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The Write Stuff

Professor Mario Gonzalez, co-director of the Summer Journalism Institute, shares videography tips with 2017 participants.

Ten Long Island and New York City students from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds have been selected to participate in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication’s 2018 Hofstra High School Summer Journalism Institute, where they will report and write about their communities and learn about careers in media.

The students, who were selected on the basis of academic performance and a demonstrated interest in writing or storytelling, hail from Elmont High School and Freeport High School on Long Island and Midwood High School in Brooklyn.  The weeklong immersive program will be held July 23-28, and is funded by the Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation and the Press Club of Long Island.

“The idea behind the Summer Journalism Institute is to give promising young people a closer look at how exciting the field of journalism can be,” said Scott Brinton, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations and executive editor at the Long Island-based Herald Community Newspapers. “Now, more than ever before, we need professionals of all backgrounds in our nation’s newsrooms to make sure all viewpoints are covered fairly.  The institute’s goal is to encourage students to discover and develop their voice so they can tell the stories that are important to them.”

He and Assistant Professor Mario Gonzalez, a former videojournalist for Newsday, are the Summer Journalism Institute’s co-directors.

This year’s participants are:

Maya Brown — 2018 graduate, Freeport High School

Andrew Candio – rising sophomore, Elmont High School

Hadia Choudhry – rising eighth grader, Elmont Junior High School

Laila Choudhry – 2018 graduate, Elmont High School

Momna Choudhry — rising sophomore, Elmont High School

Haleema Iqbal — rising junior, Midwood High School

Ibrahim Iqbal – 2018 graduate, Midwood High School

Sara-Emily Khan — rising junior, Elmont High School

Nia Matthews — 2018 graduate, Freeport High School

Abimbola Omotade — rising junior, Elmont High School

Students will learn the crafts of interviewing, research, writing, photography, and videography as they work on several assignments during the week. They will tour the Herald Community Papers’ editorial offices, as well as attend lectures by guest speakers including Newsday’s Shawna VanNess, deputy assistant managing editor and Hofstra adjunct professor, and Bobby Cassidy, deputy multimedia editor; Nadya Nataly, editor of the Freeport Herald  Leader; and Michael Otterman, executive director of the nonprofit Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation.  Students will also meet former NBC executive Mark Lukasiewicz, who joined Hofstra this month as the new dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.

The program is part of the Community Journalism Program, which pairs Hofstra graduate students as one-on-one mentors with students in Hempstead High School’s newspaper club during the fall. Both initiatives help fulfill Hofstra’s mission to celebrate diversity and expose young people to college-level work and career opportunities.

Follow the students’ progress and see photos from last year’s program on the Institute’s Facebook page.



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