The Union and Warrior Life win 11 awards at journalism conference


Union staff members at the Journalism Association Of Community Colleges, Southern California region conference awards ceremony on Saturday Oct. 18, 2014 at California State University, Fullerton. Several Union staff writers competed in on the spot competitions and attended journalism workshops. Photo credit: John Fordiani

White pages stained with red ink, post-its scattered on desks and a newsroom buzzing with activity; this is a usual sight for a journalist on the Union. The progression of the EC newspaper was recently tested at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) Conference Oct. 17 and 18 at Cal State Fullerton.

At JACC, students both attended informative journalism workshops and competed for awards. The Union won General Excellence in all three categories: magazine, newspaper, and online.

It has been several years since the Union won General Excellence in the three categories, Kate McLaughlin, journalism associate professor and co-adviser of the Union, said.

“(The co-editors-in-chief) really wanted to attain that goal and win all three,” Kate McLaughlin said. “They worked doggedly over the last two years, I think, to make it happen and they did and I was so pleased.”

Matthew Simon, 25, journalism major and co-editor-in-chief, put winning the General Excellence awards as his foremost goal.

“I really hold it as what I am always going to remember,” Simon said.

Jessica Martinez, 20, journalism major and co-editor-in-chief, reaped the most awards of all the Union members. She placed in four categories, including Opinion Writing and Magazine Cover Design.

“With the Opinion Writing, I was nervous with how that was going to go but that was the category I placed in,” Martinez said.

Thomas Schmit, 24, journalism major and opinion and editorial editor, placed first in News Writing.

“Last semester, I didn’t actually place in any events and it was kind of a low point for me,” Schmit said. “Finally getting the first place that I have been trying to get for all these years is really an amazing feeling.”

The photography competitions at JACC were challenging, John Fordiani, 21, administration of justice major and photo editor, said.

“I’d love to keep trying,” Fordiani said. “There is a lot pressure on people to get the perfect shot.”

Regardless of the challenging nature of JACC, members of The Union placed in several categories.

“People should get used to seeing people from the Union winning awards,” Simon said. “It’s what we should be known for.”

The Union, Union Online, and Warrior Life, won a total of 11 awards last weekend in Fullerton.