Syracuse Journalism Workshop

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One Lucky DMAE Junior Accepted

One could say it is human nature to rise to the occasion, put aside doubt and say yes. But it is not easy. When junior Aneeka Ayyar was the only one of seven DMAE students to be accepted into the 18th annual Diversity in Journalism Workshop at Syracuse University this year, she had a different picture in her mind.

“When I found out I was accepted, I was not sure I wanted to go alone,” she admitted. “I thought someone else would be accepted as well,” she said.

But she rose to the occasion and even became excited.

“I realized that I wanted to go to the workshop because it seemed like a lot of fun,” Aneeka said. “And I also wanted to experience living on a college campus.”

It was a great opportunity to learn about journalism and there is something to be said when one can do that and take off three days from school. So Aneeka became one of 21 northern New Jersey students given an all-inclusive trip to the S. I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, one of the top communication schools in the country. The workshop was held Nov. 14 – 17. Of those 21 students who attended the workshop, Aneeka was the only junior; all the others were seniors.

Candidates for the workshop were chosen carefully. Interested students had to write two essays, one about the importance of diversity in a newsroom and the other about why he or she wanted to pursue a career in communications. Competition was steep and only the applicants with the best essays were accepted.

The students who were accepted were able to live on the Syracuse University campus and experience life as a college student. They also attended journalism classes, participated in writing and reporting workshops conducted by college professors, toured the university, and attended student activities.

“One of my favorite classes was a journalism class where we had to write a seven-hundred word article in three hours,” Aneeka said. “After we wrote our articles we got the chance to get one-on-one feedback from a real journalist. He was so impressed by our articles, and called us really talented which really boosted my confidence in my writing skills.”

The event is never a letdown for any of the students. For some, like Aneeka, what they took out of the experience the most was living a college life and being more independent. It was also a chance to experience things outside of academics.

“One of my favorite experiences was watching a Bhangra competition, an Indian dance competition, between different colleges. It was the most exciting thing I’ve done in a long time,” Aneeka said.

This Diversity in Journalism Workshop at Syracuse is sponsored by The Record to create a bridge for interested newswriting students to test out the field of journalism as a career choice. In addition, The Record also sponsors a Journalism Workshop at its offices in May. Interested students should see Ms. Clark.