By Dinah Grace Gipli
I joined 20 other high school students, as well as a few college freshmen for the St. Joseph’s College NewsHive competition.
The theme of the event was Environmental Justice relating to how we could showcase it here in New York City.
We were given the liberty to do what we wanted with the theme – no restrictions. Each group of three to four students was assigned a mentor to guide us in the interviewing and writing process.
There were three members in my group. I was paired with aspiring online journalist, Devon Presley, junior at Kipp High School in the Bronx and mentor Katie Honan.
Considering the recent coyote sightings in Manhattan, Presley suggested that we do coyotes in NYC. As a group, we decided to venture out into Prospect Park and St. John’s Park to get people’s thoughts and feelings about the coyote sightings
Honan advised us to: begin formulating questions prior to interviewing people so that were prepared beforehand; try to not to interrupt when people are talking; and to have counter questions based off their responses to keep the conversation flowing.
Most people felt happy about the coyote’s sightings and a few were frightened. “This is not our world, coyotes must reclaim their land, and we must learn to share,” people in Prospect Park said.
After completing the interview portion of our task, we returned to the college to begin working on our presentation. We incorporated statements from the people we interviewed, authoritative figures, actual people who have encountered the coyotes here in NYC and analysts to explain the impact of Coyote’s presence.
Through extensive research, we found out coyotes rarely attack humans and are harmless. We input all of our data into Storify, a site that helps utilize social media as an outlet to break news to people and presented our research through a social media aspect.
Winning the competition at St. Joseph’s College was a great experience for me because it opened my eyes to the impact of environmental injustice and the effect it has on people.
This experience was wonderful because it gave me the hands-on opportunity I need to someday become a professional journalist by venturing out into the field to report.
Gipli is a recent graduate of Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst