Fullerton College publications, The Hornet and Inside Fullerton, took home a combined nine awards at the Spring National College Media Convention Saturday.
There were 295 students from 29 colleges that are members of Journalism Association of Community Colleges in attendance at the three-day convention, where contests were interspersed between speaking events and webinars. Journalists, professors and students gave speeches and discussed various topics related to the field.
Both The Hornet and Inside Fullerton won the “general excellence” categories for the online newspaper and magazine sections, respectively.
Hornet Social Media editor Myron Caringal won first place for best on-the-spot infographic and again for on-the-spot social media. Managing editor Richie Rodriguez won third place for the mail-in feature, highlighting the lives of Hispanic fruit vendors and their businesses during the pandemic.
He also won honorable mention for the on-the-spot feature competition where competitors had to write a short story about a virtual event they attended where a documentary called “Life After Paradise High” was screened. They were also able to ask the creators of the film questions afterward.
“One of my main objectives pursuing journalism has been to tell stories. Having my work recognized at JACC was an amazing feeling and motivated me to continue shining a light on people or communities often overlooked,” Rodriguez said.
The social media contest required 10 tweets and one graphic. Caringal with mastery and lightning speed created these ahead of time and made sure to use all available Twitter features such as polls, threads and key hashtags. He created his own Twitter icon: a laptop “wearing” a hat with glasses in the front.
For the infographic contest, contestants were given a week in advance to display data related to “The State of Higher Education for Black Californians.” Caringal felt hesitant at first because there was a lot of data to present and was unclear about the instructions. He double-checked with colleagues for feedback before submitting.
Inside Fullerton, writer Chris Rangel took home fourth place for their opinion piece supporting sanctuary cities in Orange County entitled, “Which way forward? The fight for Orange County’s political future.” Keeth Barker took the third-place prize for his opinion piece supporting sports players with outspoken political takes called “Athletes take on activism.”
“In thinking about writing the opinion piece, I thought a lot about what a decisive moment we were in, in relation to both the beautiful rising against police brutality and white supremacy, and with the election,” Rangel said.
He added that many of the events from the summer of 2020 were his inspiration in the angle of his award-winning piece.
Elise Galbraith and Nallely de la Peña placed third for best cover, with Galbraith also placing third for design.
This is the second semester. Inside Fullerton has taken home awards at the conference, placing nine times in the fall.
On the competition, Caringal said, “Our adviser Jay Seidel said to us before the ceremony started, ‘If you guys don’t win anything, I still think you’re awesome!’”