Students’ experience at journalism conference

Talon Marks was awarded with two awards of excellence at the 2013 Southern California conference held by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.

The brand received an award of General Excellence for the print edition of the paper as well as General Online Excellence for the talonmarks.com website.

The conference was held at California State University, Fullerton on Oct. 11 and 12 with the awards being announced Saturday night.

The SoCal conference is designed to allow students from community colleges to meet professionals in the community and meet and compete against other college journalists.

Members of the staff also placed and received honorable mentions in competitions held at the event.

Opinion editor Gustavo Olguin placed second in the broadcast news writing competition where he had to write out a script for a fake television broadcast.

“I was frozen for probably 10 seconds, ” Olguin said. “Then, I realized my name was on the board.”

The paper’s associate news editor Alexandra Gomez placed third in the news writing competition.

“I felt like (winning) gave me a purpose,” Gomez said. “I knew I liked writing, but I didn’t know I was necessarily good at it.”

Editor-in-Chief Lauren Gandara received an honorable mention in the news feature contest, while news editor Daniel Green received one in the critical review contest.

The conference allowed the students to compete as well as attend workshops that would help prepare them for a career in journalism.

Workshops ranged from writing news to designing news pages or how to write about music and entertainment.

Gomez said that the workshops and professionals helped give her a renewed look on journalism.

“I think I’m more pumped to make a difference and take a leadership role and work with (the editors) to actually come up with newspaper stories and designs.”

Alicia Edquist has attended multiple JACC conferences both as Instructional Lab Tech for the paper and as a former editor-in-chief of the paper.

“JACC seems to excite people about journalism,” Edquist said.

Edquist said that the conference allows students to meet with professionals in the industry as well as meet other journalism students.

“It gives them a chance to see what’s out there and just take chances.”

Sports editor Denny Cristales also attended the event but was unable to win any awards.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing that I didn’t win the sports competition,” Cristales said.

“I have a lot of expectations (for myself) and it’s not really demoralizing, (but) I just let myself down.”

Despite his disappointment, Cristales does not regret attending the event.

“It was cool going to the workshops. A lot to the proctors elaborated on things that I can use to better myself like designing pages (and) writing sports stories.

“It was an experience like no other,” Cristales said. “It was frankly amazing.”