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ACP Spring Conference was a win for The Telescope

LA JOLLA — The Telescope’s opinion editor, Victoria Gudmundson, won first place in the on-the-spot opinion writing competition. But that wasn’t the only award The Telescope received.

The Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Spring 2024 conference brought together student publications from throughout the nation to learn, network, and celebrate. On the final day, March 9, awards were given, and The Telescope took home three awards.

The Telescope received an honorable mention in the magazine photo category, awarded to Seja Kerr, and a general excellence award for IMPACT magazine. And the highlight of the award ceremony was Gudmundson’s first-place award.

“Winning that award felt really validating,” Gudmundson said. “Competition was fierce. There were a lot of schools with much larger newsrooms than us, and to see my name come up when I least expected it… felt really good.”

“It kind of solidified the path that I’m on… Coming back to school, pursuing journalism, staying with The Telescope even after I finished what was required of me for my program… It just made me feel like I was on the right path,” she added.

Palomar College Television (PCTV) was awarded four awards. The PCTV news staff took third place in video hard news reporting, fourth and third place in video soft news reporting, and an honorable mention in webcast/broadcast news show.

The conference is a collaboration between ACP, the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC), and the California College Media Association (CCMA). According to JACC, the three-day event, which ran from March 8 to March 10, had a record-breaking attendance of 820 attendees.

Cynthia Cunningham, Editor-in-Chief of The Telescope, raises her hand during a press conference. Photo credit: Alex Ortega

The larger attendance gave The Telescope staff more chances to network during roundtable chats and in-between presentations. The experience also gave the staff more chances to connect and learn from each other.

Monica Garcia, one of The Telescope’s copy editors and staff writers, attended for the first time and took advantage of the knowledge available at the conference.

“I honestly had concerns that it wouldn’t be very informative or it’d be boring, but I’m glad I was wrong,” Garcia said. “I learned several tips and tricks that good journalists practice. I was also very motivated to try new things and to look into aspects of journalism I hadn’t considered before, like bilingual journalism.”

Garcia added that she also felt represented and uplifted at the conference. Through events like the Latinx roundtable and various breakout sessions, she connected with schools, student journalists, and professional journalists.

The Telescope staff, and advisor, talk together about the conference. (From left to right: Sofia Alvarez, Yanna Baradin, Erin Hiro, Victoria Gudmundson, Cynthia Cunningham, Alex Ortega, and Monica Garcia) Photo credit: Rachel Hyman

“It was a pretty good way to dive a little deeper into the journalism world and connect with the different sides of it,” Garcia said.

With the conference over, The Telescope staff is ready and inspired to deliver the news to students. The staff is currently focused on the upcoming issue of IMPACT magazine and providing regular content through stories, podcasts, and social media.

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