On Oct. 5, members of The Circle and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) teamed up to attend an information session hosted by Stu Shinske, executive editor at The Poughkeepsie Journal.

The session began with students getting the opportunity to introduce themselves to both Shinske, as well as each other. As part of the introductions, students revealed “unpublished facts” about themselves, one of which included one student who been babysat by Taylor Swift.

Shinske started off the visit by stressing how the organization is able to keep up with the ever changing times through modernization by using technology to centralize content around the audience. He showed students the newsroom’s high tech online tracking system and how the news team gathers knowledge based on what interests readers most. dsc_0870

Shinske then took The Circle and SPJ through a series of activities that altogether demonstrated what works in journalism and what makes journalists stand out in their field.

“The difference between a stenographer and a reporter is that a stenographer just tells you what’s happening, but a reporter tells you why would should care,” shares Shinske.

He helped the Marist students recognize what useful skills lie in skepticism, combined with a strategic eye and analytical thinking. He implemented exercises by conducting a workshop in which the group decided who they would interview if they were to writing pieces concerning the Poughkeepsie clowns, or perhaps Hurricane Matthew. These brief workshops illustrated the importance of getting in touch with the right people and how to create the most effective story through these connections.

Shinske noted that passion is key for success in journalism. He elaborated that his career choice sparked from a fascination with people and getting to know people and their stories. When asked how to keep young people passionate about journalism in an age of technology, Shinske commented that we must keep ethics in the art of reporting and, in addition, make people see the different forms of journalism that lie in social media and broadcast.

The Circle news editor, Adriana Belmonte and The Poughkeepsie Journal executive editor Stu Shinske

The Circle news editor, Adriana Belmonte and The Poughkeepsie Journal executive editor Stu Shinske

Journalism, in it of itself, is a form of art. It takes much application of thought and applying thought to words in order to master it. Some perceive journalism as the simple, “who, what when, where, and why” text that merely states the daily bulletin, but it is much more than that. Journalism is a complex process told through storytelling that invokes the human consciousness to notice the world around them and invites them to learn about what is going on in this world.

Communications students at Marist College are exposed to this notion in numerous ways through their coursework, but this past Wednesday some had the opportunity to see the art of journalism in its natural habitat.

The trip to The Poughkeepsie Journal was, by far, a greatly rewarding experience. Many valuable lessons were taught within the little time students shared with Shinske, and the trip was truly an eye opening experience into the artistry of journalism.

On behalf of SPJ and The Circle, I would like to thank Stu Shinske and the staff at The Poughkeepsie Journal for their hospitality and their sage insight. The trip was enjoyed by all and, indeed, a great success.


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  1. One again Ali you aced it.. you all did congrats on a well writen paper. .

  2. Julia Slaney

    Fantastic! Seeing what future options are available. Very interesting

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