Professional Friday visit to the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press




Led by Professors Jonathan Sanders and Ilana Ozernoy, a group of Stony Brook University School of Journalism students visited the offices of the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press on Friday, March 28. They met with reporters and editors, who shared valuable insights on everything from the day’s news to forging a career path in the changing profession.

After a guided tour of the Wall Street Journal’s midtown headquarters, the group sat down with Rachel Ensign, a young reporter with the Journal, and Warren Bass, senior editor of the review section.

Ensign advised the students to network and to “be flexible” about their goals. “It’s such a small industry, so once you meet people and people know your name, that’ll really help you get around,” Ensign said.

Bass gave the group pointers on Tweeting. “There’s a journalism phrase called the ‘muffin-choker,’” he said, referring to a surprising detail in a news story that grabs people’s attention over breakfast, making them spit out their muffin. “If the ‘muffin-choker’ in the lead is ‘50,000 troops,’ then maybe that’s the one thing you Tweet.”

After lunch at Num Pang, a nearby Cambodian sandwich shop, the students continued to the Associated Press.

Sitting in “The Fishbowl,” a conference room overlooking the primary newsroom of the AP world headquarters, the group met Tamer Fakahany, deputy managing editor, and John Daniszewski, vice president and senior managing editor of international news, who also serves on the advisory board of the journalism school’s Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.

Fakahany stressed the importance of staying on top of breaking news. “Be part of the online discussion and social media conversation,” he said.

Daniszewski advised students to get solid training before setting out as foreign correspondents. “One of the biggest mistakes I see young reporters make is going places they probably shouldn’t go,” he said.

The trip reinforced student appreciation for the values of integrity and accuracy emphasized in Stony Brook’s journalism classes.

“I realized in the real world of news, they have another way of saying Accuracy F: you’re fired,” junior journalism student Jimin Kim said, referring to the school’s zero tolerance policy of significant errors.

The day ended around 4 p.m. Some stayed in Manhattan, while the rest boarded a train back to Long Island. It was the second Professional Friday of the spring semester.


Trip Leader: Ahmad Malik
Co-editors of website: Kristy Gerlett, Ian Schafer
Copy Editor: Janelle Clausen
Photo Editor: Andrew Eichenholz
Photography: Kristy Gerlett, Jasmine Wibisono, Jon Winkler
Video: Dipti Kumar
Reporters: Jimin Kim, Shamecha Lywood, Megan Miller, Kayla Jimenez