.

Germosen’s interest in journalism was also piqued by watching CNN and Fox News.

It isn’t just journalism that makes school appealing to Germosen. “I really enjoy high school, making friends and learning in general,” he said. Germosen primarily takes honors classes and is successful in earning straight A’s. For his upcoming junior year, Germosen will be taking courses including U.S. History Honors, Pre-Calculus, Spanish 3 Honors, Physics Honors, Participation in Government and Constitutional Law.

His teachers and his parents are his biggest role models. “Sebastian is an excellent student and the brains of the family,” Germosen’s mother Erica said. And “he looks out for his little brother.”

In his free time,  Germosen reads, exercises, plays video games and a lot of basketball. “I enjoy these hobbies because they let me relieve myself after stressful days,” he said.

After high school, Germosen’s dream is to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and major in sports management.

To keep his journalism options open, Germosen applied to the Stony Brook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists when his newspaper adviser mentioned it. “I felt relieved and excited when I learned I got accepted,” he said.

“My expectation of the program,” Germosen said, “is that it will be a wonderful program with great teammates and awesome coordinators, and I will learn a lot of new things about the journalism industry.”

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!