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

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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)
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Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
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Archives

Inside our newsroom: Ryan

When I think of journalism, I think of truth, integrity and advocacy.

This piece is part of a series that members of the Citizen staff wrote to share our stories and in response to comments that Trustee Linda Handy recently made about our newsroom.

~~~

Trustee Handy,

My name is Ryan and I am the current managing editor of The Citizen. Our newsroom is the only student-run publication in the Peralta district, and we consist of a diverse group of students in age and ethnicity. I am a returning student and have spent the last four years of my life at Laney College. My time here has revitalized me as a student, person and visionary. 

Before returning to Laney in 2017, my life was filled with reckless choices and misdirection. I dropped out of high school at 16, unmotivated and not caring about my education. The only progressive thing during that period of my life was my love for writing. Destiny would have it that in the fall of that year, my journey would cross paths with then English Department Co-Chair Eleni Gastis. Her English 1A class centered primarily on the growth of her students personally, academically and professionally. Miss G. believed in my writing and encouraged me to pursue an internship with the Oakland Voices community journalism program that semester — despite not having any prior experience. I was selected for the internship, and for the first time in my academic career I felt that success was attainable. Earning that internship opened my eyes to the wider lens of what journalism is and galvanized my pursuit in that major and to work harder in academics.

Since then I’ve earned internships with EdSource, On Spec Podcast and rose from being a staff writer and associate editor to my current position at The Citizen. Academically, I am a Laney College academic honor student, member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, hold a 3.95 GPA and have earned three associates degrees. I am set to transfer to a UC “somewhere” next fall and intend to become a community college instructor and freelance journalist in the near future. 

Your comments about our newsroom at the last board of trustees meeting were pretentious and egregiously insulting. The Citizen-hosted forum you addressed during your report was the result of a group effort from a dedicated and hardworking newsroom. 

The questions asked during the forum were written by our student reporters and selected by Editor-in-Chief Jacquelyn Opalach and myself. The organization of the forum was designed by our team of editors. This event was the manifestation of hardworking and dedicated student journalists who care deeply about their college district and community. Your words couldn’t be further from the truth, and make me question your character as a board member, and also as a fellow human being. 

When I think of journalism, I think of truth, integrity and advocacy. I credit my success as a student to this profession, my teachers and my fellow Laney community. In the past, the board of trustees has given me headaches, frustration, skepticism and oftentimes feelings of hopelessness. Your attack on our newsroom resurrected those harsh feelings.

~ Ryan Barba, Managing Editor

About the Contributor
Ryan Barba
Ryan Barba, Editor in Chief
Ryan B. is an Oakland native who is following his passion of writing. It has led to his desire to expand his knowledge and insight in this profession by learning and sharing with others. Ryan attended primary and secondary schools in Oakland and has ties to various community outreach programs throughout the East Bay. Having spent his life in Oakland, he enjoys telling feature stories that are occurring in his community.
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