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Students capture video, print journalism awards

College of San Mateo journalism students were honored Saturday for video journalism and an editorial in defense of student First Amendment rights during a regional conference at San Jose State University.

Writers and editors for The San Matean, the college’s newspaper and website, also collected an array of awards for writing, photography and advertising during the all-day “Norcal” event hosted by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.

About 250 students from 18 community colleges throughout Northern California attended the conference which offers numerous workshops. The JACC serves community colleges throughout the state and hosts regional conferences each fall. Contest winners are drawn from hundreds of entries by students from several dozen community colleges. Thirteen CSM journalism students attended the conference.

Students Cecile Basnage and Nick Zirbes created the video that was named Generally Excellent in Video Journalism. They covered student budget protests in San Francisco and Sacramento. Basnage also received a second Generally Excellent for her coverage of diversity activities. Judges also awarded Basnage and Zirbes a third place in Web/Broadcast News for their video coverage of budget protests on campus during May.

Basnage also received a first place award for photo essays with her full-page coverage last May of a dance group.

Margaret Baum, executive editor of The San Matean, collected second place honors for an editorial about a longtime clash over student First Amendment rights and the journalism program. “An impressive amount of reporting went into this editorial,” the judges wrote. “It addresses an enormous issue for the paper and its staff and does so in an open way.” Baum has written a series of editorials about the issue. She also was awarded Honorable Mention in the student-designed advertising category for her program promotion: “Free pizza. Flat Coke. The San Matean.” “Funny, clever and simple,” the judges wrote.

Student Bruno Manrique was honored with third place for sports game coverage for his report last May. “Thoroughly reported game story featuring short, active sentences and vivid detail,” the judges wrote.

Student Christine Karavas was honored with a fourth place award for profile features for her coverage of Alexa Hemken, a recent CSM journalism program graduate who, at age 20, started her own newspaper to serve Foster City.

The conference also hosts deadline journalism contests. Alex Farr, Copy Editor for The San Matean, won fourth place in Opinion writing for his story about the conference’s keynote speaker, media specialist Dan Gillmor.

“These conferences are valuable for students because they are highly educational and generate great enthusiasm,” said CSM Journalism Professor Ed Remitz. “It’s also rewarding when the professionals who judge the contests honor the students for outstanding work.”

“The JACC conference was a great experience — it served as an educational experience and a forum for journalism students to exchange ideas and methods,” said Jeff Gonzalez, Editor of The San Matean. “I was joyful and proud for my team members who were recognized with awards, and I’m sure others felt the same about their teams.”

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