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The Beat Hits a New Note at Purchase College and Inspires a Similar Magazine at SUNY Binghamton

The Beat, Issue 2.

The Beat, Issue 2.

The second act is sometimes the toughest. So the challenge facing student staffers at The Beat this semester was to prove that Purchase College’s new music magazine was no one-hit-wonder.

When the second issue came out earlier this month with an eye-popping Culture Shock front cover, engrossing articles, and spectacular images, the message was clear: The Beat is here to stay.

What’s more, their winning formula of a high-quality student-generated arts and culture publication has inspired a similar publication at SUNY Binghamton, called Impact.

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SUNY Purchase Journalism Student at the Democratic National Convention for NBC

Kyle McKenzie at the Democratic National Convention for NBC

Purchase Journalism senior, Kyle McKenzie, hasn’t even graduated yet and he’s already covered a national political convention. Kyle was down in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention with NBC as a runner.

If you’ve ever met Kyle, you only have to be in his company for a moment and hear his deep booming voice to know that he’s destined for TV. (He entered Purchase as a student in the prestigious Design/Technology program for Stage Management in the Conservatory of Theater Arts, but, as he says, his heart was in journalism, and made the rare move of switching programs.)

He very kindly took a moment to answer a few journoprof questions in an email exchange:

1) Tell me about your gig at NBC: How you got it, how long you’ve been there, what you do?

I started with NBC last January as an intern on the msnbc show ‘NewsNation w Tamron Hall’. There I learned about every facet of the television news industry from anchor-producing to editorial meetings. From there I heard about an opportunity to serve as a runner for the upcoming political conventions. I talked to the people in charge of coordinating the runners, applied and was selected to work the Democratic National Convention.

2) Describe how you found out that you were going to the DNC.

I was eating out with friends in July of this past summer and decided to check my email real quick on my iPhone. I had an email in my inbox so I checked it thinking it was going to be some piece of spam mail, when it was from NBC informing me I was chosen to work the upcoming convention. As you can imagine, I didn’t end up eating much of my lunch as I was just too excited. I kept checking my email to make sure that I read the email correctly…which I did 🙂

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The Power of a Blog Post: How SUNY Purchase Journalism Alum Meghan Lalonde Wrote About, Met Freed “West Memphis Three” Death Row Inmate

Meghan Lalonde (second from left) and Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three (second from right). That's her professor on the far left and a classmate on the far right. (Photo courtesy of Meghan Lalonde.)

This is a really interesting story of how Meghan Lalonde (Class of 2010) wrote a blog post, one thing lead to another, and before she knew it she and a group of her New York Law School classmates were at the apartment of Damien Echols, the most famous of the West Memphis Three, having tea and cookies.

As you may know, the West Memphis Three were wrongfully convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. They served 18 years before their conviction was overturned and they were freed in August. Their case was the subject of a series of Paradise Lost documentaries and a Peter Jackson entry at the Sundance Film Festival.

Meghan, who is in the Law and Journalism program, wrote about the case in a carefully researched blog post The West Memphis Three: An A-Z List of Justice Gone Wrong for her class blog  Legal As She Is Spoke.

Echols, who spent years on death row, liked the post and agreed to meet Meghan and her class. You can tell from her email that it blew her mind!

“It was absolutely surreal. Damien personally thanked me for writing about the case and did the same with another girl who also wrote about it, and gave each of us a hug and a kiss. My professor was losing her mind…Damien was so nice that he brought my professor and I and a few other students over to his apartment afterwards for tea and cookies.”
Meghan’s piece is a painstaking look at the various details of what she says is a gross miscarriage of justice, including the interesting Alford Plea, which, as Meghan’s post notes, “allows a criminal defendant to plead guilty without admitting guilt and maintaining innocence while still acknowledging that prosecutors have enough ‘evidence’ for a conviction.”
 
 
Great story, Meghan!
 

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@RealLifeKaz, Purchase Alum Kazeem Famuyide, Goes From The Source to Hip Hop Wired

Kazeem Famuyide, Senior Editor, Hip Hop Wired

As the Online Editor of The Source, Kazeem Famuyide (Class of 2010) was indeed online – all the time. He has clocked up over 100,000 Tweets and notched up over 6,000 followers.. and counting.

His Twitter scene was abuzz recently with news that he’s leaving The Source to become Senior Editor of Hip Hop Wired.com. And this week he made it official, though he tells me he will continue writing for The Source, something he was doing even as a student in the Purchase journalism program.

When he was interviewed by Susan Varghese (Class of 2010) for Purchase HerCampus two years ago, he was already sounding like a journalist who was going to go far.

“Believe in your craft. Journalism isn’t going anywhere; it’s just going to shift. The good stuff is going to rise to the top anyway.”

ALL the way to the top, Kazeem!

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Self-described “Social Media Junkie” Jessie Biele Returns to Purchase for a Social Media Talk

I learned SO much from my former student Jessie Biele (Class of 2008) today when she came to talk to my Multimedia Tools class about her new social media responsibilities at Patch.com.

She’s a self-described “social media junkie” – and it’s working for her. After editing Mount Vernon, V.A. Patch for two years, she got a bump up and now oversees social media for three Patch sites. Woohoo! So she’s on her iPhone and laptop  constantly using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to generate  reader interaction with the Patch sites. After all, the success of a social media editor is measured in Twitter followers, Facebook fans and reader comments.

We talked about using TweetDeck to time-release your Tweets, because even social media junkies must sleep from time to time. She swears by Linked In and old-fashioned business cards for job-hunting, and encouraged students to have a digital portfolio either on Tumblr or Weebly.

When she’s not working hard for Patch, Jessie’s also studying for her Master’s in Public Communication at American University. (She did confess that she still LOVES Purchase more, though. And was SOOOO happy to be back.)

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“Purchkids” Buckle Up! Here Comes Purch – A New Campus Student Web Mag

Check out Purch. It’s the brainchild of Aaron Kass, a sophomore double majoring in journalism and sociology. He’s put together a team of students and here’s what he said about what they’re up to:

“The magazine covers art, entertainment, fashion, technology, and editorials. Our stories range from campus oriented to things that “Purchkids” are interested in around the world. I got the idea while in Los Angeles over winter break. I didn’t think the other publications on campus had what I wanted so I decided to start my own. So, while still in LA, I got a staff together and started getting an article list together. We had our first budget meeting the week we got back to school and took it from there.

We’re definitely looking for contributors! We also have two editorial positions open- technology and entertainment editors.

The magazine is a monthly publication. It will be posted online to save both paper and money.

I haven’t published anything before this. I worked on my high school newspaper and learned how to use the layout program, Quark Xpress. For this, I used Adobe InDesign. I taught myself how to use it, mostly by trial and error.

They have a great tmblr blog where you can watch this video of their first photo shoot:

Is that you on fashion, Cailey Rizzo?!!!!

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Prof. Breen Takes Her Journalism Junior Seminar Students to The Journal News

Journal News Investigative Reporter Jorge Fitz-Gibbon talking to Purchase Journalism Students

Purchase Journalism Prof. Virginia Breen took more than two dozen Purchase journalism majors to The Journal News at media giant Gannett’s Harrison offices Wednesday, and saw firsthand how the digital revolution and economic downturn are changing the industry.

“Ten years ago, we couldn’t meet in this area because it was filled with sports reporters,” said veteran police and municipal reporter Rich Liebson. “They’re all gone now.”

While layoffs and restructuring have resulted in a leaner staff at the Lower Hudson Valley multi-media company, local content editor Joe McDonald noted that The Journal News has several editorial openings for reporters with “innovative spirits,” adept at using digital tools.

“How we do our jobs keeps changing,” McDonald said. “Our reporters don’t just write print stories, but generate content for all our platforms.” As he spoke, a staffer delivered new iPhone 4S’s to the newsroom, which reporters would use to shoot video packages and file stories from the field.

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Elyse Mickalonis, SUNY Purchase Journalism Alum, Gets Job as Video Journalist at Your News Now

Elyse Mickalonis, photo courtesy of YNN

The thing I remember first about Elyse Mickalonis was the great story idea she pitched for her senior project while in my Journalism Junior Seminar. It was a look, through video, at drive-in movie theaters in upstate New York. Under the guidance of SUNY Journalism Prof. Mary Alice Williams, it turned into a memorable senior project.

Now, Mickalonis has taken her talents as a video journalist to the Binghamton newsroom of Your News Now, a network of local cable news channels owned by Time Warner Cable. She started her job there earlier this year. She’s added social media to her repertoire and Tweeting up a storm. But some things haven’t changed: according to her profile, she’s still into drive-ins. We’re proud of you, Elyse! Stay in touch.

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New York Times Reporter, Alan Schwarz, Visits Purchase to Discuss Groundbreaking Series Linking Football Concussions to Dementia

Alan Schwarz of the New York Times in the Purchase Humanities Theater

Alan Schwarz’s extraordinary series of more than 100 articles for The New York Times about the dangers of concussions in the N.F.L got him nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, prompted Congress to act, and revolutionized the thinking about sports-related head injuries.

On Wednesday, invited in by Journalism Professor Andrew Salomon, Schwarz gave a gripping talk to students gathered in the Humanities Theater describing in detail how he used his math background and comfort with statistics to prove a link between concussions and dementia.

A career baseball writer before he took on the N.F.L concussion story, Schwarz concluded the session by signing and selling his books.

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