Moorpark Reporter receives three recognitions at Spring 2021 Journalism Association of Community College awards


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

By Andrea Lopez

The Spring 2021 Journalism Association of Community College was held on March 18-20. The conference was held virtually once again due to the ongoing pandemic.

With seminars being held through a computer screen, many student journalists were able to benefit from the great knowledge shared by other journalists and faculty from various universities across the United States.

This year the Moorpark Reporter staff was awarded General Excellence for its’ online publication.

John Louie Menorca, Moorpark Reporter’s former associate editor and tech expert along with Dominic D’Amico, current podcast desk editor, won third place in the category for Critical Review.

Leslie Mendez, Moorpark Reporter’s public relations director, won an Honorable Mention for the category Photo Illustration.

The Moorpark Reporter staff cheered on the well-deserved winners via Zoom where the awards were being announced.

This year at JACC students from all universities and community colleges were privileged to hear from keynote speakers like Ashley Davis from ABC News, Major Garrett from CBS News and Ashley Parker from The Washington Post.

Students and faculty were also able to participate in workshops anywhere from ‘Dealing with grief in the age of COVID-19’ to ‘Interview Tips for Good Storytelling.’

Garrett shared advice and provided insight into the true essence of journalism.

“Journalism is definable, it has powerful singular and distinctive characteristics that can inform, discover, reveal and when it’s done at its absolute best, change the history of a small town, a large city, a state, even a country,” said Garrett

Garrett continued the inspiring advice with “someone has to answer the questions and to tell the story. That someone is a Journalist.”

The conference closed with Ashley Parker from The Washington Post who shared what it was like working for The New York Times and being a known name to former United States President, Donald Trump.

According to Parker, Trump once criticized a story written by Parker and a colleague.

“…one was in a tweet, about a story of mine and a colleagues, that he didn’t like. This was once he was president and he called us nasty lightweight reporters,” explained Parker to the audience.

Parker reflected the great strength needed to be a journalist in a political campaign to the aspiring future journalists.

A key tip constantly shared amongst the students was to have an outlet to shy away from work and always have a hobby to escape and release the hardships that come with the job.

The next JACC conference will be in Fall 2021. For more information on JACC, click here.