Journalism Wins Big at Three Competitions

Journalism awards sit in front of class

January 21, 2022 - 11:12 AM

Journalism students hold awardsThe pandemic played to the advantage of Mt. SAC’s Journalism program, which picked up dozens of honors at the California College Media Association (CCMA) Awards, the Associated Collegiate Press Awards, and the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Awards.

Journalism students workingJournalism Professor Toni Albertson said more awards were won this year than the program has ever won previously in a year. Albertson indicated a reason for the exceptionally strong showing is that the college’s program went digital years ago; therefore, they naturally fit into a host of new categories created for digital journalism.

Student Aaron Story speaks with professor Toni Albertson

“Digital has changed everything,” said Albertson. “We were the first community college to go full-digital (and stop print media).”

Albertson said the students faced numerous obstacles with the ongoing pandemic. “We had moved over to 100% online instruction in 2020. I think it was the hardest semester we have ever had. Trying to contact people who aren’t on campus to create stories is a challenge.” 

“Add to that, this is the smallest staff we have ever had,” indicated Albertson. “You may think digital is easier, but it is a lot harder because they (students) are having to produce content 24/7.”  

Aaron Story“It’s great to be recognized nationally for doing work that I love,” said Aaron Story, who won second place in the new category General Innovation for the campus podcast The Pulse, which “tells stories of my community.”

“For the first time, we partnered with the college’s Radio Program to do the podcast,” said Albertson, demonstrating the need for journalists to embrace technological change in communications.

Mt. SAC offers an Associate in Arts for Transfer degree in Journalism. The Journalism program runs SAC.MEDIA and the online magazine Substance.

A list of first and second place awards won at the CCMA Awards 2021
Journalism awardsBest COVID Coverage
1st place – Vanessa Feliciano “Pregnancy in Time of COVID-19”
1st place – Abraham Navarro “COVID and Its Somber Scenes”
1st place – Jaylen Minnich-Hall “Mental Health Withers With Us While COVID Carries On”
1st place – Monica Inouye “Survivor Remembers Pearl Harbor”
Best Social Justice Reporting
1st place – Pablo Unzueta & Bridgette Lugo “Deaths of Black Citizens Ignite Protests in Los Angeles”
1st place – Abraham Navarro & Riley Martinez “Demonstrators Protest on West Covina Highway Overpass”
Best Election Coverage
1st place – Monica Inouye, Abraham Navarro, Vanessa Feliciano, Jaylen Minnich-Hall, Riley Martinez
Magazine Photo Series
2nd place – Abraham Navarro
Best Photo Illustration
2nd place - Abraham Navarro
Best Arts & Entertainment Story
2nd place – Shannon Carter “Headspace Thinks Inside the Box”
Best Editorial Cartoon
1st place – Christy Lin
Best Magazine Photo
1st place - Abraham Navarro
Best Headline Portfolio
1st place - Abraham Navarro
Best News Photograph
1st place- Pablo Unzueta
Best Feature Photo
1st place - Abraham Navarro
Best Photo Series
1st place - Pablo Unzueta
Best Feature Story
1st place – Natalie Lu & Eric Tadeo
General Innovation
2nd place – Andre Tinoco & Abraham Navarro “SACAttack”
2nd place – Keith Fort & Aaron Story “The Pulse”
2nd place – Delilah Perez & Amber Ortiz “Mountie.Media”
A list of first and second place awards at the Journalism Association of Community College 2020-2021 Awards
Journalism students talkEditorial Cartoon
1st place – Christy Lin
Best Feature Profile Story
1st place – Natalie Lu & Eric Tadeo “A Laugh to Fit the Bill”
Best Enterprise News Story Meritorious Award COVID Coverage
1st place – Brigette Lugo, Abraham Navarro, Jesse Espitia, & Natalie Lu “Close the Campus”
Sports Feature Photo
2nd place – Abraham Navarro
General Excellence
On the Spot Competition: Editorial Cartoon
1st place – Christy Lin