Student-run newspaper wins awards at 2017 spring journalism convention
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El Camino’s student-run newspaper was awarded second place for best two-year college paper and third place for best tweet at the College Media Association’s spring 2017 convention in New York last week.
Some editors and staff writers traveled to New York City to represent the Union and to learn more through the journalism workshops.
“I really wasn’t expecting it,” Phil Sidavong, editor-in-chief for The Union, said. “When we had already won third place for best tweet. I didn’t need to win any more awards. When they said (the Union won) second place for best two-year college newspaper, I was just so ecstatic.”
The Union submitted two issues from the spring semester of 2016 and the last issue from the fall semester of 2016.
“It just means all this work I’ve been putting in the last two years has been worth it.” Sidavong said.
The convention had different journalism workshops before the awards show on Tuesday, March 15.
The workshops ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and consisted of meeting fellow journalists and learning from keynote speakers about certain types of journalism.
“My favorite workshop was the networking workshop,” Jonathan Ortiz, staff writer for the Union, said. “They had chairs on each side (that would be) facing each other. Every two minutes you would move down a chair and speak to the person (across from your) chair.”
After the convention was over, the Union staff members got stuck in a snowstorm, so their flight was delayed a day.
Thankfully, the adviser for the Union Stefanie Frith knew the initial flights would be cancelled ahead of time.
With the approval from El Camino supervisors, the editors and staff writers were able to stay in the same hotel an extra night.
“I want to say thank you to the Vice President and deans of (El Camino) for (giving us) approval for one more night in New York City,” Frith said.
Despite having to stay one night in New York, some students enjoyed seeing the snow that covered the city, while others did not.
“I finally understand why people who live in the snow are not too fond of it,” Ortiz said. “It was really difficult to get around, and the cold hurts.”
The Union takes pride in being completely student-run.
All work is done by editors and staff writers.
All work is approved and published by the students that work for the Union.
“This is a student-run publication,” Sidavong said. “We’re all trying to work to get better.”
Eric Ramos, sports editor for the Union, didn’t mind the snow since Southern California doesn’t see too much of it, if any at all.
“The snow was actually a bonus,” Ramos said, “We walked around Central Park … and it made for some good photos.”
The process of putting together any kind of newspaper is not easy and even with all the learning experiences, there are bound to be new things to learn and feel.
“Phil and I have been part of the staff the longest,” Ramos said, “We’ve endured the highs and lows. Winning second place is a tremendous accomplishment.”