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Moorpark College received 11 State Awards from Journalism Association of Community Colleges | April 21, 2017

MAKING HEADLINES—Moorpark College journalism students—staff members of the Student Voice—won awards in six competitions at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state conference held in Sacramento March 30 through April 1. The also received-five honorable mentions for their work. Copyright © Jesse Watrous / Contributed photo to Moorpark Acorn Newspaper
PhotoJournalist: Jesse Watrous 
Journalist: Jesse Watrous

MOORPARK, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 21, 2017: I've been working with Moorpark College Student Voice Newspaper Program and attended the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) this year as their Photographer.

I'm very proud of this group in which I received 2nd Place in Photography / PhotoJournalism.

Read the article from Moorpark Acorn Newspaper:

College journalists snag 11 state awards

By Caitlin Trude

Moorpark College journalism students earned awards in six competitions at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state conference held in Sacramento March 30 through April 1.

Staff members from the Student Voice, the college’s student-run newspaper, also won five honorable mentions for their work.

Students had the opportunity to attend workshops and lectures as well as to compete against other college journalists in writing, photo and illustration challenges.

About 370 students from 31 California community colleges participated in the competitions.

Martin Bilbao, 19, managing and news editor of the Student Voice, won a top award at the Sacramento conference. The Moorpark College freshman placed first for his editorial cartoon.

He said students competing in the editorial cartoon and opinion-writing contests were required to draw or write a response to the documentary “In Utero,” a 2015 film that explores life in the womb.

Bilbao’s cartoon depicted a woman getting a sonogram with her doctor. Outside the window, he drew a cityscape with nuclear plants spewing toxic chemicals into the sky.

“The irony there is that the environment is very polluted but they think it’s going to be a healthy baby girl,” Bilbao said. A newcomer to the Student Voice this semester, he was surprised by the first-place recognition.

“That was the first time I did an editorial cartoon,” he said. “I’m doing a lot of editing but I think I might do a little bit more (cartooning) now.”

Bilbao plans to transfer to a UC school after Moorpark College and study journalism in graduate school.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” the editor said. “Back in high school, one of my biggest regrets was not (joining) . . . the student newspaper there. I’ve always admired journalism and the ideals that it stands for and I wanted to hop into it.”

Bilbao said his time as a student journalist over the last few months has also helped him come out of his shell.

“It pushes me to go out of my comfort zone. I like that aspect of it,” he said. “It’s fast-paced. I like writing under stress, I suppose. I really like the whole searching for truth and reporting about it and keeping public officials accountable,” he said.

Student Voice staffers Jesse Watrous took second place and James Schaap took third in the news photo competition.

Honorable mentions went to Schaap for the editorial cartoon category, Mano Baghjajian for sports writing and Karen Alvarez for feature writing.

In addition, the Student Voice earned awards for work published in 2016. America Castillo received second place for an illustration; Miles Shapiro earned a second place award for a sports photo and Brian King won third place for a sports story.

Honorable mention recognition went to Willem Schep for a photo illustration and Andrew Miller and Francisco Molina for their video submission.

Student Voice editor- in-chief Nathan Espinosa said he’s pleased to see how his staff of 24 has grown as writers and how many awards they racked up at the conference.

“(They’ve) blossomed to me,” said Espinosa, 26, a sophomore at the college. “I was proud of them.”

Student Voice faculty adviser Michael Hoffman felt likewise.
“I’m very proud of the way the students performed,” he said. “Competitions like this give them the chance to show their skills. These guys made the most of that opportunity. We do a lot in the classroom, but events like this help students grow in amazing ways. I’ve seen that with this crew.”

To read the latest news by Moorpark College students, visit

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