By Edward Singleton
After three days of back-to-back competition, the East Los Angeles College’s Campus News staff came home with nine awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state convention in Sacramento at the DoubleTree Hotel last weekend.
Fifteen staff members, along with Journalism Department Chair Jean Stapleton, attended the convention.
About 500 community college students from across California were given the opportunity to attend workshops and compete in competitions held by leading professionals and academics in journalism.
Workshops ranged from ‘How First Amendment Student Rights Began’ facilitated by Attorney Mike Hiestand to ‘The Age of Social Media and 24-Hour News’ by Dave Manoucheri from Sacramento NBC.
Contests included publication awards that were sent in prior to the convention. Colleges were allowed two entries per category.
Other contests were three bring-in contests where students brought in photos, ads or wrote articles all based on different themes. On-the-spot competitions, with 40 to over 100 students in each category, were held during the convention.
Overall, ELAC had one of its best state convention showings in recent years winning a total of nine awards, five on-the-spots, two bring-ins and two publication awards.
Campus News Managing Editor Lindsey Maeda won second place in News Judgment/Layout of a broadsheet front page while Editor-in-Chief Megan Perry won fourth place.
“I was stoked. It was my fourth time competing in the JACC contests, and probably my last, so it felt amazing to finally hear my name called.
“I took all of the knowledge I gained while on the newspaper staff and applied it to the contests. It was an amazing opportunity and I got a lot out of it,” Perry said.
Maeda also won the People’s Choice Award in News Judgment/Layout broadsheet category voted by student and faculty convention participants.
“My main goal coming into the competition was to make it past the first round of news judgment and layout. When I did that and came out with some awards, I felt really accomplished,” Maeda said.
Online Editor Erik Luna had one of the toughest tasks, the news on-the-spot news writing category. He won Honorable Mention.
“My jaw dropped. You don’t think about it, until you have that certificate. You went up against 50 or so people and then you get chosen. It’s really something else,” Luna said.
Staff Writer Summer Gomez also won honorable mention for Broadcast News Writing. Gomez said that she was surprised when she heard her name, but did not realize she had won until one of her fellow staff members told her to go get her award.
For the Bring-in contests, Maeda won third place for the Bring-in Ad while Luna won Honorable Mention for the Bring-in Photo.
In the JACC Publications Awards category Staff Writer Augustine Ugalde won third place in Opinion Writing; Sports Editor Tadzio Garcia won fourth place for Sports Game Story. Garcia also had photos displayed in the Awards Presentation slide show. Contestant photos were chosen based on use of light, design and the decisive moment.
The cartoon category included Campus News cartoonists Kien Ha and Bryan Pedroza. Pedroza previously won a fourth place on-the-spot at last year’s state convention in Burbank.
“I didn’t win any awards in Sacramento,” Kien Ha, Campus News cartoonist said.
“The theme was international adoption, a touching subject. My approach to a newspaper cartoon is more comedic,” Ha previously won two on-the-spot honorable mentions and a first place, two second places, a third place and honorable mention publication awards.
“I started doing this (cartoon drawing) as a hobby. Winning put pressure on me and the stress of wanting to do better,” Ha said.