ELAC journalists win in regional conference competition

WINNING—ELAC Campus News winners show off their awards at JACC on Saturday.

By Melody Ortiz

East Los Angeles College Campus News students won six awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ SoCal Conference on Oct. 14 at California State University, Fullerton.

The winners included Steven Adamo, Stephanie Guevara, Diego Linares, Dorany Pineda, Julie Santiago and Russell Zazueta. Two were  Publications Awards and four were On-the-Spot awards.

The Publications Awards are for students’ published work throughout the year and the On-the-Spot Awards are for students’ work completed during the convention.

Publications Awards went to Adamo, who won first place, for the Inside Page Layout. He also received an Honorable Mention award, along with former Campus News member Linares, in the Front Page Layout category.

Each year, JACC sponsors contests and competitions during the NorCal and SoCal regional conferences.

On-the-Spot winners included,  Pineda, who took first place for News Writing and  Santiago, who took second for News Photo. Honorable Mentions went to  Guevara for News Photo and  Zazueta for Copy Editing.

Pineda said she participated in previous conventions but this was the first time she won an award.

Those competing in the News Writing category listened to an hour long lecture from a keynote speaker and were given another hour to complete a news article based on what they heard.

Pineda chose to write her article on a course the speaker suggested be available to student journalists. The course would be on how to deal with stress during devastating events.

She said she initially thought it was too short of an article, but she did not want to add unimportant sentences just to make it longer because it may have distracted readers from the main point.

Pineda said she was completely shocked when she won because she didn’t expect to win. “It’s nice to be recognized for your hard work and your progress,” said Pineda.

Those competing in the News Photo category did so differently than in past conventions.

Photographers would usually be asked to take pictures of the keynote speaker, however, this time they were asked to photograph the Alzheimer’s Walk held at CSU Fullerton.

Unfortunately, the walk itself began around the time photographers had to turn in their pictures. Therefore, contestants had to work with any activity going on before the walk.

Guevara won an Honorable Mention for her photograph of a flash mob. “It’s humorous because you see their facial expressions,” said Guevara. “How they’re enjoying what they’re doing and they’re just being silly.”

She said she usually underestimates herself when competing, so she wasn’t expecting to hear her name.

Guevara said she needs to work on her photo setting for next time and to take more shots because there may always be a bigger story. This was the second Honorable Mention she has received.

Like Guevara, Santiago took pictures of the flash mob. Santiago took second place for her photo of the mob’s leader dancing.

She said she was pleasantly surprised to learn she received second place because she saw the expensive cameras other schools were using and became a little pessimistic.

Santiago has been practicing photography for a while but is still new to photo journalism. She said she sometimes struggles with separating her creative photos from her news photos and believes it to be one of the reasons that kept her from placing in first.

She said she was happy with the critiques she was given because they let her know what she needs to work on. She sees herself improving each time she competes she said. This was her third time participating and her first time placing.

The next JACC conference will be the 2018 State Convention from March 22 to 24 in Burbank. For more information, visit www.jacconline.org.

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