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Journalism Club of Saint Demetrios High School in Astoria Interviews Antonis Diamataris

June 13, 2020
By Cora-Louise Fleming-Benite and Nicole-Katerina Tiliakos

NEW YORK — On Thursday, June 4 the members of the Saint Demetrios High School Journalism Club expressed their sincere pleasure in spending their morning talking to Antonis H. Diamataris, Advisor to the Publishers of The National Herald. The meeting took place virtually, as do all their classes and school activities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The students asked Mr. Diamataris about what inspired him to pursue a career in journalism, the role of journalism in today’s uncertain times, and how The National Herald continues to provide a worthwhile service to Greek-Americans and Greeks throughout the world.

Diamataris described his experience as a young Greek immigrant who left his native homeland to pursue a better education in the United States. His thirst for knowledge and acumen for business analysis led him to earn two degrees and become employed in prestigious firms such as Exxon. Like many immigrants, Mr. Diamataris longed to return to his homeland until the opportunity arose for him to combine his love of literature and Greece: at the age of 27 became employed at the National Herald with CFO responsibilities. With dedication, commitment, and a lot of effort he rose to the position of Publisher-Editor of the National Herald newspaper, which is the oldest continuously published Greek-American newspaper in the United States. But perhaps it is what Mr. Diamataris conveyed at the end of his talk with the students which made the greatest impact. He said that the “written word” educates millions and newspapers are a vital source of democracy because they are written by the people for the people!

Listening to Mr. Diamataris, the Saint Demetrios Journalism Club members realized that their own humble beginnings can lead to something special. For close to a year, participants Dimitri Kritikos, Evgenia Katehis, Nicole-Katerina Tiliakos, Antigoni Aidonis, Elizabeth Konstantakakos, Eo Karaftis, Evangelia Liandris, Cora-Louise Fleming-Benite, Irene Theodoropoulos, Evrilaos Kokkavesis, Yianni Skouloudis, Ilias Rondos, Stamatia Panas, Nikki Anastassatos,  Panagiota Asprogerakas, Eleftheria Petrou, Panagioti Krampis, Adora Mitsakis, Erasmia Mastora, George Tsiros, Thanasi Karageorge, and Harry Zekkas have been working on mastering the skills needed to become a reliable writer.

With the guidance and teaching of Ms. Stavroula Tsoutsa, the students who take part in the club have interviewed well-known Greeks from the literary and artistic worlds, including Dimitris Kataleifos, Renos Charalambidis, writer Vassilis Papatheodorou, journalist Dimitris Konstantaras, and the author Lina Lychnara.

During a time when virtual learning has become a necessity, students have found new ways to make Journalism Club activities more interesting. This semester members have been reading Lina Lihnara’s The Secrets of the Old Mansion on eBooks, so they came up with the idea to virtually meet and interview her. This was a fun experience because participants shared their favorite parts of the book while asking questions about Ms. Lihnara’s life and career as an author. In addition, Lina Lihnara spoke about the impact of the Greek language globally and its beauty and how fiction is at times a mirror of real life.

The Saint Demetrios Journalism Club will continue their efforts next school year.

Cora-Louise and Nicole-Katerina are members of the Journalism Club of Saint Demetrios High School in Astoria, New York and are in the 10th grade.

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