February 27, 2004

San Diego High School and SWC Student Journalists Turn “Pro for a Day”

Chula Vista—San Diego high school and Southwestern College (SWC) reporters had the opportunity to work alongside professional journalists and turned “Pro for a Day” at a student journalism workshop, presented by the San Diego Association of Black Journalists (SDABJ) in conjunction with Southwestern College (SWC).

During the workshop, which took place on the Southwestern College campus, more than 20 high school and SWC students covered a mock mayoral debate. They then wrote and produced news stories for print, television, and radio with help from their professional counterparts.

SWC journalism students, Melissa Borges (left) and Evelyn Hernández, work on their stories during the journalism workshop.

“The Student Journalism Workshop is a way to strengthen the workforce of tomorrow,” said Denise Ward, SDABJ president and Union-Tribune reporter. “We want to make sure they are correctly introduced to the journalism field and know what to expect. SDABJ wants to have a part in producing excellent journalists.”

Throughout the writing and production process, students were assisted by local print and broadcast journalists, who also evaluated the students’ work during a live critique session.

“It will help students with their writing skills,” said Priscilla Peguero, president of SWC’s Journalism Club. “The workshop allows them to get their feet wet and hopefully enable us to build a mentorship program,” added the public relations major.

SDABJ, founded in April of 2000 by a small group of journalists and communications professionals, advocates on behalf of African-American journalists in San Diego. It is committed to strengthening ties among black journalists; sensitizing all media to the importance of fairness in the workplace for black journalists; and expanding job opportunities and recruiting activities for veteran, young, and aspiring black journalists, while providing continued professional development and training.

Established in 1961, Southwestern College is one of 108 public community colleges in the state of California and is the only institution of higher education located in the southern portion of San Diego County.

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