Day 2 at Greene: Kate Nalepinski pep talk, photography, and Kara Hahn


Day Two got off to a quick start with a pep talk from Long Island Herald Editor Kate Nalepinski. She gave us advice based on things she wishes she knew when she was first going into journalism. What she and Stephanie Brumsey both made clear was that connections are important. I’m glad that we have this opportunity to create a network during this program. Nalepinski gave us three main points: think of yourself as a content creator, find your niche, and be a daily consumer of the news.

Being a content creator gives us more of an opportunity to find a job because we have a wide variety of skills. This is something that I need to work on. My main skill in the journalism area so far is writing. I need to get better at photography and video editing in particular since I’m not exactly tech savvy. I’m not concerned about finding my niche. I’m passionate about hockey, and that’s what got me into journalism to begin with. My niche is sports journalism. I’m a daily consumer of the news in the sports area for sure, particularly hockey, of course. But I recognize that I need to take the time to read through stories on other news as well instead of just quickly taking in headlines to see what’s happening.

We had an incredible opportunity to meet with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Williams next. His instruction was informative and I feel like I truly learned a lot. As someone who had essentially no experience with photography prior to today, it was a little bit overwhelming but I enjoyed it. His photos were amazing and I was speechless looking at most of them. I greatly appreciate that such an important and skilled photographer took the time out of his day to talk to us.

One of our teams is doing a story on Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. She joined our Zoom meeting for their interview today. While it was more orderly than an in-person press conference would be, it really felt like our first real journalism experience. I was interested in everything she had to say, especially her main focus on the opioid epidemic. It was pretty surreal to be able to sit in on an interview with such an important person.

Stony Brook’s own Professor Rick Ricioppo did a lesson on shooting video and visual storytelling. His presentation was a lot to take in, so I took extensive notes. I’m looking forward to being able to employ some of his tips.

To close out the day, we met with our teams. My team has decided to do a story on Stony Brook medical students that were on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sent out some emails today to Kali Chan with public relations and Dr. Adam Gonzalez as well as a couple of the school’s medical clubs to try to get some contacts and interviews. It has the potential to be a really interesting story and I’m excited to see where it goes. We’re going to be in the virtual studio tomorrow and I can’t wait to experiment with broadcasting.