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

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Abdul Pridgen will lead the district’s community-based safety program
Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Rym-Maya Kherbache, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Graduations, resignations and more: PCCD Trustees wrap up school year at 5/28 meeting
Romi Bales, Staff Writer • June 17, 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

The Citizen receives Student Freedom of Information Award

Staff recognized for ‘dogged’ use of public records
Editor in Chief Li Khan (left) delivers an acceptance speech on behalf of The Citizen at the College Media Convention. From left to right: Gary Green, SPLC Executive Director Gary Green; Dave Cuillier, Director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project; Shiloh Johnston, former Editor in Chief; Randi Cross, Managing Editor; Eleni Gastis, Faculty Advisor. (Photo by Ragan Harrington/WKU Talisman)

The Citizen received the 2023 Student Freedom of Information Award from the Student Press Law Center on Oct. 30, during the Fall 2023 National College Media Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

The award recognizes student journalists and student-run publications for effectively using public records requests to inform investigative journalism in their communities. The Citizen was recognized for utilizing public records requests to report on a variety of Peralta Community College District (PCCD) stories, including safety on campus and possible misuse of public funds.

The Citizen also successfully sued PCCD under the California Public Records Act this year for its failure to provide information concerning vendor contracts, district employees’ credit card records, and internal emails. 

At the convention, current Editor in Chief Li Khan, former Editor in Chief Shiloh Johnston, Managing Editor Randi Cross, and faculty advisor Eleni Gastis accepted the award on behalf of The Citizen

“I think we should be proud to be student journalists,” Khan said during her acceptance speech to the Atlanta convention-goers. “We’re in a very unique position in this country, where oftentimes we’re the only ones really digging into our public institutions, and keeping public information public.”

In a statement provided to the Student Press Law Center, Johnston said, “as a news publication, we understand that transparency is paramount for a functioning society, and for keeping those in power accountable to the people they represent.” 

Johnston added that he is grateful for having been part of a great team at The Citizen.

The three finalists for the award were The Southwestern College Sun in Chula Vista, California, The Lantern at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and Ball State University’s Daily News in Muncie, Indiana. 

About the Contributor
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor
Isabelly was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and moved to the US in 2018 to pursue a life change. Back home, she went to communication school where she focused her studies in Radio, TV and Internet productions and worked as a media and marketing producer for 5 years, producing for the biggest Brazilian pop radio and traveling the world to cover concerts and events. Isabelly moved to California as an aupair and extended her stay in the US to explore and study, taking extension classes in Stanford, UCLA and UC Berkeley and now majoring in Journalism at Laney. You can find Isabelly petting all the dogs at the park and cuddling her guinea pig when she is at home. She also enjoys pop culture, Spider Man, playing instruments, karaoke, exploring the bay, a good true crime documentary and spends a lot of time reading and learning about earthquakes.
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