Michael J. Feeney, a former New York Daily News reporter and the president of the New York Association of Black Journalists, visited Montclair State University on October 14.
Feeney, a New Jersey native from Teaneck, began by saying he never realized he was a good writer until one of his teachers told him so in his senior year of high school. From there, he went onto Delaware State University.
Feeney said the best way in the door to any kind of journalism is through internships. He travelled 11 hours in his mom’s car to Kentucky for his first internship. He also interned at the Associated Press in Baltimore. Feeney said they treated him like a regular reporter in all of his internships.
After graduating, he moved to Detroit to work for the Associated Press. After about a year, he received an opportunity to work at The Bergen Record. He reported at the New York Daily News for five years.
Feeney spoke about his previous stories, where he covered cop beats, murders and “over a hundred… not really… but a lot” of fires.
Perhaps the most striking was a story he wrote in first person about the fire that burned his house in Teaneck down the day before Thanksgiving and how, a year later, he and his family had a lot to be thankful for.
Feeny flashed pictures of himself with big celebrities such as Jay-Z, J. Cole and Drake from previous stories.
He said the way you get big celebrities like that is though contacts. He said as long as you are nice to everyone, they will usually help you out. It also does not hurt to give a phone call asking how they are every once in awhile.
Feeney finished with a warm smile by saying he loves journalism and just wants to get out there and tell everyone a good story.