Current wins 10 awards at online journalism event


The American River Current walked away with the General Excellence award for the forth year in a row, along with several other awards. (Photo by Emily Mello)

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges held its fall 2020 virtual conference from Nov. 6 to Nov. 8, taking the event online in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Current, was represented at the event by Editor-in-Chief Ariel Caspar, Feature Editor Oden Taylor, staff writer Alexander Musa and Faculty Adviser Rachel Leibrock, who were all in virtual attendance during the three-day event.

During the conference, student journalists, faculty, and professional journalists from across the industry gathered in Zoom meetings for informative seminars covering a broad range of journalism topics. These included discussions of the applications of drone photography, how to capture the drama of sporting events, and a lecture on exposing government corruption and social inequality in a news story. 

Student journalists also participated in on-the-spot competitions for editorial cartoons, news and opinion writing as well as a photo contest.

All community college newspapers in attendance submitted their work for state awards. The Current left the event with 10 to its name, including an award for General Excellence in the print edition category for the fourth year in a row. The Current won first and third place in the editorial newspaper writing category for pieces that ran in October and December of 2019.

A video documentingARC’s coronavirus update and campus shutdown, which was published to Facebook on March 17, also won first place in the Video Journalism category.

Former and present staff members for the Current were also recognized individually by the JACC. Managing Editor Thomas Cathey received an honorable mention in the photo category for Environmental Portraits. Former arts and culture co-editor Josh Ghiorso also received an honorable mention in the Critical Review category for his review of the film “Joker” last year.

Taylor and former editor-in-chief Jennah Booth were recognized with a meritorious award in the Enterprise News Story/Series category for their reporting on American River College’s ties to the controversial food service provider, Aramark.

Caspar’s feature on ARC professor Asha Wilkerson won fourth place in the Profile Feature story category. She also won third place in the News Story category for her work on the sentencing of a former Los Rios Police Department officer for sexual assault.

Former opinion editor Colin Bartley won fourth place for Sports Feature Photo for his story on ARC football player James “Jimmy” Ghilardi.