Saturday, December 12, 2009

Top Award for newspaper

Name: Sharon Ho
Issue Date: 11/30/09

The San Matean won first prize for newswriting and a general excellence award at the 2009 regional community college journalism conference.

About 300 students and advisers from 21 colleges attended the Nov. 5 Northern California Journalism Association of Community Colleges Conference at San José State University.

The conference featured workshops and on-the-spot writing and photography contests.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Las Vegas Sun reporter Matt Huffman gave the conference's keynote address, "The Revolution Will Not be Twitterized: Preparing for Journalism in the 21st Century."

"The roots of journalism is journalism," said Huffman as he addressed an auditorium packed with journalism college students and their advisers.

"If journalism is going to succeed in the 21st century, we must first understand that the medium is not the message.

We must realize that the Internet and social networking stuff is not journalism, but a tool for journalism."

"The world doesn't need online journalism; the world needs more journalists online," said Huffman.

"The world needs journalists online more than ever who can explain an increasingly complex world."

Senior staff writer John Servatius's March report of the 12-year jail sentencing of 27-old Sarith Soun for the 2006 "voluntary manslaughter" of 19-year-old Skyline College student Boris Albinder over a parking space outside a club on Geary Boulevard won the coveted first prize for mail-in newswriting out of 50 entries.

"Very strong quotes," the judges wrote.

"Good understanding of the legal system."

The San Matean was one of only three college newspapers out of 21 entries to receive the "Generally Excellent" award for enterprise or series reporting for its coverage of ongoing budget woes at CSM.

"Solid report - good sourcing," the judges wrote.

The reporters honored included Laura Babbitt, Margaret Baum, Erin Browner, Alexa Hemken, Courtney Jamieson, Christine Karavas, Dylan Lewman and John Servatius.

Erin Browner, Editor of The San Matean for the spring 2009 semester also garnered an Honorable Mention among 37 entries in the News Photo mail-in contest for her photo of students marching last March in Sacramento to protest budget cuts.

"Professionals handle the judging so these awards, which include comments, are especially relevant for beginning journalists," said Ed Remitz, adviser to the San Matean.

"We are proud of the students and their accomplishments."

"Awards are great but we remain focused on producing the best work possible for our newspaper and website," said Baum.

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