Poisson displays photos she took at a Uconn Basketball game

On Friday, March 13, sports writer John Altavilla and photographer Cloe Poisson from The Hartford Courant came to CRHS to talk with 25 students interested in careers in journalism. They both have spent many years in the field perfecting their journalistic lens.


Poisson, who has been photographing for the Courant for 28 years, said that covering sports events are her favorite because it is very active, emotional and unpredictable. Poisson said, “I take hundreds of photos every game but usually can only use 30 of them.”


Altavilla specializes in following the UConn women’s basketball team around the country and writing about  their success story. He went to school for sports broadcasting but eventually approached a career in writing. Altavilla originally aspired to be an athlete but “didn’t have what it takes,” so he used his love of sports for a different cause. Altavilla likes using emotions to make his writings expressive. “Everyone has emotions; you can’t help it,” preached Altavilla. “It’s okay to feel.”


Altavilla talks about his writing style


Altavilla asked the students to imagine that he gave them a boring article to read, only knowing that at the end he would ask one question. At the end, the only question he would ask is, “Who wrote the article?” Altavilla told the young writers, “Inspire the people who read or look at your work to make them want to know who you are.”


Altavilla also gave some tips on writing a better story. “I try to never use the word ‘the’ to start a story; it’s too easy,” and, “You can sort of change the tense of a sentence by using a semicolon.”


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