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SBCC’s The Channels Wins 27 Awards at Journalism Conference

Winning video by The Channels' Justin Covington and Linda Sturesson.

A video story of a spirited cancer survivor — produced in less than 24 hours — was among the top awards presented to Santa Barbara City College journalism students last weekend.

A 15-student delegation representing The Channels newspaper staff won a total of 27 awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges annual convention. The event was held April 11-14 at the DoubleTree in Sacramento.

The Channels staff won the JACC Pacesetter award, granted to the four colleges with the highest total scores earned in on-the-spot and mail-in competitions. The publication also won general excellence in both the print and online categories.

“The Channels is an absolutely exceptional student publication,” the judges wrote. “The look is bright and appealing. Content is a rich mix of features, hard news and opinion. You are in touch with your community. A joy to read — and judge.”

Patricia Stark, The Channels faculty adviser, said a peak moment of the convention was the viewing of the winner in the video contest. Linda Sturesson and Justin Covington won the meritorious award for their video of a breast cancer survivor who leads tours at the Capitol building.

“These two students were literally dropped off at the Capitol and told to go find a story,” Stark said. “They stayed up all night working on the final project.

“After the video was shown at the awards banquet, there was complete silence in the auditorium, and then thunderous applause. I noticed some in the audience crying.”

Oystein Gronvold of SBCC's The Channels earned first place from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges for this photo illustration.
Oystein Gronvold of SBCC’s The Channels earned first place from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges for this photo illustration.

A total of 508 students from 52 colleges attended the 3½-day event. The conference featured one-on-one critiques with media professionals, 72 workshops and the popular on-the-spot deadline contests.

In keeping with industry trends, contests were added in video and Twitter journalism. Students also competed in the traditional areas of news, feature, opinion and feature writing, as well as in news, sports and feature photography.

Some students won multiple awards. Ana Mezic, a graduate of Dos Pueblos High, placed in the top four in both feature writing and critical review. Emerson Malone, originally from Grass Valley and now Channels editor-in-chief, won in column writing and team feature. Mike Clark, a journalism and photography double major, placed in the bring-in photo and team feature. Clark was also one of six students awarded a $500 JACC scholarship.

On-the-Spot Winners

» Meritorious, Video Journalism — Justin Covington, Linda Sturesson
» 1st place, Opinion Writing — Erick Pirayesh
» 2nd place, Bring-In Photo — Mike Clark (jpg attached)
» 2nd place, Feature Writing — Ana Mezic
» 3rd place, Team Feature — Mike Clark, Emerson Malone, Reghan Jameson)
» 4th place, Critical Review — Ana Mezic
» Honorable Mention, Feature Photo — Silje Rindal

Publication Awards (mail-in)

» 1st place, News Story — Justine Young
» 1st place, Photo Illustration — Oystein Gronvold
» 1st place, Web/Broadcast news — Scott Buffon, Emma Hermannson, Morten Opedal
» 2nd place, Column Writing — Emerson Malone
» 2nd place, Feature Photo — James Crosby
» 4th place, Illustration — Joakim Lindgren
» 4th place, Video Journalism — Josie Arvidsson, Emma Hermannson, Emerson Malone, Morten Opedal

— Patricia Stark is the Journalism Department chair at SBCC and faculty adviser for The Channels.

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