The Guardsman Etc. staff after the awards ceremony at the JACC conference on Mar. 24 in Burbank, Calif. -Beth Laberge
By Einar Sevilla
City College’s Journalism department snagged 22 awards in March at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ 57th annual state conference in Burbank.
The JACC is an educational non-profit run by students and faculty from across the state and organizes four conferences every year.
The state convention took place from March 22-25 at the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center and brought together over 550 students from 44 California community colleges and one from Rhode Island.
More than a dozen student representatives attended the conference from City College, along with two faculty members — Tom Graham and Juan Gonzales, faculty advisors for the student run publications Etc. Magazine and The Guardsman, respectively.
Awards were submitted under three categories — mail-in: pieces published during the previous two semesters, bring-in: original pieces not previously published, and on-the-spot: work produced at competitions during the convention.
Etc. Magazine staff took home several mail-in awards, including first place for Magazine Photo by Alex Chousa and first place for Magazine Opinion Article by Isaiah Kramer.
Elliot Owen, former editor-in-chief of Etc. Magazine, said the number of awards won speaks to the both the level of student talent and the quality of the journalism department.
“I think the department is really great for providing students a foundation in the discipline,” Owen said. “The instructors are very engaging and very dedicated, and that really rubs off on the students and inspires them.”
Clarivel Fong, Guardsman multi-media editor, won first place in the bring-in photo competition for her photograph of students protesting education budget cuts at the March in March rally in Sacramento.
“It’s gratifying to know that we’re among the elite best in the state when it comes to producing a campus newspaper,” journalism department chair Juan Gonzales said.
Other Guardsman staff won honorable mentions for on-the-spot competitions, including Susan Boeckmann for copy editing and Catherine Lee for critical review.
“The awards are great recognition of what we do,” Guardsman editor-in-chief Joe Fitzgerald said, “but the news is what’s important.”
Students also attended workshops focused on topics that ranged from how to optimize internships, journalism ethics and how to become better photographers.
“I think there’s always a possibility to get better,” Guardsman culture editor Lulu Orozco said.
“I felt like there was a lot to learn, and the workshops were awesome,” Guardsman reporter Oz Litvac said. It was “a great learning experience.”