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College Students Publish Stories in Local News Outlet

A partnership between Bloomfield College of Montclair State University and Worrall Media has created the opportunity for college students in a Journalism 1 class taught by Professor Jason Torreano to work hand-in-hand with the publication’s editor, Joe Ungaro, to publish stories in local newspapers and on their websites.

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Ameen Jebali

“Our partnership had students work with me in class to conceive, pitch, write and edit stories they were interested in covering. They learned basic concepts around sourcing, interviewing and attribution through the semester, and continually refined their pieces until they were ready to present to the editor for feedback. The collaboration was impressive to see the students soaking in ways to improve their writing, sources and overall stories,” said Torreano.

Ungaro said he supported the students, especially by providing guidance on sources they could interview to develop their chosen human-interest stories. “Through the collaboration, every Journalism 1 student will have at least one story published both in the print and online editions of Worrall Community Newspapers.”

The first group of student-published stories is online now (see links below).

“I am speechless,” said Ameen Jebali, a computer science major who is eligible to walk in Bloomfield’s May 2024 commencement. “Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this. The course was a great experience overall, but I couldn’t imagine that my article would make it to publication. Thank you, Professor Torreano, for pushing the pace and guiding us through this.”

Lisha Brito, an accounting major, said, “A huge thanks to my professor because I would not have been able to write this before taking his course. My parents are super proud of me, and I would’ve never thought I could do this at this age.”

Ungaro praised the quality of the students’ work. “The stories came to me in very good shape. It was apparent that the students worked hard in the classroom. They were attentive and conscientious. And, as we might expect, they brought lots of enthusiasm along with a blend of excitement and fear, and concern about deadlines, a significant component in journalistic work.”

Both Torreano and Ungaro agree they are looking forward to expanding the success of this collaborative model by bringing it into upcoming Bloomfield College of Montclair State University semesters with future Journalism 1 students.

According to Ungaro, the student-published stories are a benefit to his publications’ readers. “They get to read stories on topics that they would otherwise not have seen, while being exposed to new perspectives.”

Worrall Media publishes 12 local newspapers and maintains two news websites, serving 24 communities in Essex and Union counties.

Photo: Accounting major, Ameen Jebali, is one of a number of Bloomfield College of Montclair State University students who recently earned a byline in Worrall Media publications after taking a Journalism 1 course at the College.