Ten students — eight from Elmont Memorial High School and two from Hempstead High — recently took part in Hofstra University’s annual High School Summer Journalism Institute, led by Professors Scott Brinton and Peter Goodman, the institute’s co-directors.
The program was funded by grants from the New York Press Association and Press Club of Long Island.
Throughout the weeklong program, students learned how to research, write and polish news and feature stories about issues facing their schools, families and communities. They worked side by side with Brinton and Goodman, and then pitched their stories at the end of the week for possible publication on liherald.com, the website of Herald Community Newspapers, for which Brinton is executive editor. Students also attended mini-workshops with local journalists as well as faculty members from the Herbert School.
The students came from diverse racial, cultural and economic backgrounds. The intent of the program is to increase exposure to and interest in the news among young people of color in the hope that they might enter the journalism field one day in the near future. A recent University of Pennsylvania study found that minority journalists comprise only 5 percent of local newsrooms across the country, although higher numbers were reported in major metropolitan areas.
“The Summer Journalism Institute is intense, fast-paced and just plain fun. The idea is to expose young people to what I believe is the most amazing field there is — journalism,” said Brinton, who is PCLI’s vice president. “Young people are the future of the profession, and we need people of all backgrounds in our nation’s newsrooms to make sure that we are fairly and honestly covering everyone. That’s what the institute is all about.”
Institute participants were selected on the basis of academic performance and a demonstrated interest in writing or storytelling. They were:
“The Institute gives students a head start in entering a field that, especially today, is very important to the way our society functions, and is crucial to understanding our world and finding ways to improve the lives of all Americans,” Goodman said.
During the week, students: