On February 22, the Wolfpack Times participated in the SCJEA Regional Competition at CSUN, an annual journalism media competition. Staff members were able to showcase their newly developed skills and compete with other high schools from around the Los Angeles Region.
“When I [was rewarded], it just felt so refreshing because I was like ‘wow’, I did the best out of these 30 kids! I can do anything… it made me feel confident,” Kate De La Torre, the Wolfpack Times Broadcast Editor, said.
Despite competing in News writing, a journalism category she has never practiced before, De La Torre placed 1st at the SCJEA competition. She admits she felt intimidated by the demographic of students she witnessed, mostly white and Asian, but she gave it her best shot anyway. Luckily, her best was more than enough; she took the gold for news writing.
“Most of the team that went, placed! That made me so happy… It’s just amazing because there are other schools there- there was a journalism magnet, they’re focused on that, and for us to be brand-new and for one of us to place first, it’s like incredible,” Leslie Chang, a Wolfpack Times Reporter, said.
At first, Chang was upset that she placed 10th in Features writing, but then her pride settled in. She realized that even though she wasn’t awarded first, she still did better than 15 other students. She believes that anything can be achieved through dedicated practice, even if the person believes they aren’t the brightest.
“I want to do another regional so that I can actually place with my writing, but I feel like it was just handed to me…” Andres Flores, the Wolfpack Times Multimedia Editor, said.
Flores placed 5th in sports writing, but feels as though he did not rightfully earn it. Out of 5 people that competed, he placed 5th. Despite that, he said that the write-off did involve some rigor, both in interviewing individuals and developing an angle on the article.
“The students in our areas have as much right to be a part [of these competitions] as any other students from other areas; also, the students in our areas- they can compete,” Mr. Cottom, the Wolfpack Times, adviser, said.
As a former national judge for journalism write-offs, Cottom understands the requisites needed to be a threat in write-offs like these. He believes that Latino students are as capable as others in competitions that showcase journalism skills. Media contest awards are valuable to students for college competitiveness, which is why he encourages participation in these events. Above all else though, Cottom is happy that the Wolfpack Times staff put forth their best efforts.