Journalism Students Win Big in Statewide Media Competitions
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Journalism Students Win Big in Statewide Media Competitions

El Camino College journalism students persevered during a historic and emotionally-charged year in their collective news coverage, and won numerous awards in the annual Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) and the California College Media Association (CCMA) news competitions held earlier this Spring.

The El Camino Journalism Department produces the student-run newspaper, The Union, and a magazine, Warrior Life, both of which won big at this year’s highly competitive media contests that drew thousands of nominations from colleges all over California.

In a bittersweet win, the state’s top honor was bestowed upon El Camino student Juan Miranda, Editor-in-Chief of Warrior Life, who died in January 2021, as he co-won first place for “Best News Series,” along with Jennifer Torres for their team-coverage of a missing El Camino student in 2020. According to officials, Miranda’s award-winning writing demonstrates the amazing talent, care and dedication he had for covering his community. 

“We’ve always known that our students are the most passionate and hardest working young journalists in the nation,” said El Camino President/Superintendent Dr. Dena Maloney. “Winning these competitions is a public demonstration of how amazing they are and how seriously they take their work. Any news organization would be lucky to have them on their staff.”

The exclusive JACC is a nonprofit media organization that supports bridging the gaps between students, educators and publications by providing networking and educational events aimed at inspiring members at each stage of their journalism career. El Camino participates in JACC competitions at both the state and regional levels.

El Camino students received the following awards:

  • Lauren Hadnot won first place in the "Magazine Illustration" category.
  • Rosemary Montalvo and Justin Traylor won second place in the "Magazine Photo" category.
  • Rosemary Montalvo won third place in the "Magazine Photo Story-Essay" category.
  • Omar Rashad won fourth place in the "Editorial" category.
  • Cameron Klassen won fourth place in the "Environmental Portrait" category.
  • Kevin Caparoso won fourth place in the "Magazine Cover Design" category.
  • Jennifer Torres, Juan Miranda and Jaime Solis were named meritorious in the "Enterprise News Story/Series" category.
  • Walter Jay Jr. received an honorable mention in the "Profile Feature Story" category.
  • Rosemary Montalvo received an honorable mention in the "Magazine Photo" category.
  • Kevin Caparoso received an honorable mention in the "Magazine Profile Article" category.
  • The Union staff received a "General Excellence" for the "Online Edition" category. 

Warrior Life magazine won first place in the following categories:

  • Best Print Magazine
  • Best News Series “Missing Student Series”
  • Best Arts and Entertainment Story for “Dancing through Change”
  • Best Magazine Cover Design
  • El Camino’s Warrior Life magazine staff received a "General Excellence" for the "Magazine" category. 

CCMA provides statewide networking for journalism programs at two- and four-year colleges and holds an annual training workshop for media students on a variety of topics. El Camino participates in the two-year division of its annual competition. Warrior Life also won big in several categories:

  • First place for "Best Print Magazine" for Warrior Life 2020.
  • Camden Foster won first place in the "Best Arts and Entertainment Story" category for "Dancing through Change."
  • Jennifer Torres and Juan Miranda won first place in the "Best News Series" category for "Missing Student Series."
  • Kevin Caparoso won second place in the "Best Magazine Cover Design" category for Warrior Life 2020 cover.
  • Jennifer Torres won second place in the "Best Illustration" category for "Cal Voters approve Prop 17."
  • Omar Rashad won second place in the "Best Editorial" category for "Administrators need to issue parking permit refunds this month."
  • comwon second place for "Best Newspaper Website."
  • Mari Inagaki won third place in the "Best Photo Series" category for "7 Photos from last week's elections."
  • Rosemary Montalvo won third place in the "Best Feature Photograph" category for "Corona Diaries: A Riverside family in quarantine."
  • Jamie Solis won third place in the "Best News Photograph" category for "Mass held in light of student's death."
  • Camden Foster won third place in the "Best Sports Story" category for "Temporary cancellation of sports at ECC forces teams to postpone practice."
  • 5th Place “Best Website, 2-year college”
  • 8th Place “Feature Magazine” 

Additionally, The Union and Warrior Life have both been nominated in the 69th Annual Maggie Awards competition for digital media publications.  The Union has been nominated for “Best Web Publication & eNewsletter /Consumer & Trade,” and

Warrior Life has been nominated for “Best Print Publication/Student.” Winners will be announced at a later date.

May 14, 2021