Last day of Greene :(

We’re done! The video is complete and the story is done. Wow, this has been a week of hard work. I had to do a new profile today because my partner is no longer in the program. Although it was a lot to do last-minute, writing is something I really enjoy so I didn’t mind too much. I cannot wait for tommorrow because I am so tired of Zoom.

There were so many moving parts today but I know that’s part of being a journalist. I think this week was a really great experiance because I got exposed to various journalists in the field with unique backgrounds and experiences. I think this week taught me some amazing skills that I can now apply to my writing, speaking, and even video editing! I’m so very grateful for this opportunity and all the wonderful relationships, skills, and tools that I’ve gotten out of it. Can’t wait to meet all the amazing people that made this week possible!

I’m Moriah Pettway from Baldwin, New York. Have a great day and keep watching Stony Brook News!

The Last ZOOM [Photo by Moriah Pettway]

Day 4: Exhausted but grateful

Whew.. I’m exhausted! Today was a lot of reaching out to people, doing interviews, putting together our story and creating our video. I’m so grateful to have such a hard-working team! Everyone was doing their part and helping each other so I’m so glad for that. We are now just putting the finishing touches on everything so tomorrow shouldn’t be too much of a struggle. Tomorrow is also the last day on Zoom! I can’t believe our time at Greene is coming to an end… I’m excited for this last day and I’m even more excited for Saturday because it’s going to be in-person!

I also just wanted to mention how amazing our guest speaker Sarah M. Kazadi was. She was so transparent about her experiences being a black female journalist. It was so inspiring as I too am a black female interested in the field. She talked about how she overcame the challenges of being someone like herself in this field by viewing her background and identity as an angle to write from. There have been some truly inspirational speakers that have come to be with us this week and I’m so looking forward to what tomorrow has to offer.

Editing on ClipChamp [Photo by: Moriah Pettway]

Off to a great start

Today at 11 am I clicked a button that said ‘join with camera off’ and had no idea what to expect, but wow… was I in for a treat! The moment Stephanie Brumsey opened her mouth, I was engaged. Her bold and expressive personality mixed with her insight, wisdom and experiences as a journalist were so inspiring! That fact that she started as a Greene student just like me gives me so much hope for my future career as a journalist.

After the break, we all came back to learn about the structural elements of writing a story. One concept that stuck with me was the basics of writing a lede. In order to learn how to properly write a lede, Professor Dowdy presented a story pitch to us about Red Riding Hood and her grandmother getting eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. We then had to make a lede for it. I then came to the conclusion that a lede is a concise version of a story that hooks the reader in.

If I’m being honest, setting up my Padcaster was a struggle for me. Looking back, it wasn’t too difficult, but I was already stressed in terms of keeping up with my group in order to make sure that I was setting everything up properly.

Moriah’s Padcaster setup [Photo by: Moriah Pettway]

Finally, I met my group today! I am so excited to get started on our story about Stony Brook medical students on the front lines during COVID. I can’t wait to go through the process of interviewing because it is something I’ve never done before. My group members also seem like really great people and they’re all eager to get started just like me. Ms. Duffy also seems so dedicated and ready to help us in any way she can so I’m so appreciative of that.

Overall, I’m so glad that I can be a part of this program. It is such a great opportunity for me to get hands-on experience. Although my eyes burn at the end of the day from staring at this screen, that won’t stop me from making the most out of this program. I’m looking forward to all the great things that will come out of this week! We’re off to a great start! 🙂

Miles Reese: Black Lives Matter movement inspired him to pursue journalism

By Moriah Pettway
Baldwin High School

Miles Reese’s creativity and passion for playing the saxophone and painting also influences his writing. 

The rising senior at Copiague High School was born in Mineola and raised in Copiague with his younger sister Natalie Reese, his mom Ann Reese and dad Garry Reese. “What I like about Miles is how kind-hearted he is,” his mom said. “What I love about Miles is how humorous he is,” his sister added. 

Miles has been playing the saxophone for about nine years and painting for two to three. He is also active in extracurricular activities, including Mock Trial, Marching Band, and Track and Field. 

But Miles’ major interest is journalism. He has been writing since middle school. “In seventh grade, I had a teacher named Ms. Ingenito and she saw the hidden potential in me. She noticed my public speaking skills and she wanted to see more of that in my writing, so she put me in Achieve3000 for students who were exceptional in writing, and it really shaped me as a writer.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in developing Miles’ writing skills, “I had a lot of alone time and found out who I truly am…. That’s where my love for analyzing politics and journalism came from.” 

As a young black man aspiring to be a journalist, the murdering of George Floyd was a pivotal point in Miles’ life, “I remember in the summer they shut the roads down and I heard Black Lives Matter and I was like ‘I’m living through history.’” 

Watching correspondents such as Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon inspired Miles to further pursue his interest in journalism. “There’s a segment on CNN called Prime Time with Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon and the way they connect to the audience is so natural and it proves that they don’t just do their show because they have to. They do their show because they enjoy it.” 

He feels that he has a lot to offer to the field of journalism. “I want to be that person that bridges the gap between everyday people and their understanding of politics.” 

Once Miles concluded that journalism was something that he was truly passionate about, he began taking the initiative to find programs where he could strengthen his skills. So Miles is very enthusiastic about spending a week at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. Through the program, “I’m hoping to find even more confidence in public speaking.”

Day 2, whoop-de-do!

I think I wrote a lot for yesterday’s blog so I’ll keep this short and to the point. Oh man, today was great! Long Island Herald Editor Kate Nalepinski’s pep talk this morning was such a great way to kick off the day. She has such an inviting presence and incredibly genuine when she spoke about her experiences as a journalist, especially during COVID. I am so grateful that I have yet another resource to reach out to as I pursue my career in journalism.

Another part of today that I would like to highlight was Newsday photographer John Williams’ segment on photojournalism. My eyes were glued to the screen. His pictures captured every moment beautifully! His proper use of the different techniques that he discussed today made all his photos come to life. I will definitely be implementing these techniques whenever I take pictures.

Finally, my group and I are making great progress with setting up interviews and establishing roles for our story. Although there were many great moments today that I could discuss, I think I’ll stop there. I am so excited for all that the rest of this week has in store for me, but that was day two, whoop-de-do!

Mantra, Mr. Rick’s mantra for shooting video [Photo by: Moriah Pettway]

Working toward my future

Today was definitely an experience! I really want to go into broadcast journalism in the future, so working with Ms. Marcy McGinnis and Ms. Connie Conway today to produce a broadcast show was very beneficial to me. Even though I was very nervous at first, I ended up doing my anchor role twice — so by the second time, I was very comfortable, and it furthered my interest in the field of broadcast journalism.

I really liked how flexible today’s schedule was because it gave my group and me time to really work. We now have an interview completed and uploaded onto our shared ClipChamp. We also have another interview scheduled for tomorrow and we are waiting to get some responses for others. Overall, everything is really coming together nicely and I’m excited to see how our story turns out.

My group and I: This is my group and I at the end of our meeting where we discussed our schedule for tomorrow [Photo by Moriah Pettway]