By Megan Perry
A journalism conference at California State University, Fullerton over the weekend resulted in the most awards Campus News has won in more than 10 years.
The Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ convention included all registered community colleges from Southern California. Schools competed against one another for the top spot, and East Los Angeles College came home with 14 awards in various competitions. Last year, ELAC went home with 10 awards, the best win from the previous years before it.
Sixteen staff members competed in a number of different competitions, such as news writing, feature photograph, editorial cartoon and copy writing.
Campus News won a 2011 General Excellence award, along with about 15 other schools. To win this award, the school needed 87.5 points scored on their newspaper’s different elements and Campus News scored 97 points.
Cartoonist Kien Ha, won four awards that included first and third place in the Illustration Art/Design mail-in contest and second place and an honorable mention in the Editorial Cartoon mail-in contest. Ha ran the board by taking home first, second, third and an honorable mention awards. “I’m really proud. I do what I know and I hope for the best. I’d have to thank the Campus News staff, because without them I wouldn’t have had this opportunity,” said Ha. He said he is going to show his awards to his family and find a place for them.
Former Campus News staff writer Abraham Jaregui, placed first place in mail-in critical review. The judges only gave three awards in So Cal for critical review and he placed first. “He just stomped all over everybody,” said Jean Stapleton, journalism professor and adviser to the paper.
Stapleton said that she feels JACC is beneficial for the students who attend. “Some of my former students have said that the thing that helped them get the job was going to JACC, where they had a chance to try to get the material and go write it right away. We only have one basic journalism teacher at this school, and nobody gets different points of view. It’s very good for them (journalism students) to get different points of view,” said Stapleton. She felt Campus News performed “fabulously” at the JACC conference.
“We were right there at the top. I don’t know that we’ve ever gotten more awards. This is really one of our top (performances), and the wonderful thing was it was scattered across the staff. It’s more exciting when there’s a whole bunch of people who won, and they’re all excited and happy. We have a good group of people, and I’m very proud of them,” said Stapleton.
Editor-in-Chief Edgar Lopez felt the conference was motivational for the staff. “It’s definitely motivating, since new people went with us. It was a good experience for all who are involved. With that experience, I hope the paper benefits from it,” said Lopez.
He feels the convention is beneficial to the staff because it puts them under pressure and deadlines journalist experience. Lopez placed second in the mail-in profile feature, which was written on Athletic Trainer Diane Stankevitz. “It was fantastic because I loved competing. It was the first trophy that I’ve ever won in my entire life, because I was always kicked out of little league,” said Lopez.
“It’s always more comfortable after we come back from JACC, because of all the time we spent bonding as a staff,” said Lopez.
Photo Editor Tadzio Garcia felt that the important part of attending the conference was his ability to network, which included working with photography workshop masters.
“It felt good when I won, but I felt better when I lost because I learned so much that I can take with me. It was a cut-throat competition to succeed and win, but I took a step backwards to absorb and walk away feeling great. But don’t get me wrong, it feels good to win,” said Garcia.
He said that when they called his name announcing his win, he felt so proud to win for ELAC. Garcia took home two awards, one third place win in on-the-spot feature photograph and an honorable mention in on-the-spot sports photograph.
Managing Editor Freddy Monares has been to JACC the previous year and likes how the staff reacts to the knowledge obtained from the conference.
“In years past, the conference has boosted confidence in staff and it is seen throughout our remaining time at the paper. I think that with the professional help at the workshops, it will help us take more risks in our design. (The conference) benefits staff because we see an outsider’s perspective on our paper,” said Monares.
JACC hosts workshops that range from a wide variety of subjects from social media to editorials. It gives students the knowledge to become successful journalists.
Front Page Editor Erik Luna found the workshops went in his favor. Luna won an honorable mention in the on-the-spot critical review.
“I’m positive if it wasn’t for that workshop (“Art of the Critique”), I would not have won the honorable mention award. I utilized the techniques Jeff Favre said in the workshop in the competition,” said Luna. He went on to say that he plans to bring better standards to his articles and design elements to his page.
It was the first time for a few people to attend the conference, such as the Adobe InDesign Consultant Kiyotaka Asahi. Asahi enjoyed the experience, but didn’t like that it has such harsh deadlines.
“The deadlines are stressful to meet because you don’t have much time to produce a quality product, but you need to push through to meet the deadline,” said Asahi. He said that he did enjoy getting to know each other on a personal level.
This was also News Editor Lindsey Maeda’s first time and she found the experience interesting. She said it “opens eyes to the real world, because you can see people our age at a professional level. There is a lot of competition (out there).”
LIST OF WINNERS:
Profile Feature Mail-in: Edgar Lopez – 2nd place
Sports Action Photo Mail-in: Tadzio Garcia – Honorable Mention
Enterprise/News Story Mail-in: Rodolfo Trujillo – Honorable Mention
Illustration Mail-in: Kien Ha – 1st and 3rd
Editorial Cartoon Mail-in: Kien Ha – 2nd and Honorable Mention
Inside Page Design Mail-in: Robert Barrett – Honorable Mention
Critical Review Mail-in: Abraham Jaregui – 1st
On-the-spot Feature Photograph: Tadzio Garcia – 3rd
On-the-spot Critical Review: Erik Luna – Honorable Mention
On-the-spot Copyediting: Rodolfo Trujillo – Honorable Mention
On-the-spot News Photograph: Hugo Dominguez, Jr. – Honorable Mention
General Excellence: Campus News