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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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The Feather teaches in New York 2024: Day 5

Students collaborate with other journalists at Columbia University

For more than 25 years Feather journalism teams have traveled to the New York participating in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Spring Journalism Conference. This year, 16 students attend the 100th anniversary of distinguished journalism education while also teaching six sessions. The Feather has been honored with a national recognition as a Digital Crown recipient for the 2023-24 year. This is Day 4 as the team begins the conference in the Big Apple during the week of March 9-16.

Students and their advisors from all over the nation arrived early Thursday morning at Columbia University to teach and learn. The Feather team is not only known for its unique website but also for its innovative Instagram. The team takes pride in the ability to rapidly cover stories through reels and stories, always have photojournalists on the ground, and attend school and local events. These unique traits make The Feather Instagram an inspiration to other teams attending the conference.

Kori James, Feather advisor, gets excited with her class. (Selah Neal)

Photo Editors Julia Castiglione and Mallory Friesen along with Feather advisor, Kori James, taught other schools how to up their Instagram game with five key tips to takeaway. James has taught variations of this sessions at both CSPA and NSPA conferences since 2016. 

The session, “Enhance the ‘Gram,” was an immersive, hands-on experience where attendees could follow along and try new techniques on their own devices. The photo editor duo shared how The Feather runs their account. They helped break down digital journalism skills to make them more accessible for other schools to learn. 

Mallory Friesen serves as one of the two head photojournalist editors and enjoys helping others whenever she can. She is a mentor to up-and-coming photojournalists back in California, but her teaching is also growing the skills of students from around the country.

“Teaching other journalism students was nerve-racking because I realized that what I’m teaching them is something that they are going to use in their future,” Friesen said. “I just hoped that what I shared with them would help them grow in journalism.” 

The rest of the Feather crew divided and conquered, splitting up to visit sessions led by other journalist teachers and advisors. One notable session included “How to Cover Crime When There’s So Much Criming” with People Magazine Crime Editor, Patrick Rogers. Rogers explained the challenges he and his team face when trying to cover such articles. Students also learned how a big team like Peoples Magazine faces the editorial process and their method in choosing said stories.

Patrick Rogers leads a class on writing about crime: from the editorial process to the selection of which case to write about. (Julia Castiglione)

Fresno Christian was well represented at the conference – both through The Feather’s sessions and engaging with other speakers and schools. They took notes and asked questions, gleaned new information, and shared their experiences with the other travel journalists.

The team then headed over to ABC7, New York’s primary broadcast news source. They got to see the behind-the-scenes of the main daily news along with the show Kelly and Mark. Seeing the dressing room to the iconic kitchen on the show had students, advisors, and parent chaperones beaming with excitement. 

The behind-the-scenes filming room for the news was fast-paced and seamless as the team watched the two anchors, an assistant, and the meteorologist work like a well-oiled machine. 

The main newsroom brimmed with people collaborating and working on developing stories, while still stopping to say hi and chat and the team. The Feather team also encountered the famous Sandy Kenyon, an entertainment reporter and movie critic for ABC7, who was delighted to share some words of wisdom and take a picture with them. The students were delighted to see a real news station and were inspired by the large-scale version of what they do. This news station covers breaking and feature stories for NYC, New Jersey, and even Long Island 

With hungry stomachs, the team then headed back over to Chelsea Market. Having visited during their first day in New York, the students longed to go back. This market is located in Manhattan and consists of shopping and multiple local eateries and grocers. Despite the lack of seating areas, the variety and quality of the diverse cuisine was worth it.

Junior and journalist Ian Palsgaard has a heart for food. He enjoyed delicacies from all over the market, calling it a unique but delicious experience. 

Editors Danielle Arndt, ’26, and Chloe McDonald, ’24, explore the behind-the-scenes at ABC7. (Julia Castiglione)

“Best tacos I’ve ever had – the food and its variety is surreal. I will be taco (talking) ‘bout it forever,” Palsgaard said.

Much of the team chose to return to a small, quick kiosk called Los Tacos. There, while waiting in line, the students could smell the rich meats sizzling on the grill and see the perspiration of water droplets dripping down the fresh juice jugs. Their taste buds savored each bite of the street tacos. However, they merely grabbed a sample and then headed to other shops, eating their way through New York.

Downing their last snacks and treats, the students headed out of Chelsea Market. They followed advisor Kori James as she navigated the busy streets of New York. Dodging cars, the students continued toward their last big excursion, The Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Having tried to visit the Edge upon arrival, the team’s reservation was canceled due to harsh winds and clouded views, which made the attraction unsafe. The temporary closing of The Edge did not sway the students’ determination to see the view, even if it meant coming back Friday night.

The Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck that overlooks the city of New York. (Selah Neal)

The towering observation deck is located at 30 Hudson Yards and is known for being one of the five observation decks in the city. The Edge offers a much more unique experience: glass floors. The students’ knees wobbled as they walked across the glass and realized just how high up they were. The openness of the suspended air deck provided a thrilling experience that showed off the beautiful views of the city.

Junior and journalist Owen Gainer does not have a fear of heights, unlike many of the students in his group. As a rock climber, Gainer was simply wondering if it was possible to climb the impressively high building.

“The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking, you can really feel the building swaying,” Gainer said. “The nighttime skyline was beautiful and the glass floor made you put into perspective how far up 100 floors really is.”

With that, another full and productive day was complete. The students represented their school well and prepared to wrap up a successful week. Tomorrow the award ceremony will take place, as well as the final celebratory dinner.

Tune in tomorrow to read about the NYC Feather team’s final adventure. 

For more from The Feather visit Athlete Spotlight: Izzy Adams overcomes surprising injury or The Feather’s legacy is here to stay.

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About the Contributors
Chloe McDonald
Chloe McDonald, Editor
First-year journalist Chloe McDonald, ‘24, is excited to begin her writing journey with The Feather Online. Chloe values teamwork and helping the campus stay informed. Chloe enjoys art of all mediums and serving her school through leadership class, with all glory to God. In her free time, she can often be found painting, lifeguarding, or walking her dog.
Joshua McCreary
Joshua McCreary, Video Journalist
Joshua McCreary is a junior at Fresno Christian and a video editor for The Feather. He has an interest in computers and all things technology. He hopes to learn to edit well in various styles to improve his work now and later in life.
Delaney Meyers
Delaney Meyers, Journalist
First year journalist Delaney Meyers, 26', is excited to join The Feather Online and begin her writing journey. Delaney strives to learn the inner workings of journalism and online media. She is an ardent reader, movie enthusiast, and loves music. When she is not playing tennis, she cheers on the Fresno Christian cheer team. Delaney hopes that with dedication and hard work that she can grow as a writer and as a person.
Selah Neal
Selah Neal, Photojournalist
Selah Neal is a freshman, and this is her first year on The Feather. Neal is eager to develop skills in the art of photography that she can carry with her into the future. She enjoys snacking, kayaking, and horseback riding. Selah hopes to keep her straight-A’s this year and have a few adventures along the way.
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