The Claw Takes on NYC

The staff of The Claw takes a trip to Columbia for a journalism conference

The 9/11 Twin Tower Memorial bases are inscribed with the names of those lost, and some people leave mementos and offerings for the victims. Here, someone has left a white rose.

After class on Saturday, at 1 o’clock, Ms. Kelly’s car pulled into the circle of KUA’s campus. The staff of The Claw grabbed their luggage, hopped in, and headed for New York City. After a 3-hour drive, we arrived at New Haven Train Station. We got our tickets and went on a two-hour train ride. We arrived in Manhattan in the early evening at about 6 p.m. After dropping off our bags, we enjoyed a nice, fancy meal of Sushi for dinner (sorry, Lin and Koto, but this was better!) and returned to our residence to rest for the next day.

The staff of The Claw visits the New York Public Library

Sunday was a nice, sunny day. The staff visited several places. After a quick breakfast from a New York deli, the staff headed to the Twin Towers memorial, site of the 9/11 attacks. We had some moments of silence as we walked and looked at the names engraved in the metal surrounded the foundations of the north and south buildings. We talked about how important an event this was for America and for the world. It was after this devastating event that breaking news and the 24-hour news cycle became commonplace. As the staff of our campus news source, it was important for us to really understand and experience the impact of this now normal part of our lives.We talked about how bystander journalism was so useful during the attacks, as amateur journalists or ordinary civilians filmed the towers with their cameras and sent in the footage. Ms. Kelly even told us about where she was during the attacks; when they started, she was in her AP U.S. History class, but the events of the day quickly changed the students’ schedule.

In the afternoon, the staff paid a visit to the New York Public Library. We were fascinated by the grandness of the architecture and the long history of the library. We marveled at how even though it is beautiful and detailed like a temple, it is also functioning library, serving the residents of Manhattan and the outer burroughs.

After the somberness and grandeur of our two trips, we were ready for some fun. The staff were well-fed on authentic Chinese food and bubble tea throughout evening. After we returned to the residence, we worked on our collaborative and individual articles.

The staff of The Claw poses in front of the iconic Columbia University Library in their matching sweatshirts

On Monday, the staff headed for the conference in Columbia University. The Fall Conference of 2018 is run, as always, by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). The conference contained five sessions, with two before lunch and three after lunch. Each session ran for a total of 45 minutes. The attendees were given a wide range of choices. Session topics included digital media, yearbooks, news, photography, and Law & Ethics.

Adding to the diverse range of choice were the experienced speakers in their relative fields. Since The Claw is an online newspaper website, the staff of The Claw all attended “How to write for online publications” as our first session, given by the speaker Chris Waugaman. The session included tips on how to write regarding timeliness, content, and different types of articles. Other sessions we attended included “Don’t Be Boring: Writing Good Ledes” lectured by Matthew Chayes, “Controversy, Confession and Cornflakes” delivered by John Taglareni, and “Photojournalism ‘rules’ ” lectured by Kathy Daly.

Emma found the legislation and rights surrounding censorship to be the most interesting, while Brian and Kerry enjoyed using their phones to write compelling ledes. Stella enjoyed learning more about photojournalism and its role in covering campus news. Overall, we learned a lot about the ethics and practice of journalism, and we know that we will be better journalists if we embody the concepts covered in the workshops we attended.

On a fun side-note, the staff also got Columbia Sweatshirts at the University’s bookstore and took some iconic group pictures in front of the school buildings.

After the conference ended at 3 o’clock, the staff made a hasty run to the train station and arrived back on campus at about 9 p.m. We were exhausted: happy to be home, but already missing the fun and diversity of the city. Overall, the trip to NYC was a very memorable one, and we learned some useful information out of it.


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