A camp’s end

Today was a good ending to my current Greene team membership. Throughout the day I struggled with trying to extend my team’s print piece but eventually gave in to the fact that the content I had was enough. Today was also beneficial because I learned about hosting a Zoom meeting to get a last-minute interview in, learned about this college from our guest speaker, refreshed my perception of the college admissions process from our second guest speaker, and finalized the places I desire to work in from our final guest speaker. So, overall camp was really great. I am getting a lot of experience and made some finalized answers about my choices when it comes to going into this field.

A time of necessary growth

The second to last day of Greene week was a stressful but insightful one. For most of the day, I had a hard time knowing what my group needs to complete this project.

At first, I struggled with communicating and coordinating roles with both the instructors and the group members because I didn’t know how to tell them what happened with how the interview went. However, the guest lecture was interesting because it made me reflect on why I love journalism and how it can feel empowering to stand out in a newsroom because I may be the only one of my kind there who does this for a reason others might not share.

Eventually, as the day went on it got a little hectic because I struggled with the nerve to ask the Greene alum that I interviewed to do something that she was sensitive to. The biggest part of the day was when the instructors motivated me to reach out to interview someone to who I hesitated to reach out because I was worried that the request would be denied because many of my peers got requests shot down.

Nevertheless, and with some encouragement from the instructors, I reached out and was lucky to get it accepted. So overall this day was good because I was able to overcome my struggles of setting up interviews and learned some new article writing skills after sending the email to the person I hesitated to reach out to.

An interesting start

It has been a really strange but good first day of Greene Week. So during the first part, I had a good time listening to our guest speaker’s lecture about experiences working at a news station, which began to make me think that news stations can just be as interesting as a magazine outlet. Later in the day, I was forced to leave the second half to go to something. In the end, I felt that the first day of Greene week was okay because even though it missed something I got what I wanted to hear out of the day.

News doesn’t stop on campus

By Tyler Wong
Millennium Brooklyn High School

Campus media was hit hard during the pandemic. (Photo by Miles Reese)

COVID-19 has taken millions of lives worldwide but also impacted small institutions including the Statesman, Stony Brook University’s main student publication. Due to the pandemic and now having to stay at home, the Statesman was forced to stop its print version.

“We announced on instagram when COVID broke out in March when it first hit it was the first time we went off of print for the first time in 63 years,” said Brianne Ledda, the Statesman’s former editor-in-chief, “it was really chaotic.” 

Aside from the forced change, the pandemic was also a good opportunity for the Statesman to update its norms. “On the other hand, we were able to expand the Statesman’s multimedia capabilities,” Ledda said.  

“We launched a weekly newsletter,” Ledda said. “Things continued to evolve.” 

When the pandemic hit it forced entire governments to lockdown countries. The lockdowns created ghost towns and cleared campuses, leaving student news outlets like the Statesman unable to cover the news like they normally would. 

“We went remote and lost the ability to collaborate,” Ledda said. “It wasn’t quite the same.” 

Aside from institutions, several campus staff members were also shocked by the need to pivot to a new mode of operation. Isobel-Breheny Schafer, Assistant Director of Student Media and general manager of WUSB 90.1 and 107.3 FM, said that the campus’ media rose to the challenge of having to adjust to new norms. 

“The fact that they were already working in a multimedia mindset made it easier,” Schafer said.  

However, with things opening back up, several campus institution members are beginning to see a silver lining when it comes to getting back to normal and being able to once again conventionally cover the news. Sara Ruberg, current editor-in-chief of the Statesman said that it is going to be tough getting back into the normal workflow.

“We are all going to be very busy when school starts,” Ruberg said. “It’s going to be interesting coming back and reinventing the wheel with our news staff.”

Shian-James Harden and Chloe Findlay contributed to this report. 

Liliana Stella: a desire to share the truth

By Tyler Wong
Millennium Brooklyn High School

Journalism has been a long-time interest of Liliana Stella.

“Journalism allows me to build a platform for myself and share my opinion freely,”
said the 16-year-old Greenvale resident who attends North Shore High School. “I love journalism’s impact on communities. Journalism allows people’s stories to be heard and motivates people to do better, and that’s something I want to be a part of.” 

Liliana is involved in many school activities. “I am a member of my school’s dance team, I write for my school’s newspaper, and I am president of the Italian club,” she said. 

Liliana has had an interest in journalism since middle school. “There was this extra-credit assignment, and I really wanted to do it, and once I did it I developed a deep love for it,” she said. “Journalism has been a contributing factor in building my confidence.” 

She is interested in both print and broadcast journalism and has big plans regarding who she wants to become in the news business. She envisions herself as a writer and television news reporter because she loves meeting and talking to people and being on camera.

“I perceive the field of journalism as a field that is diverse, and it can reach out into almost anything,” she said. “And journalists have the biggest responsibility, which is to share the truth.” 

Liliana applied to the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists because “I like to learn new writing skills that are not so formal.”

Most of the people in Stella’s life also think highly of her as a person and as an aspiring writer. Her friend Keira Jensen, who is also very involved in what she does both inside and outside of school, said “We are involved in a program together called Buddy Club. It is a club where we work with kids from North Shore Middle School who have different disabilities and help them become more comfortable socializing with their peers,” Keira said. “We do different things with them to get them engaged like games, making cards, etc.”

Keira described Liliana as “an amazing writer. She has a great vocabulary and imagination.” 

Stella’s family, specifically Rosa Stella, her mother, believe that the Greene program could help her expand on her passion. 

“Her passion for journalism started since she was in middle school and her writing continues to evolve and improve,” Stella said. “Her articles are intriguing to all audiences and very well developed.” Stella also perceives her daughter to be a great learner. “Liliana is very inquisitive, likes to think outside of the box, and is an extremely motivated student as well as a writer.”

Much to learn during day 2

Today I learned how to begin writing a news article. That begins with setting up interviews: how to request one and respond to an acceptance email.

Next I learned about the formatting and developed my understanding of grammar.

Then we moved on to discussing various photography and video recording techniques. It sounded a little complicated, but I got it once the day ended. So, overall, today was hard in terms of attempting to stay focused during the long talks and OK because I was able to learn a lot about writing a story and how to gather the material to create that story.

A complicated but beneficial third day

What a weird way to go about my third day at Greene. For one, I had a really strange experience while using Skype for the first time. Throughout our lesson, my Internet kept fading out and it caused some coordination issues when trying to learn how to be an anchor.

Those coordination issues ranged from me having to try to use the Padcaster tripod to put my web camera on to having to do a rerun of it. However, towards the end of the day things got better. I learned how to take it upon myself to secure a role and learned how to conduct an interview that looked to have been not what you have had expected it to be.

During the second half of the day, I learned from my group that we didn’t assign roles to the annual Greene week project. Knowing that, I wanted to take initiative while trying to improve article writing. I announced that I would be writing the project’s print section. I was lucky enough to keep the position after we went into breakout rooms where the other members said that they were okay with me taking the post.

What really enlightened this strange day was that I was able to interview a Greene alum for the project. This also helped the others move forward in the project once we all got on board since I missed our first meeting and I wasn’t as present during the second one. It really got better when I interviewed that Greene alum and improved my skills by jumping in less, letting that Greene alum get what she needed to say out and using this interview to believe in myself.

I also learned that I need to take charge with less advisement from a higher-up. My day certainly improved as I gained interviewing experience and learned the importance of coordination.