Skyline College at JACC

Anttwan Stanberry delivers a speech at the JACC NorCal Presidential Election (Elaine Low)

Anttwan Stanberry delivers a speech at the JACC NorCal Presidential Election (Elaine Low)

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Around noon on Thursday, March 26, crammed into three cars, seven staff members of The Skyline View, three other Skyline students interested in journalism, and teacher/advisor Nancy Kaplan-Biegel drove into the hot and dry Sacramento climate to attend the JACC convention hoping to learn more about journalism and have a good time.

They arrived in the lobby one carload after the other into the Double Tree Hotel waiting to check into their rooms, not knowing what to expect and barely knowing each other.

Ushered into the Grand Ballroom of the hotel, orientation began. with an enthusiastic “Hello!” Marjie Lundstrom, keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize winner, and investigative reporter for The Sacramento Bee, welcomed those attending. The mood turned serious when Lundstrom shared her current project about Sacramento’s Child Protective Services and their being investigated for not protecting several children from being murdered by their neglectful parents.

Lundstrom’s articles in The Sacramento Bee have opened the eyes of residents and caused an investigation into Sacramento’s CPS agency. She believes journalism is an important and incredible job. “This is the best job, because it matters, it makes a difference in peoples lives,” Lundstrom said.

While the material was depressing, it served to inspire journalism students to pursue a career in investigative journalism because it’s work that matters and can make a difference.

The conference was officially underway, offering students workshops to improve their journalism skills, inspire them, and network with future colleagues and others already in the industry. There were also on-the-spot competitions where students from different schools could compete.

While running around the conference, the ten Skyline students got to have some fun too. Those who attended were Jay Johnson, Joey Fogel, Brenda Cancino, Anttwan Stanberry, Mitchell Martin, Andrew Lidwell, Elaine Low, Alessandro Fillari, Kathryn Burgess, and Jessica Belluomini. They spent some time each day walking around Sacramento, having lunch, hanging out by the hotel pool and getting to know each other better.

The trip brought success as well to The Skyline View Staff. Our Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Lidwell, won an award for his on-the-spot news judgment/tabloid layout. Sports Editor Anttwan Stanberry won the title of JACC NorCal president. Elaine Low’s photos were put on a slide show during Saturday night’s dinner for the entire convention to see.

The last night of the convention the JACC hosted a dinner in the hotel for all attendees. Dressed in formal attire and some in casual dress, attendees gathered for a three course dinner followed by an awards ceremony for those who competed in on-the-spot competitions. Teachers were also awarded for their support of journalism. First Amendment Award winner Richard Livingston, of Los Medanos College, said he accepted the award for, “all the student journalists out there reporting the news.”

The students left with stronger knowledge of software, design, and writing styles as well stronger bonds to colleagues, mentors and each other. The conference left students motivated to try new things in journalism and hopefully to keep pursuing it as a career.