Campus News wins at regional conference

By Sergio Berrueta

Campus News won 11 awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Southern California Conference this past weekend in Fullerton, Calif.

Students learn how to network with professionals in the journalism field.They attend workshops that cover a variety of subjects within the field.

Campus News brought home with eight publication awards and three on-the-spot awards. Publication awards are based on works published within the previous year while on-the-spot awards are based on the competition during the JACC.

Art Director Lindsey Maeda won the most awards out of the Campus News staff with four awards. This conference was her final opportunity to compete in layout and design after reaching her two year limit.

“Every semester, I’m trying to improve on my designs,” Maeda said. “The creative process is the hardest part about designing. You can make something look pretty, but it has to make sense, too. The hardest part of being a visual journalist is taking the stories, taking the main point and trying to elevate it in a way that’s going to be interesting to pick up the paper.”

Maeda garnered three publication awards — photo illustration and two in layout collaborations with other staff members including current editor-in-chief Jesus Figueroa for Front Page Layout- Broadsheet and former staff member Jazmin Tellez for Inside Page Layout- Broadsheet.

“I’m completely surprised finding out about the award, but also very happy,” Tellez said. “I learned a lot about myself during my time on Campus News. I grew as a person and learned I have a passion for writing even though at times I was shy, afraid, to get my stories published.”

Former staff photographer Mannie Miguel was ecstatic about his win for Sports Feature Photo.

“It feels great to be recognized for your work,” Miguel said. “Especially given that everyone on staff dedicated a lot of themselves to their work.”

Managing Editor and former editor-in-chief Danny Vasquez lead the award-winning spring semester and was presented with the award for General Excellence.

“At first, I doubted myself and my semester. I was worried that if we did a good job, if I did a good job as editor-in-chief last semester,” Vasquez said. “In the end, it showed that I worked really hard to make sure we were doing great.”

Thirteen members of the Campus News staff attended the conference with adviser Sylvia Rico-Sanchez. Adviser Jean Stapleton was absent for the event.

“The students are self-directed, reliable and dedicated. There’s very little supervising to do because they know what to do, they know what is required and they deliver,” Rico-Sanchez said. “Jean prepared me by having me accompany her to the last couple of conferences.She told me that the kids are good kids and they know what to do.”

Rico-Sanchez studied journalism under Stapleton and attended conferences in the past. Rico-Sanchez noticed the drastic changes from her time as a student to now.

“When I competed at JACC, I competed in the copy editing contest. We had to write our own headlines and we didn’t have computers, so everything was pen and pencil,” Rico-Sanchez said. “It’s mostly the technology. It’s more streamlined and the conference seems more fun.”

The SoCal conference this year was fewer than previous years with a thin crowd and without bring-in contests that are usually available, giving the conference less competitions.

Publication Awards

ELAC recipient of: Print General Excellence

Front Page Layout – Broadsheet
Third place, Lindsey Maeda and Jesus Figueroa

Inside Page Layout – Broadsheet
Third place, Lindsey Maeda and Jazmine Tellez

Photo Story-Essay
Third place, Jesus Figueroa and Desiree Lopez

Photo Illustration
First place, Lindsey Maeda

News Story
Second place, Maegan Ortiz

Sports Feature Photo
Fourth Place, Manny Miguel

Sports Game Story
Fourth place, Tadzio Garcia

On-The-Spot Awards

Feature Photo
Honorable mention, Julianne Obregon

News Judgment/Layout – Broadsheet
Second place, Lindsey Maeda

Broadcast News Writing
Honorable mention, Tadzio Garcia

Alumnus receives award for blog

By Amanda Mayberry & Lindsey Maeda

Former East Los Angeles College student Jesus Sanchez received an award for Distinguished Work in New Media for his news blog, The Eastsider LA, from the Society of Professional Journalists on May 8.

Sanchez is editor and publisher of The Eastsider, which he started in 2009 after being laid off from his job as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. This is the first award Sanchez has received for the work he does on his blog.

In previous years The Eastsider LA was named “Best Neighborhood Blog” by Los Angeles Weekly as well as the Times. In June, Sanchez will also be receiving recognition for his contribution to online journalism from the Chicano News Media Association.

Sanchez attended ELAC from 1977-1980. When he began attending ELAC, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go into journalism or architecture. “At the time, ELAC had a really good architecture program and they had a really good journalism program, which is still run by Jean Stapleton.  Basically, journalism won,” Sanchez said.

He worked for ELAC Campus News as page editor, staff writer and editor in chief until he transferred to California State Long Beach to continue his education. He graduated and received his bachelor’s degree with a major in business and a minor in journalism. After graduating he received an internship with the Times.

Not long after, he moved to Texas and continued to work as a journalist. There, he covered community news for the Dallas Times Herald. He made another move to Washington, D.C. where he worked as a business reporter for USA Today. “Originally, that was the goal — to travel and cover business news,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez later made his way back to California where he acquired a job at the Times, and continued to cover stories for the business section. He became one of the L.A. Times newsroom’s first online reporters. “It’s a totally different medium,” Sanchez said about working online.  “In a way, it is better.”

Sanchez said that working on his online blog requires all the same skills as publishing on paper, but online has some advantages that working on paper does not. He said working in print is more expensive and harder to distribute, and there’s no guarantee anyone will even read it. “It’s better than paying a lot of money to publish a paper and leaving it somewhere for someone to pick it up, but no one’s picking it up,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said this is why he decided to publish news online. It’s cheaper, faster and easier to distribute. “We don’t take it too seriously.  That’s what gives the blog personality.  We don’t have all the resources to do long investigative pieces,” Sanchez said.

He said he also recognized that, thanks to the Internet, the future of journalism is going toward online. “Anyone who wants to be a journalist, but doesn’t want to work online should probably look for another profession,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said that with The Eastsider published online, anyone and everyone has easier access to it. Sanchez commented “ I’m not sure if my (blog) is successful yet.  It’s still something new for me.”

Occupy ELAC protesters fail to understand journalism ethics

By Augustine Ugalde

After receiving numerous complaints about an opinion piece directed toward the Occupy ELAC movement, it became clear that the protesters need to be educated about journalistic ethics. Campus News, the journalism department and I have come under heavy criticism for the opinions I expressed regarding some of the protester’s demands.

The protesters took their complaints personally, by visiting CN to protest, submitting letters to the editor, posting on CN’s Facebook page, as well as their own. A comparison was made between CN and the Fox News Network, stating that CN is biased, elitist, one-sided and that we should be backing the protesters, not bashing them.

The language used to advance their protests was less than complimentary.  All this anger coming out of the movement’s leadership has provided me with a great deal of insight into the minds of the protesters. The movement also needs to get educated on the different facets of a news publication.

The story that generated a negative backlash was an opinion piece, not a news story and it was solely my opinion, not that of CN. Had it been the opinion of CN, it would have appeared as an editorial piece with no writer name attached to it. This story clearly had the writer’s name clearly attached to it.

The accusation that CN is Fox-like is just ridiculous. If any angry protester were to ever bother to look into the journalism department’s infrastructure, it would find Department Chair, Jean Stapleton at the core.

Stapleton would never allow a student journalist to report on any campus club, department or group he or she is affiliated with because of newsroom ethics. By “backing” the Occupy ELAC movement, any CN reporter would be violating the conflict of interest clause that every journalist ascribes to.

Any breach of this ethical standard would result in the prompt dismissal of the reporter, editor or photographer from CN. Fox News unethically and “backs” its constituents; CN does not.

What Occupy ELAC may not realize is that CN is one of the oldest, most respected, community college newspapers in the country. It has also won its share of general excellence awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges, an organization that includes nearly all 600-plus community colleges in California. Its ethical standards will not be compromised; not with Stapleton at the helm. CN dates back to the early 1940s, which predates most Occupy ELAC members by at least half a century.

It would serve the occupiers well if they would think before throwing out emotionally-charged, off-base accusations toward CN just because they don’t agree with one person’s opinion. I stand by my original work. The Occupy ELAC demands are too extreme. Free education is a thing of the past.

Today’s fiscal realities call for an amended list of demands that are more realistic and that may actually have a chance to become reality. The “I can’t take any criticism whatsoever” generation must realize that life is not neat and that it will present unexpected obstacles along the way. It seems that the protesters have forgotten about the free education they have already received called K – 12.

Asking for complete forgiveness for all student loan balances is unrealistic. Entering into a financial agreement is not reversible because of inconvenience.  Students who take student loans should pay them back.

It’s time Occupy ELAC puts their big boy and big girl pants on and develop a sense of responsibility and do the right thing. This is the real world not high school; it’s time to grow up.