Argus Wins Best School Newspaper in NYC
By RREZE KADRIJAJ and XIN ZHEN
Excitement filled the room as Midwood’s Argus won first place for Best Overall School Newspaper during the 15th annual Journalism Conference at Baruch College on November 9.
Individual students also won awards for articles they wrote for the Argus. All awards were given to former juniors for work they did in their journalism classes.
Under the Entertainment and Arts division, Kris Lee ’19 won third place for her article “Meow Parlour Café Attracts Cat Lovers,” written in February.
Lee said, “It was totally unexpected. But winning this award has been a delightful experience, and I’m grateful for it.”
“Latin’s Comeback Might Be Around the Corner,” by Daniel Contreras ’19, Cindy Wang ’19, and Reem Hamaida ’19, won second place in the School News division. The article was published in the April issue of the Argus.
Cindy Wang ’19 said, “I was really surprised when I found out I was nominated. The article that made the nomination was actually the first article I wrote that made it in Argus.”
Hamaida also won second place with Nefretari Powell ’19 in the Sports division for their article “D1 Colleges Offer Opportunities to Athletes” from the June issue.
The city-wide event was hosted by the New York Scholastic Press Association. The conference included dozens of other schools. Hundreds of student journalists submitted articles for award consideration. Former Midwood journalism teacher Catherine Kaczmarek also attended the event as a chaperone.
Throughout the conference, students were able to attend multiple workshops of their choice lead by college professors and professional journalists. Before students began their workshops, they listened to guest speakers. After each speaker’s presentation, students were able to go up to three microphones to ask follow-up questions.
The day began with guest speaker Mr. Myles Miller, a NY1 Investigative Reporter who spoke about his beginnings and journey as an investigative reporter. He covered many important issues such as the Chelsea bombing and the inauguration of President Donald Trump. He encouraged students to stay informed because they can still make an impact on their community, even at a young age, he said.
Argus editor Brandon Kong ’19 said, “During my time there, I learned that journalism isn’t just limited to having good writing skills. It also involves many other things such as data and statistics. In fact, Miles Myler stated that he also didn’t have ‘good writing skills,’ but it was the investigative process and being able to interview a wide variety of people that interested him.”
Ms. RueZalia Watkins, an Education Services Specialist at Vibrant Emotional Health, was the final guest speaker of the day. Watkins informed students about a new program that requires health teachers to teach about mental health more deeply.
The conference not only provided new information to aspiring journalists but also placed them in a setting where they could meet and learn from a variety of different journalists from other schools and improve themselves.
Following the guest speakers came a selection of workshops. The Associated Press Style Smackdown workshop showed students how to be accurate and consistent with grammar, and the Lightning Ledes workshop taught students to grab the reader’s attention in 25 words or less.
“The story incubator workshop I attended was very relatable,” Powell said. “I was reminded of how difficult it was to create a story from a general topic. It gave me insight and a new way to approach the article and the things I should ask myself before turning it into a story.”