ELAC Campus News art director scores professional award

By Luis Castilla

Despite finding himself in quarantine like much of the country, Steven Adamo, one of East Los Angeles College Campus News’ most decorated staff members, has won yet another award in journalism.
Adamo, ELAC Campus News art director, won second place in editorial cartooning at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 62nd Southern California Journalism Awards.
Adamo’s work was submitted in a professional category. He was runner up to Lalo Alcarez, a Los Angeles Time cartoonist.
The Southern California Journalism Awards accepted entries from many news organizations including the Los Angeles Times, KCET and NBC LA.
Adamo’s cartoon,” Facebook advertises fake news,” depicts a hand crossing its fingers and becoming the Facebook logo. Adamo also wrote its coinciding article, “Social media advertises fake news.”
It was Facebook’s privacy misuse that gave Adamo the idea for the cartoon.
“I think Facebook is a very sneaky company. So to say one thing to your face, and do another seems like something that’s common practice to them,” Adamo said.
Being a skilled artist and writer, Adamo is placed in a unique position to create the graphics for the stories he writes.
Adamo said he comes up with the idea for the image first and then the story. “I come up with the image first because it can be less complicated than written language, but ultimately I’d like if they can both compliment one another,” Adamo said.
As one of Campus News’ most skilled illustrators, Adamo lends his talents to those in need, pulling many out of their respective pickles.
Gustavo Buenrostro, former Campus News editor in chief, said he found Adamo to be extremely reliable.
“Whether I was EIC or just an editor, if I had an idea for a graphic, he would be there to help me or if I needed a cartoon for an opinion story, Steven would be up for it,” said Buenrostro. “Sometimes I would feel bad because we relied on Steven for a lot, but he always had a good attitude about it.”
“When Steven does an illustration, you know it’s his because he has his own unique flare,” said Buenrostro. “Sometimes, his graphics can be considered a little odd, but it’s hard to deny the talent he has when you see them.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Campus News has been forced to operate entirely online.
Adamo said he misses the collaborative environment of being in a physical newsroom.
“Even though our newsroom has proven to be able to work virtually, it doesn’t compare to the actual newsroom, its resources and the ability to problem-solve in real time as a group,” Adamo said.
Though life has moved online for the most part, Adamo is still wary of Facebook’s practices in this new digital age.
“I’m increasingly alarmed from the reports of software developers misusing our data, in exchange for free services,” Adamo said. “It’s what inspired me to draw the original image. The difference now after attending ELAC journalism, I can write a better article to accompany it,” Adamo said.
While he could not celebrate his second place win at a traditional awards ceremony, Adamo said he misses the chicken dinners and the comradery of winning with a team.

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