Connolly speaks to Martin Road class

Connolly speaks to Martin Road class
Posted on 03/29/2021
Brian ConnollyBrian Connolly, managing editor of the Buffalo News, visited the fifth-grade virtual learners at Martin Road Elementary School to discuss his role at the newspaper. Through student-generated interview questions, the class first learned about Mr. Connolly’s background.

As a middle school student, he published his own double-sided newspaper from his basement. This newspaper contained interviews and sports scores. Mr. Connolly would pass his newspaper out at school. He became interested in reporting through an internship in high school with the Buffalo Bisons. Mr. Connolly secured this internship by simply writing a letter of interest to the public address announcer. Mr. Connolly then went on to be hired at the Buffalo News in 2003 by Lackawanna native Margaret Sullivan, who at the time was the first female editor of the newspaper.

Mr. Connolly explained that the editors at the Buffalo News have discussions each day to decide where articles are placed in the newspaper. The most important articles are generally on the front page of the newspaper or a specific section. Students learned that the digital newspaper took flight in the early 2000s. The Buffalo News tracks where the newspaper is accessed worldwide.

Mr. Connolly then addressed the students’ questions regarding the differences between fact and opinion writing. The students learned that facts contain information that cannot be disputed. However, a collection of facts can be used to formulate an opinion piece of writing. Mr. Connolly explained the importance of ensuring that information is accurate by evaluating your source as someone who is trustworthy. Reporters have a difficult job at times. Reporters are tasked with reporting the news, whether good or bad. Sometimes, reporters must interview people who may not want to talk about a topic or situation or ask questions people may not want to answer. Good news stories come from good reporting. Reporting is when a reporter does research to find out as much information as they can about a topic. Good writing then stems from good reporting.

Finally, Mr. Connolly encouraged the students to always read. Reading does not end in school. Find what interests you and read to use that information to explore a possible career in the future.
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