Budding young journalists from across Long Island were recently honored by LIU Post at its annual Best of High School Journalism awards ceremony on April 8, where the keynote speaker was none other than Anton Media Group’s own Angela Susan Anton.
Students spanning from Westhampton to Queens and everywhere in-between filled the Herbert and Delores Goldsmith Atrium at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for lunch and an awards presentation after receiving tours and interactive media experiences on campus. Each school represented winning entries in the journalism awards contest in categories ranging from best feature, sports story, online publication and more, all pulled from the pages of their own respective school newspapers.
Award ceremony head Carolyn Levin, interim director of the LIU Post journalism program and faculty advisor for the school’s student newspaper, said that this contest is held annually to help support student journalism and that response to this year’s awards on the part of high schoolers island-wide has been overwhelming.
“We had the largest number of entries ever for this awards ceremony. I really didn’t know there would be this level of enthusiasm, and it really shows that journalism is still of interest to high school students,” she said. “The entries we received this year were extraordinary…incredible journalism is being done by these high schools. We had a panel of judges and we have first, second and third place winners in each category, and the editors of The Pioneer—our own LIU Post school paper—are presenting the awards.”
Levin—herself a former editor of Anton Media Group’s Port Washington News—was excited over this year’s keynote speaker as she welcomed her old boss to address the ceremony’s attendees—Angela Susan Anton, publisher of Anton’s 17 local newspapers, along with Long Island Weekly, an arts and entertainment publication, and numerous magazines, special sections and websites. The group of community publications was founded by Anton’s husband, Karl, in 1984.
During her keynote speech, Anton spoke of the importance of cultivating the next generation of intrepid and dedicated journalists to the gathered students.
“I admire and appreciate what you are doing. 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,” she said. “Truthful, well reported stories are essential to making sure that people are informed and that institutions are accountable. You are contributing in a big way to civic life. Truly good journalism is a craft that is well worth the time and effort that you put into it. Thank you for your dedication and commitment. And, congratulations to each and every one of you on a job well done.”
The Tarmac, the school newspaper of Chaminade High School in Mineola, took home two prizes that day—first place for Best Commentary/Editorial and third place for Best Online Publication.
“We’re really happy to have gotten these awards…this is the first year we’ve had the website, so to get any recognition for it already is a great honor,” said Peter Charalambous, the paper’s online editor-in-chief. “It’s really great to see all the hard work by the staff of The Tarmac get rewarded by this ceremony. We have a large staff that works long hours so that we can do quality work and disperse information throughout the entire Chaminade family.”
The members of Jericho High School’s newspaper—The JerEcho—walked home with a whole slew of top awards, including placing first in the Best Sports Story, Best Feature Story, Best News Story and Best Online Publication categories.
Alexis Corbin, who co-wrote the winning Best Feature along with friend Chloe Citron, said that the duo focused on issues surrounding retail clothing chain Urban Outfitters in their article.
“They have a lot of controversies with clothing they were selling. Some of them were promoting anorexia and depression, so we did an entire feature on that,” she said. “We put a lot of effort into it, presenting both sides and getting quotes from multiple sources and it’s really great to get recognized for the work that we did.”
Glen Cove High School’s newspaper, The Cove-er Times, also took home an award in the Best Feature Story, nabbing third place for reporter Isabel Blas’ article entitled “Searching for Our Roots.”
“The article was a flashback to the past newspapers and environment of the school itself. It’s essentially about the origins of Glen Cove High School—what it used to be and what it is now,” she said. “I usually don’t expect to win awards for my work, so being here today and getting this award is very flattering, having your piece recognized and having your work applauded. It’s the best.”