By Megan Perry
Staff members from the East Los Angeles College Campus News won 11 awards and one contest at the 2012 Journalism Association of Community Colleges Southern California conference.
The 2012 spring semester’s ELAC Campus News staff brought home two General Excellence awards, one for the print edition and one for online journalism.
The print edition scored a total of 97 out of 125 points in 25 categories in various aspects of newspapers and tied with 17 other colleges.
Erik Luna was editor in chief last semester. “I was really proud of last semester’s staff for getting General Excellence in both print and online,” Luna said.
The online edition, which Megan Perry was the online editor-in-chief, tied with seven other colleges for the top online award.
ELAC competed against 26 other California community colleges in mail-in, bring-in and on-the-spot categories held at California State University, Fullerton.
“I thought we did pretty well,” Editor in Chief Lindsey Maeda said.
East Los Angeles College had 16 staff members running around the CSUF campus from workshop to competition.
Managing editor Erik Luna came home with two honorable mentions and a third place, all in the mail-in categories. He received third place for Critical Review and honorable mentions for Online Photo and News Story.
Campus News cartoonist Kien Ha won third place in the mail-in Editorial Cartoon category and an honorable mention in the on-the-spot Editorial Cartoon.
Online editor Tadzio Garcia won two honorable mention awards in the mail-in category for Sports Action Photo and an honorable mention for the bring-in Photo Contest.
Podcast team member Lourdes Espinoza received an honorable mention in the on-the-spot Broadcast News Script Writing contest.
Staff Writer Dulce Carrillo received a prize for Best Journalistic Tweet during the conference.
“For the on-the-spot competitions, we could have tried cultivating our writers so they were more versatile, so they were better trained and, when they go into competition, they know what to expect,” Maeda said.
She said, “I think the problem was writing with a time limit, so I would try to train my writers to meet deadlines. The good thing about JACC is learning to write on a deadline.”
JACC is a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to community college journalism in California, according to its website.
The conferences occur twice a year, in fall and in the spring.
The fall conferences are SoCal, which is usually held at CSUF and the NoCal held in Sacramento. Community college students compete in on-the-spot competitions such as news writing, sports photo or broadcast news script writing.
Students also compete in bring-in categories such as student advertisements or photos that have assigned themes. This year it was a political theme.
The same type of competitions happen in the spring, but the spring conference is open to all community colleges in California which ups the playing field.
Luna said his favorite workshop was the editor’s roundtable, “because editors came together to brainstorm on how their publication can run smoother and more effectively.”
There are also workshops available for student journalists to attend that range from topics such as having an opinion and headline writing, to live tweeting and a photographer’s vision.
Workshops and judging facilitators include faculty from California community colleges. They also include some of the top journalists and photographers in the business. USA Today and Los Angeles Times photographers judged the photo portfolio competition and presented workshops such as lighting and how to get your first job.