Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
PCCDs classified employees pose for a pic at the first-ever professional development day for classified professionals. PCCD Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson reflected on the event in her report to the Board of Trustees. (Source: PCCD)
Peralta’s leadership search, CCC public safety earmark, and “rumors” discussed at 4/9 meeting of PCCD Trustees
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

    Laney wins 6 at Journalism conference

    The JACC (Journalism Association of Community Colleges) annual Northern California event occurred on Nov. 7, at Sacramento State University. The day was packed with contests, workshops, and awards from the daily competitors, as well as submitted material from the last school year. 
    After registration and wiping the sleep from the collective bleary eyes of the budding muckrakers, everybody settled firmly in their seats to hear the keynote speaker, Cristi Hegranes, rave about her company, GPI (Global Press Institute).
    ConferenceAfter graduating with a master’s in Journalism and working around the industry for a few years, Hegranes noticed a trend in modern journalism: there was too much emphasis being placed on sensationalism, and not enough on building community. 
    From these realizations, the GPI was born. Their ethos is to skirt the status quo of modern reporting; in fact, they turn the whole industry on its head. Neither a college education, nor mastery of the English language are requirements to be a correspondent for the GPI. 
    Rather, Hegranes employs 160 women from around the globe who can back up stories with context and meaning. Take an anecdote of a military court, which Hegranes said had taken place that morning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in the world. 
    Instead of sending an outsider who will likely have their own biases and might file a report with accuracy mistakes and gaps in translation, the GPI was represented by a local woman, who had been trained in fact gathering and could report the story with accurate context and precise language. 
    The fact that these women lack decades of educational experience seems to be a non-issue where Hegranes is concerned. Her rationale seems to be: the less they learned, the less they have to un-learn, based on how much of modern journalism school would be problamatic for the style of reporting she wants her staff to achieve.


    As Hegranes spoke of her staff, history and the work her institution has achieved, young photographers buzzed around the raised podium, snapping shots amidst the scribbling of pencils and tap-tapping of laptop keys. Most of the audience, it would seem, was not hanging on her every word or Powerpoint slide, but rather, trying to compose the perfect shot or article, hoping for glory in the on-the-spot contests. 
    After the keynote speaker wrapped up, representatives from community colleges from Arcata to Bakersfield streamed out to find groups for the representative contests — writers gathered their notes and laptops and photographers loaded up their lenses and loupes to finalize their submissions. 
    The day progressed at an alarming pace after the contests ended, with workshops ranging from basic Photojournalism to covering the immediate aftermath of a school shooting.
    At the end of the conference, awards were given out for individual and general excellence — with Laney Tower representatives winning six awards for photography, writing and online excellence over the last semester. 
    Earlier in the day, as the keynote presentation came to a close, Hegranes stressed the importance of transparency and fact checking, and pointed out the paradox of reporting. “Journalists are lone wolfs,” she said. “We need editors and we need to be published, but when you’re out in the field, writing a story, following leads, you’re usually on your own.” 
    She mentioned the journalistic community, saying events like this, despite their paradoxical nature, are important to fostering solidarity with your fellow journalists — and it seems to be working.

    Laney Awards

    1st: Stuart Mackay
    (Online General Excellence)
    1st: David Hiltbrand 
    (Feature Story, non-profile)
    2nd: Rebecca Pollack 
    (Critical Review)
    3rd: Alicia Thomas
    (Sports Action Photo)
    4rd: Alicia Thomas 
    (Feature photo)
    4th: Randy Filo
    (News Photo)

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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