By Gina Castro
City College’s journalism students took home 13 awards at the Journalism Association of Community College’s (JACC) Norcal conference at the San Jose State campus on Nov. 16.
This year, 18 colleges and 180 students attended the conference. During the all-day event, journalism students from Northern California community colleges attended workshops, participated in contests and exchanged best-practices with editors and reporters from other colleges. Attendee Journalism student Olivia Lewman described the conference as a unification of all community colleges.
“The JACC regional and state conferences are great opportunities for student journalists to not only test their skills they’ve learned over the course of the semester but a great opportunity to network and get to know fellow student writers and editors from other colleagues,” said JACC’s Norcal student representative and City College student Matthew Cardoza.
City College students participated in a series of contests, both mail-in publication assessments, as well as on the spot challenges.
First place publication awards were taken home by The Guardsman’s current Editor-In-Chief, Lisa Martin, for her Critical Review piece and student reporters David Mamaril Horowitz, Traci Dauphin, Peter J. Suter and Claudia Drdul for their work on several Enterprise News Story articles on class cuts. Suter also received third-place for a Photo Story.
Chiara Di Martino received three awards for her work in The Guardsman; a second-place award for illustration, a second-place award for informational graphic and a third-place Editorial Cartoon award. Ekevara Kitpowsong received a fourth-place award for Student-designed Advertisement and Michael J. Montalvo received an honorable mention for column writing.
The Guardsman’s staff member Jennifer Yin received second place for her editorial cartoon in an on-the-spot contest, and Amal Ben Ghanem and student reporter Janeth Sanchez won honorable mentions for their feature photos. Student reporters Caoilinn Goss and Tyler Breisacher also received honorable mentions for the copy editing competition.
Several on-the-spot contests centered around keynote speaker, Alex Shebanow’s presentation on the research behind his documentary film, Failed State.
Shebanow, a product of the community college system and now award-winning filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area, highlighted the importance of persistence, organization and becoming an expert on the subject matter one is covering in order to be a journalist. “Don’t chase the news, tell the story,” Shebanow said. .
His documentary, which was screened during the conference, focused upon the predatory practices for-profit colleges use and the growing issue of student loan debt among Americans.
Throughout the day, students participated in workshops led by professionals with years of experience in the media industry.
“It’s a great opportunity to see how student journalists at other community colleges run their newsrooms and to learn how working professional journalists go about their jobs, striving to deliver truthful reporting and accurate editing for publications, even telling about the successes and failures they’ve gone through to get to where they are now,” Cardoza said.