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Communication & Media

News & Events

Journalism alums named as editors


NEW PALTZ -- The Legislative Gazette, the weekly newspaper of New York dedicated to reporting stories on the state government, has appointed a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz's Journalism program as editor of the publication.

James Gormley, or "Jamie" as he is called in the newsroom, succeeded John Bechel, who was the editor of the Gazette from January 2001 to May 2005. Gormley officially began as editor on Sept. 1, 2005. He was also an intern there in the fall semester of 1996.

"I've been in journalism for a while now," Gormley said. "It's just weird that I'm here, where I first began to really be a journalist."

Gormley's journalism experience also includes being a staff reporter for The Wallkill Valley Times, which is located in Walden, and the Daily Sentinel, which is based in Rome, and as a news editor for National Trade Publications in Latham.

Gormley received an associate's degree in photography from Mohawk Valley Community College in December 1994, his bachelor's degree in journalism from New Paltz in May 1997, his master's degree in English in August 2004 from SUNY Albany, and is currently working on his graduate certificate in public administration from the Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany.

Following Gormley as assistant editor and recruiter for The Legislative Gazette is Joseph "Joe" Brill, another graduate of SUNY New Paltz's Journalism program. He began his work as assistant editor on Oct. 6, 2005.

Brill was also an intern at the Gazette and a senior reporter and photographer for The Register-Star in Hudson from January 1993 to April 2004, when he became city editor of the newspaper until September 2005.

Brill earned his bachelor's degree, with a major in communication management and minor in journalism, from New Paltz in December 1992.

"This is perfect because we get former students to help run our paper," said Robert Miraldi, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz and former teacher of Gormley and Brill. "They are in the best possible position to guide the interns."

The New Paltz graduates said that they plan on making changes at the Gazette ranging from the newspaper's layout; how they instruct the student interns; starting a "Day in Albany" column on the Legislative Gazette's Web site; and gathering sound bytes so the students receive radio experience at WAMC, a local radio station, as well as print.

Both Gormley and Brill also said that the journalism professors and courses at SUNY New Paltz contributed greatly to their success.

"I feel that New Paltz has the best journalism program in the SUNY system," Gormley said. "The experience is practical and they give real world knowledge - I'm still using things that they taught me years ago."

"New Paltz is very lucky to have such a superior journalism program," said Dr. Alan Chartock, executive publisher and project director of The Legislative Gazette. "The folks who have been running it have really helped put an extraordinary school on the map."

The Legislative Gazette was started in January 1978 by Chartock in an effort to give students at SUNY New Paltz political insights and journalistic training near the capital of the nation's third largest state. It has a circulation of over 20,000. The internship consists of 40 hours of fieldwork per week, coupled with an equally important, rigorous academic component in journalism and political science.

"I couldn't be more proud of the fact that two of our all-time-best Legislative Gazette interns are now running the editorial side of the paper," said Chartock.