High school journalists and their advisors attended the 15th annual Press Day and Quill Awards.

Reporter Jason Molinet, Professors Mark Grabowski, Sal Fallica and Paul Thaler.

L to R: Reporter Jason Molinet, Professors Mark Grabowski, Sal Fallica and Paul Thaler.

Some 300 high school journalists and their advisors jammed the ballroom at the University Center for the 15th annual Press Day and Quill Awards, the largest outreach event at Adelphi, and one that continues to grow both in popularity and recognition. Vying for the prestigious Quill Award for outstanding journalism were 25 High Schools from Long Island and Queens.

“I’m not sure what other venue on campus could accommodate even more students than we had at the UC this year,” says Paul Thaler, communications department chair and host of the event. “But this is a terrific problem to have as Press Day has grown each year while compelling even more high schools to attend.”

The event featured a host of activities beginning with a panel discussion and ending with the presentation of student journalism awards. The subject of this year’s panel, “Getting the News from Elsewhere,” examined the influence that television satirists, such as Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, have had on audiences looking for alternate sources for their news and commentary.

“This is the media world we live in,” says Sal Fallica, an adjunct in the department and a panelist for Press Day. “The fragmented media landscape allows significant news and information to be overshadowed by overtly biased data that propagates with impunity.”

Panelists also included journalists from the New York Daily News, the Source, Vibe Magazine, and MYLITV, and professors Mark Grabowski and Fallica, both of whom have regularly contributed to the event in years past.

Breakout sessions following the panel gave students the chance to speak openly, and bluntly, about the pressures that they face at times in producing their own school newspaper.

Jimmy Bie, Hauppague High School Winner

Jimmy Bie, Hauppauge High School Winner

“I was reminded just how brave and dedicated these student journalists are,” says Fallica, who led one of the breakout discussions. ”Students talked about censorship from authorities, and trying to build their readership in the face of apathy and other distractions.”

The afternoon was highlighted by the presentation of the Quill Awards. The ceremony has grown in prestige over the past decade, with scores of students vying to win in one of the 15 categories that make up the presentation. For the first time, two high schools tied for first place in the important category of “Best High School Newspaper for 2015” — The Wildcat, of Wheatley High School and Guide Post, of Great Neck North High School.

“The students are passionate about journalism.” says Mark Grabowski, “The press’s future is in good hands.”

The event was organized by the university’s Office of Marketing and Creative Services. The marketing team pulled off the event without a hitch, receiving high marks from those attending.

“Much credit has to go to Heather Matos,” says Thaler, speaking of the new university assistant marketing director, who was hired for the post just a few weeks prior to the event. “Heather worked tirelessly to pull the pieces together of this complicated event. She was just outstanding.”

This article appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of The Front Page, the Department of Communications newsletter.

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