Meet the Sharkie: Collin Baker of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif.

Collin Baker, a senior this year at Bellarmine College Preparatory high school in San Jose, Calif., has won a 2012 Sharkie for his work on The Current news team, the website created by our advanced Year 2 students.

Baker, who plays baseball, did some serious pinch-hitting for his news team, producing several sports stories, including covering a June 29 game at AT&T Park in San Francisco between the San Francisco Giants and the Cincinnati Reds. That piece was also published on sfbay.ca, a hyperlocal news website based in San Francisco.

“Collin stood out to us because of his incredible enthusiasm, his unusual maturity, his strong writing skills and his persistence in arranging interviews with hard-to-reach Stanford athletes,” said co-director Beatrice Motamedi. “Collin is a true self-starter who set his own agenda and stuck by it.”

Collin Baker, center, poses with members of The Current news website during a field trip to San Francisco. Students visited and spoke with editors at three news publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Examiner and New America Media.

“NBTB certainly strengthened both my knowledge and my interest in journalism,” said Baker, who also participates in his school’s speech and debate program.

“The mediums with which we explored networking, reporting, and writing gave me a different perspective on what, before going in, I believed the seemingly outdated news process was like,” Baker said. “In addition, I learned a ton about local news and how local news works, both in big daily print productions (like the Chronicle) and in smaller web-based news centers (like the Patch Network) and thus learned about how student writing and reporting like mine is still very much valued in the daily news cycle.

“The connections that NBTB has to the news loop around Silicon Valley prove invaluable for both aspiring journalists and students who are unsure about the life of a reporter,” according to Baker. “You certainly learn many of the skills necessary to produce news worthy of publishing in the news-centered world we live in.”

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