By Jennifer Yin
The walls and halls of The Guardsman bungalow 615 remains eerily silent, since our nation’s shelter in place was announced. Its newsroom which was once filled with hustle and bustle, now holds empty chairs and a blank whiteboard.
Alongside with the cancellation of City College’s face to face classes, was the cancellation of the Journalism Association of Community College (JACC). The event was scheduled for Mar. 16 through Mar. 21, at the Los Angeles Marriott, in Burbank, CA.
The three-day annual convention allowed student journalists and faculty from across CA., to participate in workshops, attend speaks, and compete in contests. Winners of the competition are announced at the end of the event, in which they are rewarded for their efforts. However, this year the winners of JACC were announced via email.
This year JACC’s Statewide 2020 Award awarded, The Guardsman, for ‘general excellence’ and took home first place for ‘best infographics’ with the help from Chiara Di Martino, who specializes in illustrations, infographic, and web page design. In the previous year, The Guardsman, won third place for ‘best newspaper’ and first place for ‘best special issue and section.’
Editor for Etc Magazine, Meyer Gorelick, won first place in ‘best magazine profile article,’ for his story regarding the risk of a promising basketball star that chose his family over his NBA career. While, Janeth R. Sanchez, a photojournalist and bilingual translator, won first place for ‘best magazine feature’ and fourth place for ‘best magazine photo.’
The awards that Di Martino, Gorelick, and Sanchez won emulates their hard work in journalism, and all three thanked the mentorship of Juan Gonzales and Jessica Lifland for their success.
Chiara Di Martino
Di Martino was born in Italy, where she obtained her master’s degree in psychology. The budding artist moved to San Francisco due to her fascination with its culture. She described that in San Francisco, people were allowed to freely express their individuality and sexuality. The lack of self expression was something Di Martino struggled with when she coming to age in her small hometown.
“I was bullied when I was younger and it was always you had to restrain yourself. You cannot be what you really are, that is why I took psychology when I was younger. When I arrived in San Francisco it was beautiful,” she said.
She arrived to San Francisco to pursue her education in English and after months of deliberation she decided to permanently stay in the United States. Thereafter she settled at City College, where she would craft her art skills in illustration, graphic design, infographics, and layout.
Currently, she is working for a nonprofit organization, Asante Africa Foundation, in educating Ugandan children so they could learn the risk of the coronavirus and how to maintain good practices. Additionally, she is curating an illustration for a theater and play regarding the Trojan War and Greek mythology. Di Martino also worked for Accion Latina, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting cultural arts and empowering Latino communities.
However, work has been slow for Di Martino, due to the coronavirus. She said, “I sent 30 resumes not only in San Francisco, but I have sent resumes outside of San Francisco. There is ‘niente.’ It is not easy to do, and I do not know what to do. I don’t want to be a server, that is not what I want to do. I studied for so many years in my life.”
Di Martino’s goal for her future is to work for a design team to gain experience so she could work as an independent freelancer. She said, “That’s the final goal is being a freelancer and having enough clientele to say whatever I want to say.”
To help support Di Martino visit her website, www.Chiaradesign.art.
Janeth R. Sanchez
Sanchez was born in Colombia, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in graphic design communication. As an international student, she pursued studies in English and would later further her education in journalism at City College.
She began her journey in 2010, where she lived in San Mateo as an au pair before returning to her home to Colombia. Four years later she arrived in San Bernardino to pursue her bachelors degree in communications. Unfortunately, the family she was living with, at the time, was on the verge of bankruptcy which forced Sanchez to relocate to the Bay Area.
“I found out City College had photojournalism classes and the photojournalism classes were the ones that made me inclined to choose City College. Basically, that class was all I wanted. I had done photography before in my bachelors degree in Colombia and I had to take basic photography, but I never felt like I explored it in depth,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez began to blossom In Lifland’s ‘introduction to photojournalism’ class, where
she soon elevated to ‘intermediate to photojournalism.’ Although, she would be one of the last students to take the course before it was eliminated by the college.
Her education within The Guardsman, Etc Magazine, and Colombia has promoted Sanchez’s career in journalism where she is currently volunteering as a translator at El Tecolote, a Latino bilingual newspaper based in San Francisco.
Although, being a bilingual translator has its own trials and is described by Sanchez as, “writing could be a little challenging like being as creative as I can do in Spanish. I am not fully American. I have been here for awhile but I am still having my challenges when writing in English, or copy editing in English. I guess that is how I am using my quarantine time in trying to learn more grammar rules so I can write more efficiently.”
However, she is currently taking classes to combat her language barriers. In addition, she wishes to pursue her career as a freelance journalist specializing in topics regarding the Latino community, women, and people who are in vulnerable positions. Sanchez described her work as, “it’s fun for me and it is also rewarding, if it helps the community, or the people I am documenting.”
Gorelick, is an editor for both The Guardsman and Etc Magazine, and specializes in sports journalism. During his childhood he was surrounded by the eccentricity of basketball, football, and most importantly soccer where he would later mentor children.
He decided to apply to City College after leaving his job in tech sales, due to feeling unfilled in his profession. At City College, he applied to The Guardsman and Etc Magazine which allowed him to merge his writing with his passion for sports.
“I was lucky enough to be able to come to City College, take classes, and do journalism. I always loved writing. I’ve learned there’s other parts of journalism that are just as important and attractive to me, but sports is something that I grew really steeped in,” Gorelick said.
During the coronavirus, he interned at The San Francisco Examiner, while maintaining his editorial position for The Guardsman and Etc Magazine.
However, during the pandemic the Irish/Jewish-American journalist had to face hard realities, trials, and tribulations. Many of his colleagues at, The San Francisco Examiner, had their hours reduced which left him with uncertain doubts. In addition, he lost his teaching position and struggled with personal issues. “Once quarantine happened my stress was not really about journalism. I was a little more stressed about work and life,” he said.
Currently, situations are better for the up and coming sports journalist. JACC recently awarded Gorelick for, ‘best magazine profile article.’ In addition, Gorelick is studying for his Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to pursue his career as a criminal justice lawyer.
He said, “I’ve spent almost a year doing journalism and I loved it. It (becoming a lawyer) is like a cost benefit analysis. I look at journalism and it is something I feel capable of doing, but at the same time, I don’t know if I want to freelance and just be hustling. It would be really cool to freelance and be on my own schedule, but I am someone who needs little more structure.”
Gorelick plans to attend law school by the year 2021 and is aiming for University of California Berkeley or Stanford University.