Supporting student journalists in their journey

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Long Island Advance associate editor Glenn Rohrbacker is hoping to provide support for college journalists beginning their careers through his nonprofit, College Media Group. Its first fundraiser, supporting the group’s mission of educating and empowering student journalists, is taking place this Sunday, Nov. 17 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at 89 North in Patchogue. 

Tickets are $20 for general admission ($25 at the door) and $12 for college students ($17 at the door). Food, raffles, prizes and a cash bar will be offered. Featured musicians are Tony Siditio, Matt Relevo and The Como Brothers Band.

 “Basically, we’re providing education and tools,” Rohrbacker said. “We’re working on setting up various programs for an online learning academy with videos and classes to help student journalists do their job better, like how to deal with various interviews. So the online learning academy requires software and people to be educators. The rest of the funds will go toward our website and other organizational necessities. We don’t have any paid staff.”

Rohrbacker, who is attending Stony Brook University for his Master of Business Administration off-hours, is College Media Group’s board president and director. There are five board members, including Rohrbacker; they’ve all worked on a college newspaper, TV station, magazine, website, radio station or other medium and are passionate journalism volunteers.

 “I was very involved with my college newspaper, the Charger Bulletin,” Rohrbacker explained of his University of New Haven alma mater; he earned a Bachelor of Science in communications. “I started as staff writer, then editor of the music section, then editor-in-chief for two years. While there, I did anything I could to upgrade the paper. During my senior year, I enrolled for an independent study course for credit. The theme was trends in college media and its state. So I contacted dozens of college newspapers across the country, how each one operated and got a good sense of their shortcomings and what they cared about.”

It was the impetus for the nonprofit that could help others; the nonprofit officially began in February and incorporated in August.

Rohrbacker is hoping to drum up a modest sum and has additional sponsorships along with the general admission fee. 

“I’d like to raise $2,000 to $3,000,” he said.

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