La Voz News staff wins 15 awards at JACC

La Voz News won 15 awards across several different platforms for their 2016-2017 newspaper and online publications at the Journalism Association of Community College Northern California Conference held at De Anza College on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Awards were handed out to individuals who displayed excellence through their work, and students had the option to participate in on-the-spot contests on different topics.

Among La Voz students who entered contests, Aysha Rehman, 19, aerospace engineering major, won an award for the on the spot editorial cartoon contest.

The conference showcased how students of various backgrounds could be drawn to journalism.

“I am a very big activist and one time I ran into some trouble after a demonstration. The coverage on it really made a difference and saved me,” said Otto Pippenger, 24, San Jose City College journalism major. “It made me aware of the power of a journalist to affect immense change in someone’s life.”

Thirteen students from De Anza attended the conference, who were accompanied by 150 other students from 17 different community colleges in Northern California.

The conference comprised of contests and workshops on the topics of reporting, media law, graphics, photojournalism, social media and more.

This year’s Northern California Conference had a diverse range of speakers and topics ranging from how to make a real difference through reporting to tackling legal rights and risks in newsgathering.

The most meaningful aspect of the conference was the lessons that were taught through the presentations.

“The Keynote speaker, Robert Trapp, talked about the impact of small, local coverage to make difference in people’s lives,” Pippenger said. “I related to sitting in board meetings, looking up the actual ordinances, contacting the city, peering through records for hours and hours. For me, that is what journalism is about.”

The organizer of this year’s event, Chair of Journalism and advisor to La Voz, Cecilia Deck, was elected president of the association’s Northern California Region for 2018-19.

“This is the first time we ever hosted,” Deck said. “It was a big job, but I’ve gotten a lot of emails from my fellow advisors telling me that their students really got a lot out of it.”

With a wide range of perspectives, students were exposed to a number of points of view in order to formulate a better understanding about a career in journalism.

“This was a great conference and I’m impressed with the level of speakers here,” said Deidre Pike, Journalism Chair and Associate Professor of Journalism at Humboldt State University, who gave a presentation on environmental journalism. “I’m inspired that so many California Community College students are pursuing journalism.”