On February 28th, The Wheatley Wildcat editorial staff attended the 2018 Quill Awards and Press Day at Adelphi University. It was a day full of fun and learning in which high school reporters were able to learn more about journalism and newspaper writing. This annual event, held at the Ruth S. Harley University Center, had almost 300 students from 27 different high schools from Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Queens. The day began with an insightful panel presentation about the effects of “Fake News.” The panelists were Rebecca Baker, the President of the Society of Professional Journalists, Mark Grabowski, the Associate Professor of Journalism at Adelphi, Liza N. Burby, Brian Cogan, Salvatore J. Fallica, and Mark Grabowski. They discussed what “Fake News” really is and how to avoid it, as a journalist. This was followed by a Q & A session with the audience. The topic is controversial which made the discussion even better.
After, the students were split up and were assigned to groups for breakout sessions. Students who write for their school newspapers examined the struggles and issues they face when writing. The students spoke about the restrictions they have on what they write, how they get more readers, and ways to keep improving school newspapers. This was a great part of the day because the students were able to learn from others so they could bring ideas back to their school and use them in the future. A highlight of the day was the lunch box tower that Kenton and Abhishek built after lunch, which was very amusing to all the other students in the auditorium.
The day concluded with the Quill Awards Presentation to recognize the great reporting and writing being done for high school newspapers. This year, there were 15 categories which included Best Photograph, Best News Article, Best Online Newspaper, Best Online Writing, and Most Outstanding Newspaper. The Wheatley Wildcat entered into six categories this year, and the submissions were reviewed by judges over the course of a few months. In the past, The Wildcat has won many awards including Best Photograph, Best Opinion Piece, and Most Outstanding Newspaper. Since this year is the first year that The Wildcat is an online “paper” the editorial staff was a little anxious about their chances of winning anything. When they announced The Wildcat as 2nd place for the Best Online Newspaper, everyone was overjoyed. Being online presented some challenges, especially in the first year, but the staff’s hard work was recognized at the Quill Awards! The Wildcat proved its potential this year and will just be getting better in the future!