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Journalist Adina Genn: A Difference in the Community
By Neil A. Carousso
Long Island, NY — Adina Genn has a foundation in hyperlocal journalism, covering Port Washington, where she lived for many years. The depth into which Genn writes a story has earned her multiple awards, including three from the Press Club of Long Island and the U.S. Small Business Administration for “Small Business Journalist of the Year” during her 7 years at Long Island Business News.
Since Genn started in journalism, the industry has changed and continues to rapidly change with new technology. When she started at Patch, the company gave her a MacBook laptop computer, a smartphone and a police scanner, seemingly unheard of in 2010. A big reason for this was the fact that AOL had majority stake of Patch, a pioneer in the journalistic uses of technology. AOL handed over its majority stake in Patch to an investment firm in January. Journalists, like Genn, were required to use all forms of technology, including utilizing a mobile application for journalists on staff to post stories that they wrote entirely on a smartphone, along with pictures and videos shot and edited on the phone, directly onto the Patch website from an event. She recalled a time when she covered a special remote “Today Show” on NBC and had an entire multi-media piece published on the Patch website before the show was over; Genn overheard a public relations representative express shock in the fact that a local news outlet had the story up so quick. That’s when Genn realized the impact that hyperlocal news and journalism have on people.
“I enjoy hitting people with information they need to know on the street,” Genn said of journalism.
Another way journalism, especially in New York and on Long Island, impacted locals is when Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012. Genn provided extensive coverage and published lists of local communities, indicating whether or not they were in low-lying areas. She didn’t realize until after covering the storm and the aftermath of it and how people can get help, how grateful readers were for her dedication to the community. Genn, herself, had to evacuate with her husband and two kids, but she made sure to reach out to the community and keep them informed.
“I’m a sensitive person to a lot of topics, which helps me in my work, Genn said.
As the business changes, so does the art of journalism, but one thing that has benefited Genn over the course of her career, is the relationship she has with her readers, who read her stories for the traditional, impartial journalism that she upholds.