To provide local students with practical journalistic experience, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) hosted twenty school reporters at a Student Press Conference. The event, which was held in Smithtown, offered the aspiring writers the ability to ask Senator Flanagan questions in a professional press conference setting.
The press conference was an opportunity for the twenty writers and editors to discuss the issues facing New York State and the region with Senator Flanagan. To provide more of an open dialogue, the press conference was an open forum and the students were permitted to pursue any topic of their choosing.
Representatives from the following schools joined Senator Flanagan for the press conference:
Commack High School
Kings Park High School
Northport High School
Sagamore Middle School
Smithtown High School East
Ward Melville High School
William T. Rogers Middle School
Senator Flanagan opened the event with a discussion of gas prices, school funding and other issues that affect Long Island students to give the students a feel of what he is working on in Albany.
That was followed by a lengthy question and answer session with the students on a wide range of issues. As aspiring journalists, the students proved they had done their research by asking pertinent questions about a wide variety of issues. Most questions centered on topics Senator Flanagan has been working on including his efforts to ban the hallucinogen salvia divinorum and his efforts to cap the tax on gas to protect drivers.
"We need to make sure that the students of today are ready to be the leaders of tomorrow. This event was an opportunity for these students to learn from experience, to work together and to discover ifjournalism is a possible career," stated Senator Flanagan. "I will say that after being on the receiving end of their questions, I look forward to their collective future."
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