By ERIN BRINDLE
Staff members of Amarillo College’s, The Ranger, have returned from a competition and conference hosted by the Texas Community College Journalism Association. “I’m so proud of how our students stepped up and competed,” Maddisun Fowler, student media adviser and mass media instructor, said. “We even brought home two awards from the live multimedia competition.”
The various teams from different Texas community colleges competed against one another by covering a news event in a variety of mediums relevant to the field of journalism such as a written story, photographs, video or illustrations. “We started out in Boomtown,” Valerie Salas, a graphic design major, said. “There was a reenactment of a fight that we had to photograph and get interviews for.”
Salas said that after contestants gathered, all the information and coverage they could from Boomtown, they were driven back to the Lamar University campus, where the rest of the conference took place.
Teams then had two hours to transform information they had gathered into different journalistic formats to be submitted for anonymous judgment by a panel of student media advisers.
She also said how she enjoyed the different sessions and gained insight into the world of journalism and what a potential career could look like in that field. “It was a process, but it was a lot of fun,” Salas said.
Nursing major, Ashley Escobar, said she was nervous about competing. “I didn’t know what to expect at all. I’ve been to some journalism competitions in high school, but it was nothing like I expected. I think we put our heads together and pulled off what we needed to pull off.”
Along with the competition, several speakers and breakout sessions were available to attendees to learn more about the field of journalism and ask questions of industry professionals.
“I enjoyed listening to Kaitlyn Bain,” Escobar said. “She talked to us about the journalism world. She gave us the straight, hard truth of it and she didn’t leave me with any unanswered questions.”
Aside from the competitive edge, conventions gives the aspiring students in the journalistic and mass media fields, the information provided throughout the trip are lifelong tools students can utilize in their careers.
“Attending conventions like TCCJA is invaluable to our students,” Fowler said. “This year was the first year since 2019 that we had a live multimedia competition at TCCJA. I would love to be able to take the Student Media staff to the national convention in New Orleans because it’s the weekend before our Super Bowl – Election Day.”