Members of the Media Arts Department attended the 2017 Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) state convention to participate in various workshops and compete in on-the-spot contests in writing, photography and broadcasting.
The convention was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento from Thursday, March 30, through Sunday, April 2. The Roundup and Bull Magazines won 10 awards.
Robert O’ Neil, instructor of Media Arts Department, has been attending JACC since 1980 and recommends any aspiring journalist to attend this conference.
“The newspapers and magazine both got general excellence awards which was really really nice,” O’Neil said.
Editor-in-Chief of the Roundup newspaper Victor Rodriguez was able to attend 14 different workshops throughout the three days at JACC.
“When students attend this conference, they have the opportunity to enter on-the-spot journalism competitions where their work is judged by industry professionals,” Rodriguez said. “They are also encouraged to attend workshops, also run by industry professionals, about whatever subjects or specialties they’d like to go into.”
“I feel like a completely new journalist,” Rodriguez said. “All of these seminars and workshops are information that you’re not going to get from your professors—they have their own lesson plan, and people who are working in this specific field know what it takes to make it; they’re living the jobs we want.”
Editor-in-Chief of the Bull Magazine Tanya Castaneda said she learned about what it’s like to be a woman in the sports industry and how she could take advantage of it as a journalist.
“[JACC] was a good experience,” Castaneda said. “Once you’re there, it’s a completely different story because it’s one thing to be in your own newsroom at school, but it’s a whole other world to step out of your comfort zone, get out there and meet new people that have the same career goals as you. Once you start meeting these new people, the more motivated you get and the more excited you get to keep wanting to learn more and experience more.”
The JACC convention happens twice a year with different speakers and, depending on the organizing committee, a different focus for the keynote speakers to address.
Each speaker and participant attend the convention with a variety of skills to share with each other to further techniques and knowledge to apply in newsrooms.
“Most of the seminar leaders that I talked to repeated that it’s not about your degree, it’s not about you finishing your education; it’s about you being qualified and having the skillset to actually do the job,” Rodriguez said.
“If you have the opportunity, I recommend any young journalist to attend this conference,” Rodriguez said. “Don’t focus so much on competing, invest more in yourself, in your knowledge; that’s really what’s going to take you there.”