Student Journalists Earn Top Honors Again for Viewpoints

Oct 18
2022 JACC Awards

Riverside City College’s student journalists earned first place for the second year in a row for in-depth reporting in partnership with the California Humanities Emerging Journalist Fellowship Program. The winning webcast/broadcast news story, published last July, features a three-episode podcast titled Fentanyl Empire: The Inland Empire’s Latest Drug Crisis.

The Viewpoints fellowship team accumulated 16 additional Southern California Publication Regional Awards and three regional on-the-spot wins at the California Journalism Association of Community Colleges Fall Conference held October 15 at California State University, Fullerton.

“It isn’t about awards. It’s about serving the community,” tweeted Matt Schoenmann, Journalism specialist and Viewpoints co-adviser. “But I’m incredibly privileged to work with such talented journalists and thrilled and humbled every time they’re recognized.”

Over the course of the spring semester current Editor-in-Chief Jennipher Vasquez and current reporter William L.G. Stephens teamed up with former student reporters Daniel Hernandez and Tim Nacey to showcase the fentanyl crisis — a pressing issue within the Inland Empire and beyond. Access the podcast on these platforms: Anchor, Apple, Spotify or

Viewpoints also earned its 42nd general excellence award for its print edition since 1996 after a brief hiatus and publishing online only during the pandemic.

In timed on-the-spot contests, students who competed against other Southern California community colleges include:

  • Feature photo: Stephen Day (photo editor) – 1st place
  • Copy editing: Stephen Day (photo editor) – 2nd place
  • Opinion writing: Maria Odenbaugh (opinion editor) – 2nd place

Other regional awardees include:

  • News writing/enterprise news story/series: Joyce Nugent (former student) – meritorious award. (This series also received statewide recognition.)
  • News story: Daniel Hernandez (former student) – 4th place
  • Profile feature story: Mya Castro (former student) – 4th place
  • Sports game story: Jair Ramirez (reporter) – honorable mention
  • Photography
    • Environmental portrait: Stephen Day (photo editor) – 2nd place and honorable mention
    • Feature photo: Stephen Day (photo editor) – 3rd place
    • Photo essay: Daniel Hernandez (former student) – honorable mention
    • Sports action: Daniel Hernandez (former student) – 1st place (This entry also received statewide recognition.)
    • Sports action: Stephen Day (photo editor) – 2nd place
  • Graphics/Design
    • Front page layout: Viewpoints staff – 3rd place
    • Editorial cartoon: Julianna Hernandez (former student) – 1st place
    • Illustration: Julianna Hernandez (former student) – 3rd place
    • Student-designed ad: Daniel Hernandez (former student) – 2nd and 3rd place

At the spring 2022 JACC statewide competition, Erik Galicia, Viewpoints former editor-in-chief, earned the news writing first place award for The fight for California’s great lake, in partnership with the inaugural Emerging Journalist Fellowship Program. For more info about Viewpoints visit