Friar writers learn the ropes of journalism


Joe DiSipio

Staff members of Malvern’s publications attended a journalism workshop hosted by a USA Today Reporter in mid-August.

Why would a USA Today Breaking News Reporter from New Jersey spend two days on campus in mid-August?

No, Natalie DiBlasio wasn’t here to break a national news story. The reporter came on August 14th and 15th to teach a crash course in journalism for ten members of the BFC/FL staff. The goal was to show the interested members of the school’s news publications the basics of journalism.

A two day workshop was held in the Duffy Center where the newspaper staff intently listened to Ms. DiBlasio’s teachings on how to write articles, conduct interviews, and utilize sources.

After taking Ms. Plows’ ceramics class at Pitman High School in New Jersey, DiBlasio went on to the University of Vermont. Thrust into journalism by chance and a professor, she joined university’s newspaper The Cynic. She agreed to share her knowledge with her former teacher’s current students.

After serving as reporter and news editor for The Cynic, Natalie assumed the role of editor in chief. Under her leadership, the newspaper won the prestigious Newspaper Pacemaker award for journalistic excellence.

Following graduating from Vermont in Decemeber 2011, Ms. DiBlasio accepted a job as a general assignment reporter for USA Today. She is also the youngest person to ever serve on the board of the American News Women’s club.

With her experience and credentials, DiBlasio can be considered an authority on the subject of writing news well.

Senior Dan McGlinn saw the workshop as quite beneficial. He said, “With her experience and know-how in the field, everything was valuable.”

Ms. Plows appreciated Natalie’s time and expertise, saying “Natalie showed our student team what’s possible in the field of journalism. She’s just a few years older than our students, and is already making her mark as a young professional. I was so proud to see her teaching at Malvern.”

As the learning progressed, everyone agreed to see a clear improvement in the writing of the staff. McGlinn said, “She really helped us to take our writing and editing to the next level.”

DiBlasio said, “From the beginning I was impressed with your writing skills and as we worked together, I was very impressed with how quickly your staff was able to pick up on the basic news writing rules”

Thanks to Natalie DiBlasio’s help, the staff of the Blackfriar Chronicle and Friar’s Lantern hope to serve the community by applying their new knowledge and “rules of journalism” to this year’s publications. Hopefully the start of the new era of accuracy and quality begins with this very article.