By Hayley Rydowski
On Friday, April 8, the journalism program in the Media Arts Department welcomed high school students from Nassau, Suffolk and Queens County for the Best of High School Journalism Awards. The awards acknowledged the best of high school journalists. Multiple student winners were recognized in six different categories, including Best Commentary/Editorial, Best Sports Story, Best Feature Story, Best News Story, Best Online Publication and Best High School Newspaper.
Dr. Barbara Fowles, chairperson of the department of media arts, said, “The awards intend to recognize young talent and encourage future practitioners to hone their journalistic skills throughout high school and beyond.” Maura Venice, the editor of Anton Media Group’s Port Washington News, and one of the judges for the awards, stated how surprised she was at the quality of the entries. “I was beyond impressed with the writing of these students; they’re only in high school and most of them are writing on a college level. It was very hard to decide winners.”
The first place award for Best High School Newspaper went to the Hewlett Spectrum from George W. Hewlett High School. The first place award for Best Online Publication went to The JerEcho of Jericho High School. Gianna Barberia, a senior at Half Hollow Hill High School, won two awards, in the Best Commentary/Editorial and Best News Story categories. Barberia is the editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and was a participant in the LIU Post Summer Honors Journalism Institute in July 2015. As a participant in the LIU Post Summer Honors Journalism Institute, Barberia gained hands on experience reporting on campus and during a field trip to the New York Times headquarters. The program confirmed her passion to pursue a career path in journalism. She will be majoring in journalism when she begins college in the fall.
Before the award ceremony and luncheon in the Tilles Center, the nearly 200 high school students participated in interactive learning experiences at the LIU Post media outlets, WCWP, PTV, the Pioneer, and the digital gaming labs.
The keynote speaker at the luncheon, Angela Susan Anton, editor and publisher of Anton Media Group, told the high school journalists, “What you do matters! Our world today is filled with a great deal of misinformation, rumors, gossip and hype. By working hard to report and publish accurate, factual and truthful information, you are truly making your high schools and the world a better place.”
The Best of High School Journalism Awards Day was an exceptional experiential learning experience for LIU Post media students, who ran workshops, organized the event, led the groups, and presented the awards certificates. For more information about the awards, go to www. liu.edu/hsja or view the LIU Post Department of Communications and Film Facebook page.