Journalism Association of Community Colleges holds virtual statewide conference

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The Technology building is home to the Moorpark Reporter newsroom. Photo provided by the VCCCD photo archive. Photo credit: Clepsy Hernandez

By Aleea Evangelista

The Moorpark Reporter staff attended the Journalism Association of Community College (JACC) Fall 2020 conference and participated in workshops on the key issues of coronavirus, ethics and social media on Nov. 6-8.

The JACC Spring 2020 conference was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and this fall’s conference transitioned to Zoom and Google Meet events.

Typically divided regionally, the JACC combined both Northern and Southern California community colleges for the three-day conferences.

JACC president Cecilia Deck noted that over 215 faculty and students from 30 junior and community colleges attended the conference.

Column One editor at the Los Angeles Times, Steve Padilla, conducted the opening keynote speech entitled, “Can’t I Tweet What I Want?”, on diversity and technology in the digital age of journalism.

Padilla’s keynote speech was also the subject of the conference’s editorial cartoon, news writing and opinion writing contests. Student journalists were encouraged to submit their work for judging after watching and listening to Padilla’s speech.

In light of the push for racial equity spurred by the national Black Lives Matter protests in the summer, JACC held a wide variety of writing workshops that focused on equity and injustice in journalism and reporting.

California State University Los Angeles Journalism Professor Julie Patel Liss presented a workshop on the intersection between social justice and investigative reporting.

Along with Los Angeles Times National Correspondent Kurtis Lee, Patel discussed her experience writing about social issues and corruption as an investigative journalist.

Four-year colleges such as San Francisco State University, Humboldt State University and California State University Fullerton collaborated with JACC to hold informational events with their university journalism staff.

The university gatherings allowed attending community college students to interact and connect with four-year college representatives.

Chad O’Connor from Moorpark Reporter received an award in the Regional Publication Awards for Sports Game Story in Southern California.

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges will hold a virtual conference Spring 2021.