Inquirer ‘generally excels’ at JACC Norcal Regionals


Alex Brendel

Opinions editor Lisa Diaz, left, and staff writer Tom Rizza, far right, ask questions druing the keynote address. Diaz won second place in the on the spot opinion writing contest. (Alex Brendel / The Inquirer)

Vanessa Muniz

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges awarded Diablo Valley College’s The Inquirer “General Excellence” for their online and print editions on Nov. 12 in Sacramento, during their Northern California conference.

The Inquirer took home five other awards from the one-day event, competing against 17 other community colleges from California in mail-in and on-the-spot competitions.

“As editor-in-chief, it makes me enthralled that I can lead a group of people to win awards for prints and online,” Inquirer Editor-in-chief Julius Rea said, who personally won honorable mention for front page layout.

“I’ve been hard on myself because, in spring semester, we won the general excellence for fall 2010. I’m happy to be part of the Inquirer’s history of excellence,” he said. “I’m proud of last semester’s staff more than I am of myself. But I’m more proud of the staff members who returned [to The Inquirer] and progressed as journalists.”

The on-the spot contests included one for copy editing, opinion writing, news writing and editorial cartooning.

In the opinion writing competition, Inquirer opinions editor Lisa Diaz won second place and managing editor Cecily Trowbridge won honorable mention.

“The opportunity to leave the area and spend a day bonding with my teammates was even better than winning an award,” said Diaz. “No matter how you placed in the on-the-spot competition, the experience of having to write under that type of pressure is valuable.”

Previous photography editor Alec Graham won third place in both “mail-in” news photo and photo story/essay.

“I’m very pleased and excited that the staff received the awards for work done in my first semester at DVC,” said Mary Mazzocco, faculty adviser for The Inquirer.

The Inquirer staff also attended informative workshops throughout the day, put on by local journalists from media outlets such as The Sacramento Bee and Sacramento News and Review. The workshops included insight into what it is like to work in the business and successful journalists offered professional advice. The keynote speaker was Jon Ortiz: a Sacramento Bee business writer who started his journalism career at age 40.