Experience staff honored with 18 journalism awards

PRESS RELEASE: Nov. 11, 2020
For information, contact Adviser Cindy McGrath, (925) 473-7827

The Los Medanos College Experience won 18 awards in the annual Northern Regional Publications and On-the-Spot contests of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges, announced virtually at the annual JACC fall journalism conference held online Nov. 6-8.

The weekly student publication, led by former Editor in Chief Krys Shahin, won General Excellence in the Publication Contest for its print edition published during the 2019-20 academic year — and despite the fact it printed six fewer issues in the spring due to the pandemic. In addition, 11 current and former staff members were honored with awards in a variety of writing, photography, design and multimedia contests.

Read some of the past print publications:

Newspaper screens

Former Features Editor and senior staff writer Spencer Batute won five awards, including two first place awards. He won top honors in the Critical Review category for a review of Kanye West’s ninth studio album, “Jesus is King.” He also placed first in Online Photo Story/Essay for a presentation of studio shots accompanying a story on AG Club, a local hip-hop garage group. He won fourth place honors in the Photo Story/Essay contest for the print version of the spread featuring a different design. He also won fourth place in Environmental Portrait for a photo of a student playing the guitar on the patio outside the college cafeteria. In addition, he shared honorable mention honors with Shahin and former staffer Earic Strong in Webcast/Broadcast News for a an episode of Backtalk, the Experience’s occasional webcast.       

In addition to the webcast honorable mention, Shahin won third place in Feature Photo for a photograph of the Mamava pod on Level 3 of the Main College Complex, and honorable mention in Feature Story for an article about the Food Pantry. In addition, she shared second place in Front Page Layout with co-designer and News Editor Jordyn Toscano for a package of three front-page designs. Toscano also won second place in Environmental Portrait for a photo of an LMC employee revisiting the parking lot location where a stranger saved her from choking.

Former Features Editor Katie Loughran was honored with two awards. She won third place in News Photo for a picture taken during a campus evacuation last fall, and an honorable mention in Photo Illustration for a piece of artwork accompanying a story on Friday the 13th.

Sampling of some of the winning images - click to enlarge:

Other Publication Contest winners include:

  • Second place, Sports Action Photo: Former Photo Editor Anthony Martinez for a photograph during the 2019 LMC home game against Yuba College.

  • Honorable mention, Critical review: Former staff writer Spencer Cameron for a review of the Green Day album, “Father of All.”

  • Honorable mention, Opinion Story: Former staff writer Tiffany James for a column on the use of the N-word.

  • Honorable mention, Sports Game Story: Former Sports Editor Jesus Cano for soccer coverage of LMC’s 8-1 win again Merritt College in fall 2019.

  • Students attending the online conference also had the opportunity to compete in several on-the-spot contests designed to give them a tight deadline experience in producing journalistic content. Two students won awards based on the keynote speech of Los Angeles Times editor and writer Steve Padilla.

  • Experience Editor in Chief Weston Hopkins won third place honors in On-the-Spot News Writing.

  • Experience staff writer and copy editor Elizabeth McLaurin won honorable mention in On-the-Spot Opinion Writing.

Experience adviser Cindy McGrath praised the work of the LMC student journalists who won awards at the online conference this year, and emphasized that their pursuit and achievement of excellence continues — despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“The staff is filled with dedicated and creative students, and I am proud of the work they do every week,” said McGrath. “They really stepped up last spring when the college closed to continue covering the campus online. It was a tough transition, but they met the challenge with grace and ingenuity.”


To learn more about  how a journalism degree can lead to other fields of study visit the journalism home page or visit the Associates Degree for Transfer in Journalism