Student Journalists Compete Against Universities, Win

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Eric Bourse, El Vaquero Staff Writer
April 24, 2012
Filed under News, Top Stories

El Vaquero and the Insider garnered 12 awards at the California College Media Association awards banquet held at CSU Fullerton on Saturday. Top honors included first place awards for best color advertisement by Jessica Bourse and best features photography by Shaun Kelly. El Vaquero earned third place for general excellence.

“I was honored to have placed first for an advertisement I designed because the competition was tough,” said Bourse, editor-in-chief of El Vaquero. “We weren’t competing against just community colleges but four-year universities such as UC Berkeley and CSUN.”

For El Vaquero, John Ferrara and Vanessa Duffy took second place for best news series, Jane Pojawa won second place for best headline portfolio and Ian Cervantes took second for best photo illustration.

Derek Stowe took third place for best arts and entertainment story, Ferrara placed second for best feature story and Roger Lai won third place for best features photography.

“I’m glad my herb walk story was recognized, I think that was my best story from last semester and I didn’t even receive an honorable mention for it at JACC,” said Ferrara. “As for the other award, I think Vanessa and I worked really hard on our bookstore stories, which was especially difficult because many of the workers did not want to talk about the situation.”

For the Insider, Verzhine Nikoghosyan took third place for best magazine personal opinion column and Lai placed third for best magazine photo. The Insider also earned second place for best magazine website.

Steve Lopez, columnist of the Los Angeles Times whose work inspired the 2009 film, “The Soloist,” was honored at the banquet. Lopez wasn’t able to accept his award due to obligations at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

The day began with a series of panel discussions and speakers on topics ranging from how to adapt to the changing medium and journalism and how to land a job interview. Speakers included LA Times writer Ari Bloomekatz, editor and publisher of thecitymaven.com Alice Walton, and the regional editor of thepatch.com Diana Swartz.

Tony Pierce, the event’s keynote speaker, was the editor of laist.com as well as editor of the LA Times’ blog whose page views increased from three million views to 72 million during his three year stint.

“It was a great event for college students who are serious about pursuing a career in journalism,” said Bourse. “They had professionals from all over the industry available to speak to students, share insight and answer questions about what it’s really like to be a journalist.”

CCMA is a statewide organization that was founded in 2003 whose purpose is to help college student journalist students as well as their school’s journalism programs. Each year CCMA presents workshops and panel discussions as well as an award banquet honoring the best work from student journalists of the previous year.

Thirty-seven colleges from across the state attended the banquet including universities such as UCLA, Cal State Fullerton and San Francisco State.

El Vaquero and the Insider have won a total of 18 awards this semester including those earned at the JACC competition on March 24.

Color Advertisement  - first place: Jessica Bourse

Feature Photography  - first place: Shaun Kelly, third place  Roger Lai

General Excellence – second place: El Vaquero

Magazine Website – second place: Insider

News Series – second place:  John Ferrara and Vanessa Duffy

Headline Portfolio  – second place:  Jane Pojawa

Photo Illustration – second place:  Ian Cervantes

Feature Story – third place:  John Ferrara

Arts And Entertainment – third place:  Derek Stowe

Magazine Opinion – third place: Verzhine Nikoghosyan

Magazine Photo – third place: Roger Lai

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