Baruch College 2019 Newsies Awards


First Place:  Francis Lewis High School, Brandon Yam, “Homelessness at Francis Lewis: One Student’s Story”

Second Place: Eximius College Preparatory Academy, Brittany Aubain and Teri Vinales, “Breaking the charts or hearts? A behind-the-scenes look at drugs in the music industry

Judge: Christine McKenna is an online editor, multimedia producer and new media instructor at Lehman College.

Judge’s Comments:

Homelessness at Francis Lewis: One Student’s Story is a compelling, poignant profile which illuminates a larger problem, that of homeless students. It is elegantly written, well-researched, supported with data and a range of sources. The copy flows, is clear, clean, and free of grammar errors.

In Breaking the charts or hearts? student reporters reach out to music professionals and fans to gauge the pervasiveness and impact of drug use in the industry. They combine these source interviews with statistics on drug references in songs and analysis of lyrics to support their arguments.

Illustration/Comics/Political Cartoon: 

First Place: Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Zelinette Estrada, Two part series entitled This is America (with two original drawings.)

Second Place: Midwood High School, Jerry Aneke, “The Anti-Climactic Life of Anna”

Judge: Jonathan Bartlett, from Brooklyn NY, is an illustrator whose work for a wide range of magazines, books, and advertising campaigns has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, Spectrum, and The One Club for Creativity. He has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, Illustration as Visual Essay program and teaches at both the Fashion Institute of Technology and School of Visual Arts, and serves on the Board of Directors at the Society of Illustrators.

Judge’s Comments:

Zelinette Estrada.   This set of images capture the essence of what an editorial illustration should be. With a juxtaposition of symbols and the use of surrealism the artist takes the written word to new creative levels. I look at those images and immediately have an idea of the story that is being told– that takes a lot of skill and sharp ability to not just record, but intemperate an author’s intention in your own way.

Jerry Aneke.  This strip is quite enjoyable– Its beautifully drawn, tells relatable stories, and has a good sense of self deprecating humor. I admire the authors ability to tell their own story and handle that in a narrative format. I do think some of the stories are slightly stronger than others, but my favorite is definitely Turkey Trot!

“I want to emphasize that every artist included here is talented and has a bright future. editorial illustration can be SO many different things. Sometimes it’s a visual record like a court sketch, other times an interpretation of the news, and even other times it can be completely self authored. Really, the possibilities are endless which makes judging a diverse group of art difficult. In the end I did select winners, but I truly enjoyed all the entries and admire each artist for their creative ability.”

Multimedia News Reporting/Broadcast

First Place:   Harry S Truman High School, What’s the Point: Up in Smoke

 Second Place:  Francis Lewis High School, Reporters: Kayleigh Duran, Jennifer Hernandez, and Brandon Jackson

Hanne Liebmann, Holocaust Survivor, Visits Francis Lewis High School:

Judge: Vera Haller is an associate professor of journalism at CUNY’s Baruch College. She is also an active freelance journalist, covering New York City news as well as foreign immigration stories. Among the publications she writes for are The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post, The New York Times and The Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Judge’s Comments:

What’s the Point: Up in Smoke: Excellent in-depth coverage of a topical subject, e-cigarettes and vaping.  Story was well organized and students ventured off campus, interviewing smoke-shop owners and even a doctor at Jacobi Medical Center. Student reporters covered different angles of the story, including an interview with a student who began vaping after becoming intrigued with smoke trick videos on YouTube.  Together, the segments resulted in a comprehensive news feature that provided an important service to student viewers.

Hanne Liebmann, Holocaust Survivor, Visits Francis Lewis High School:  This video report about a Holocaust survivor’s visit to the school effectively captured the emotions that the woman’s speech evoked in students. The story wove together clips of her speech with interviews with students describing how her story moved them. It was a powerful news report, and student editors displayed excellent production skills.

National/World News with a Local Lens

 First Place: Eximius College Preparatory Academy, Loraine Nunez and Ana Dakins, “CDC: Vaping puffs up in popularity – A harmless habit or clouded judgment”

Second Place:  Edward R. Murrow High School, Aaliyah Hinckson, “The Measles Outbreak: How Important is the Vaccination?”

The Measles Outbreak: How Important is Vaccination?


Judge:  Lonnie Isabel, writer and journalism educator, is the former deputy managing editor of Newsday, where he was responsible for supervising the national, foreign, state, Washington, health and science staffs.  He has taught journalism at CUNY and Columbia University for 12 years, and has led a workshop  at Baruch’s NYC High School Journalism Conference for a several years

 Judge’s Comments:  “The was a hard contest to judge because there were outstanding entries.  There was rich reporting, research and effective writing about some complicated subjects.  New York City high school journalism is alive and thriving. So glad to see it..”

CDC: Vaping Puffs Up in Popularity:  Through skillful weaving of scientific data and quotes from students, the reporters examined the vaping crisis from a much-needed youth perspective, describing the allure and danger of vaping and the ease of underage teens in purchasing the deadly devices.  Several of the students blamed local merchants and suggested they should be investigated for selling vaping devices to underage kids.  The story is richly reported and skillfully written.

The Measles Outbreak: A classic example of a well-executed localization of a national issue—the measles outbreak.  The reporter found all the right sources—students, teachers, the school nurse and administrators to give readers a good picture of efforts at her school to prevent the spread of measles and used clear and precise language to put the issue in context.

Opinion/Editorial Writing

First Place:  Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, Anna Rhoads, “Assessing the College Admissions Scandal”…missions-scandal/

Second Place: Edward R. Murrow High School, Cielo Castanada, “Not Your Common Teen Life”

Judge:  Josh Greenman is a member of the Daily News editorial board and the paper’s opinion editor, overseeing the op-ed page.

Judge’s Comments:

“Anna Rhoads’ essay for MCSM Rampage on Operation Varsity Blues and broader injustices in college admissions is angry, well-reasoned and timely. It is animated by a strong sense of justice.

“Cielo Castanada’s essay on her pregnancy for The Murrow Network was deeply personal and thoughtful. She deserves praise for her courage.”


 First Place:  Midwood High School, Justin Chow, “Research Students Debut Findings at Science Fair”

Second Place:  Francis Lewis High School, Cadence Ma and Emily Chen, “92nd Annual Memorial Day Parade: FLHS Commemorates Veterans”

Judge:  Emily Johnson is an assistant professor of journalism at Baruch College and a multimedia journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, PRI’s The World, Agence France-Press (AFP), and on CNN.

Judge’s Comments:

“Chow’s image makes excellent use of layers to provide context and internally frames its subject in an animated, active moment. This well-composed photo and clear, informative caption would be publishable in a major newspaper.

“Cadence Ma and Emily Chen together provide a nice variety of photos, and their captions demonstrate thorough reporting and attention to detail. Their standout images make nice use of the leading lines and patterns created by the cadets standing in formation.”

School News

 First Place:  Edward R. Murrow High School, Taylor Greenspan and Aaliyah Hinckson, School Lunch: The Value of Meals for Murrowites

Second Place:  The Clinton School, Gracey Brouillard, Clinton’s New Bathroom Policy

Judge:  Ernest R. Sotomayor, is the Dean of Student Affairs & Communications and Director of Latin America Initiatives at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Judge’s Comments:

“My clear winner is the story by Edward R. Murrow High School about students needing food from the school lunch programs.

“The story hit close to home for the students, included data that gave the report some perspective beyond just this one high school, and it was clear what the reporters were trying to accomplish — detailing how dire nutrition is for some students. In compiling the report, the journalists  spoke to dieticians, students, workers in the cafeteria, providing more than a half dozen different views to support this story. Among the entries, it was the most relevant for students, and the quintessential story for any high school newspaper. Well done.”

“My second choice was the piece by Clinton High School about the closing of the bathrooms.

“Given the  high profile that the issue of vaping by young people has taken, this was an important story for a high school to examine, and the story provided an explanation for why school officials, though seemingly reluctantly, limited student access to the restrooms. But the story also gauged what the student reactions have been to the closing, as well as the impact on both students and the school administration. It seemed well balanced, and this story also had lots of relevance to the student of Clinton High.”


 First Place: Midwood High School, Anisa Kaloshi and Elizabeth Vool,
“Boys Baseball Focuses on Becoming Better Men”

Second Place: Bard High School Early College Manhattan, Darya Foroohar, “Cross Country Season Wraps Up With a Stellar Season for BHSEC’s Team”

Judges:  Joshua Mills is a professor at Baruch College and chair of Baruch College’s Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions.  Peter Mills is a freelance sportswriter and editor.

 Judges’ Comments:

Boys Baseball Focuses on Becoming Better Men:
“This article stood out for its crisp writing, moving smoothly from interview quotations to background. A tale well told.”

Cross Country Season Wraps Up With a Stellar Season for BHSEC’s Team:  “Very effective story-telling, with a particularly strong scene-setting lede that engages readers’ curiosity, and excellent use of quotations.”

Best NYC High School Newspaper Edition

Eximius College Preparatory Academy, Knightly News

Judges:  John S. Long is a retired Wall Street Journal editor and current adjunct at St. John’s University.  Gisele Regatao, an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions at Baruch College, is a multimedia journalist who has reported and edited stores for podcasts, radio, online and print publications in many cities around the world including in New York, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Mumbai and Mexico City.

Judges’ Comments:  “A colorful and inviting paper that presents original reporting on controversial issues affecting students’ lives: Vaping, eating disorders, LGBTQ issues, obesity and procrastination.  But it also includes lighter pieces about students and faculty.  The writing of the texts and headlines is of high quality and the paper is strong all around.  Congratulations!”

From Professor Geanne Belton:  Thank you to all of the 2019 judges for your careful review of the entries and thoughtful comments.  Congratulations to all of the student editors, writers, reporters, photographers, videographers and artists and to your dedicated and supportive high school newspaper advisors.