By Cassidy Reyna
East Los Angeles College Campus News staff won multiple awards for its performance at this year’s Spring National College Media Convention. This year the convention was in collaboration between the Associated Collegiate Press and Journalism Association of Community Colleges.
ELAC Campus News was registered as JACC and won four contests. Editor-In-Chief Erica Cortes won fourth place in News layout. Social Media manager Daniella Molina won fourth for her on-the-spot editorial cartoon. Opinion editor and Cartoonist Zasha Hayes won fourth for her editorial cartoon.
ELAC Campus News received general excellence in the print edition of the newspaper.
Cortes said that winning these awards made her feel proud of the staff and herself as a journalism student.
“As far as general excellence, I’m really proud of our team who worked on it [the newspaper] last semester. I’m very excited to bring that title to our new staff so that they can be inspired and continue that hard work that each member does,” Cortes said.
“Each and everyone one of my staff members are doing such a good job of keeping up and having high standards for their work,” Cortes said.
With the pandemic and working virtually with staff and high levels of stress from being EIC, Cortes can sometimes lose sight of her goals.
Winning fourth place reminded her of her goals.
“Getting fourth place in news layout is a personal achievement of mine because I tend to forget the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. It’s inspiring for myself, reminding me that Journalism is what I want to do. Designing and layout is one of my favorite parts of being on Campus News,” Cortes said.
“Although as editor-in-chief, I don’t have much access to do that anymore, knowing I got fourth and placed lets me know that I’m still doing what I love to do,” Cortes said.
Zasha Hayes was shocked when winning fourth in the editorial cartoon.
“I’d barely looked at the Slack (an app used for communication among teams) and saw a few people tagging me and saying congratulations and I was like, for what? I was scrubbing the carpet when I found out I’d placed, so it was pure surprise and confusion,” Hayes said.
Like many students, being on Campus News has impacted Hayes in her path at ELAC while realizing she has another family.
“Campus News is probably one of the best things that has happened to me. The staff is like a second family to me. I know I don’t speak a lot or put myself out there but, I don’t know what I’d be doing if I hadn’t taken the required Journalism 101 course,” Hayes said.
Daniella Molina was relieved and proud to place in the contest.
“I wanted to make sure I was able to capture the perfect way to portray the information from Linsey Davis [keynote speaker]. The theme of the keynote was ‘The journey today of women in Journalism.’ I came up with a women superhero taking action,” Molina said.
“As I remembered Linsey Davis saying “Let’s put some action” [behind our intentions.] I was hopeful, but nervous when the awards ceremony started. The overwhelming thought came over me that I would not be able to bring anything back for our team. I am glad we placed in several contests, since there were many entries of each contest,” Molina said.
29 colleges were registered as JACC attendees and 230 students as JACC, totalling to around 7 students from each college participating under JACC.
Attendees were able to take part in different workshops that were of interest.
Many workshops based around dealing with COVID and still having to work, and workshops to help with the content of writing.
Throughout the three-day convention, there were three keynote speakers.
Those who spoke were Linsey Davis from “ABC News Prime Live” and “World News Tonight” on Sundays. Davis discussed her journey in journalism and how women have to “take action” in their careers on Thursday.
Major Garrett the Chief Washington correspondent from CBS News, also spoke about the change of Journalism and politics on Friday.
Ashley Parker is a White House reporter from the Washington Post.
Parker’s keynote was an informal conversation with the students who attended, she focused on the students and answered any questions they had on Saturday.
The three-day convention was informational and benefited all those who attended as many were able to share their experiences and learn new techniques in writing, designing and drawing.