Cristina Stefanizzi, executive editor of the Pelham Examiner, has been selected to represent New York State at the 2022 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference June 20-23. The conference run by the Freedom Forum Institute picks one attendee per state.
Stefanizzi is the third Examiner editor to be chosen in the past four years as New York State’s delegate to the Neuharth conference. Charlotte Howard, a Pelham Memorial High School 202o graduate and executive editor during the paper’s 2019-2020 publishing year, represented the state in 2019, while Oliver Tam, who finished his term as executive editor June 1, was picked for last year’s event.
“The annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference program targets rising high school seniors who are interested in journalism and who demonstrate qualities of ‘free spirit,'” said the conference’s website. “Participants are awarded a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice. This Freedom Forum Institute program was established in 1999 to honor Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, Newseum and the Freedom Forum. The conference is designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue journalism.”
Separately, Assistant Managing Editor Gabby Ahitow and Hannah Steinberg, Opinions & Ideas editor, have both been selected to attend the Society of Professional Journalists Northeast High School Journalism Institute at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, July 15 to 17.
The conference required potential attendees complete an application process to fill its 16 slots.
“Students will be trained by professional journalists and journalism professors in reporting, newswriting, video and audio journalism, and multimedia production,” according to Bylines and Deadlines, the SPJ Region 1 blog. “Because Roger Williams is a coastal university, students will cover stories related to the area’s environment, economy and infrastructure. Students will work in teams to generate news stories, photos, videos and audio. This work will be published on a website created for the program.”
High school juniors and seniors from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont and the eastern half of Pennsylvania were eligible to apply.