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WFTU Radio students win prestigious Folio Award from Fair Media Council

Professor Holli Haerr, WFTU Station Manager Matt O'Leary, Michael Rossello, Starr Fuentes, Danna Diamond

by Starr Fuentes

WFTU Radio brought home their very first Folio Award presented by the Fair Media Council on March 27th at the Garden City Hotel in Garden City, New York. Five Towns College’s Starr Fuentes and Michael Rossello won for their on-air discussion with student reporter Danna Diamond about food insecurity in colleges on their WFTU program, The Lunch Break.

The Folio Awards seek to bring media, business, and community together to recognize quality and impactful news. In addition to the student awards, winning professional news outlets included Long Island Business News, MyLITV.com, NBC New York, New York Magazine, New York Times Magazine, and Newsday. WFTU Station Manger Matt O’Leary was pleased with his radio personalities for their outstanding work. “I was extremely proud that WFTU was getting an award. The amount of quality content on WFTU is really impressive and it's fantastic that we're getting the recognition. It was amazing to see all the different news outlets and for WFTU to be mentioned in the same breath as those stations.”

Diamond’s winning report researched college food plans and shed light on this important topic. She found that college food insecurity is higher than ever, but unfortunately this topic is faceless. Most food insecure students were faced with issues of stigma and shame which prevented them from receiving assistance from parents and even federal social services. Diamond was thrilled for her report to be recognized. “Winning a 2019 Folio Award was exciting and surprising. Knowing that I can win and get honored for my hard work builds my confidence, and confidence is definitely an important tool for success in this media industry,” she said.

The Lunch Break co-host Michael Rossello was honored that his and Fuentes’ radio hosting skills were celebrated in the same room as hard working professional reporters. “What I found to be my favorite part of this experience was being in a place surrounded by all of these people within the media industry.”

Though the FTC students were pleased with their first journalism award, Fuentes is determined to work even harder to win the 2020 Folio Award. “My professors are the absolute best. I’m ready to learn more, become even more creative in my writing so I can get that 2020 Folio Award. I want to continue to make my professors proud.”


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