The Renegade Rip

Rip staff earns Pacesetter Award

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Bakersfield College’s student newspaper, the Renegade Rip, moved into the elite in community college journalism by winning a Pacesetter award last weekend at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state conference in Los Angeles.
The sweepstakes award honors the state’s top four community college student newspapers based on mail-in and on-the-spot competition at the annual convention. Those four colleges are generally considered the best student newspapers in the state for that year. There are approximately 65 community college student newspapers in California, and more than 45 schools were represented at the conference.
The Rip last won the Pacesetter in 2003. The conference also awards general excellence for student newspapers, but the Pacesetter is considered the next step above that.
At last weekend’s conference, the Rip – along with the Pacesetter – earned general excellence for its print publication and for its online publication, which can be viewed at The print publication is a broadsheet newspaper that publishes bi-weekly while the fall and spring semesters are in session. The Rip regularly has a staff of 20-25 students each semester.
Not only did the Rip score well with judges, who are journalism professionals, but several members of the staff earned honors in individual competition.
In the state mail-in competition, which accepts work from the 2007 calendar year, Joel Paramo and Anna Robledo earned first place for front-page layout based on front pages from the 2007 fall semester. Paramo is the current editor-in-chief, and Robledo was the editor-in-chief last fall. She completed her AA degree in journalism that semester.
Paramo and current news editor Marcinda Coil combined to place second for informational graphic in the mail-in competition. The entry was a map of how to get around the BC campus that appeared in a special edition last August.
Coil and Erik Aguilar, the Rip’s photo editor last semester, combined to win fourth for inside page layout.
Nick Stockton, who was the Rip editor-in-chief last spring, earned second place for mail-in news story, and Ally Armstrong, in her second semester as a Rip photographer, took second place for sports feature photo. Current photo editor Lisa Vargas won an honorable mention in the same category.
Maryann Kopp, a reporter on last year’s staff, earned an honorable mention for profile feature story, and current Rip features editor Earl Parsons got an honorable mention for editorial writing.
At the conference, students could participate in on-the-spot contests, which simulate real journalism situations. More than 600 students attended the conference, and each competition typically had between 40-70 students.
Parsons took second place in the copy editing competition, and Armstrong was second for sports photo. Current opinion editor Kyle Beall placed fourth in the news writing competition.
Coil finished fourth in the page design contest, and Paramo took an honorable mention in sports writing, which involved covering a softball game between Stanford and UCLA, the top-ranked team in the nation. Armstrong earned an honorable mention for editorial cartoon.
Bianca Hernandez, a reporter on the Rip, was honored with a $100 JACC scholarship in the Community College Continuation category.
Paramo also received an editor recognition award, and journalism professor Danny Edwards, the Rip adviser, received an extra-mile award for his volunteer contributions to JACC.

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Rip staff earns Pacesetter Award