Hornets Attend Journalism Conference

By Damali Ramirez ‘18

Hunter College High School gave students the opportunity to explore the journalism world with first hand experience and journalists from different publications on April 22.

Students arrived at 9:30-9:45 a.m to register and then were welcomed by keynote speaker, Mrs. Judith Matloff. The conference offered three 45 minute sessions, lunch in the cafeteria, and cookies towards the end.    

Mrs. Matloff, a journalism teacher from Columbia University, started the conference at 10 a.m. She informed students about her career as an international affairs and freelance journalist. Mrs. Matloff has traveled to 62 countries such as Mexico, Britain, Russia, and several African nations.

The first lesson she gave students was to have “top edge tools” because it’ll make reporting on the spot easier. She emphasized the importance of sources in her second lesson because the accuracy of information a source gives to a journalist makes the story.

“Go with the flow. Don’t grab the big stories,” she stated in her third lesson. Mrs. Matloff believes it’s better to be known as the go/to person for a certain subject than someone who bounces from topic to topic.

Her fourth tip was to be accurate and to verify every little detail in a story. This helps create credibility as a journalist and forms a good reputation in the industry.

“Take risks! Be curious but thorough,” was her final advice.

The first session offered five workshops such as legal and ethical issues of journalism, sports writing and reporting, science and tech writing, documentary filmmaking, and conflict and international reporting.

Rachel Goryachkovskiy ‘18 said, “I thought that the session with Louis Alvarez (documentary film making) was very informative. He said: always make your subject comfortable, never stop rolling the cameras because you may miss something extraordinary, and that our job is to document the importance of something.”

Afterwards, students went to the lunch buffet for an hour. There, they communicated with other students from different schools and bonded about journalism.

Political opinion writing, business writing and reporting, food writing, photojournalism and photo editing, and politics and television news were options for the second session.

Mrs. Ruth Simon, a journalist from the Wall Street Journal, and Ms. Gabrielle Solomon, a journalist for CNN Money were the guest speakers for business writing and reporting.

They stated that connecting business in everyday tasks increases the reader’s attention because it’s a topic they can relate to.

“Understand numbers and what it means, then connect them to the real world,” said Mrs. Simon.

Often times when Solomon and Simon don’t understand a topic or the numbers, they’ll ask their sources numerous questions and call them again to verify the facts.

Political reporting in a post-factual era, writing about television, the research and editing process, covering race in journalism, and creating podcasts were the last session.

“I enjoyed the covering race session because the journalists gave us valuable insight on their writing careers and future advice. I found it to be very interesting for those reasons,” said Nicole Gelfman ‘18.

Ms. Annie Correal and Ms. Sandra Stevenson discussed their careers and offered young newspapers writers advice. They both work for The New York Times and presented their work to the audience.

While talking about her job, Ms. Correal talked about avoiding the negativity in racial history and always focus on the story.

“If you can’t hear how people talk, they’ll never talk to you,” said Ms.Correal as she explained how her article “Love and Black Lives, in Pictures Found on a Brooklyn Street” became a success.

The conference helped expand horizons in journalism as a career and gave useful tips for future reference.  

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