201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


Journalists capture first place

Photo courtesy of Julie Martinez
Senior Julie Martinez photographed a journalism adviser and his students celebrating during a trivia game before the competition began. Her ability to capture emotion earned Martinez the first place award in yearbook photography.

When senior Reagan Glidewell found out that this year’s journalism competition was the same day as her track meet, she sighed and said, “Really? Again?”

Glidewell, the Tribe Tribune editor-in-chief, was frustrated because she missed the journalism competition her sophomore and junior year, too. But this time, Glidewell got creative.

The Orange County Journalism Education Association write-off was hosted at Fullerton College on Feb. 24; luckily, the track meet was at Fullerton High School—right across the street. 

Glidewell watched a press conference from 9:30-10:30 a.m., wrote a sports story 10:30-11:30 a.m., then ran across the street in time for her 2-mile at noon for the Fullerton City Championships. She finished first in sports writing and second in the 2-mile. Not bad for a busy day.

Tribe Tribune editor Reagan Glidewell wore her track singlet under her sweatshirt at the Feb. 24 journalism competition so she could make it to her track meet on time on the same day. (Photo by Julie Martinez)

“Plenty of times during the [journalism] competition, I kind of found myself getting distracted,” Glidewell said. “I was worried that I wasn’t going to get enough time to warm up and I was worried I was going to miss my race. There were a lot of thoughts flooding.”

To give her even more of a challenge, the frosh-soph and varsity events were combined into one heat, which moved up the event by 15 minutes.

  “I didn’t do drills, I didn’t do strides, I didn’t stretch, so I didn’t do half of my warmup,” Glidewell said.  

Along with Glidewell, seven other journalism students and three yearbooks students worked together to earn an overall first place finish in the OCJEA Write-Off Division 2 Sweepstakes. With categories ranging from editorial writing to yearbook photography, each student sat in different hour-long press conferences. With no recording devices to assist with quotes, writers were given one hour to turn their handwritten notes into a story. Those who finished in first or second in their category have qualified to advance to the state competition on April 6 at Cal State Long Beach.

Glidewell’s sports press conference was presented by Cal State Long Beach journalist Nakoi Gima, who talked about his podcast which follows his life as a sports photographer and journalist.

Junior Sofia Matin and senior Jonathan Pina-Villanueva wrote feature stories after watching a press conference with Grammy-nominated producer Tony Gerrero who talked about his jazz music career. Matin finished first and Pina-Villanueva finished third in the feature category. According to the judges’ notes, Matin set her story apart from the competition because of her strong use of direct quotes despite only being able to record notes using shorthand. 

Students writing news stories, editorials or drawing editorials watched a fictitious press conference about a school district that decided to eliminate all tackle football programs at their schools. The fake press conference pitted a coach against school officials worried about traumatic brain injury. Sophomore Kate Luengo wrote the top news story among Division 2 schools. Luengo’s performance was a big leap from her freshman year when she failed to place in the top 10.  

Luengo said she was able to improve because of the practice press conference journalism adviser Kimberley Harris conducted in class the previous week. The mock press conference allowed students to practice notetaking with shorthand and practice writing under a time constraint.  “It really helped me personally because that’s exactly what we did and it was a refresher on how to write a strong news lead,” Luengo said. Sophomore Alicia Bennett also competed in news for the first time and finished in third place.

Senior Spike Lopez took a humorous approach to the serious topic of brain injuries from tackle football by using a coach quote from the press conference in his editorial cartoon. (Photo by Spike Lopez)

Junior Sophia Goldblatt wrote the second place editorial about the tackle football controversy. Senior Spike Lopez drew an editorial cartoon about the violence associated with tackle football. The judges said Lopez’s cartoon was one of the strongest because of its humor, but Lopez lost points for weak lettering.

“I feel that Spike losing a few points in lettering is a bit my fault,” Harris said. “We do so much art digitally now that I didn’t think about having them practice spacing and lettering. It’s unusual to create 100% hand-drawn art these days, but that’s what the competition required. Spike’s cartoon stood out because he cleverly used a quote from the coach at the press conference and then spun it into satire.”

Senior Julie Martinez competed in yearbook photography. Photographers were tasked with capturing two moments during the competition. They were not allowed to talk or ask anyone to pose for their photos. Photographers had to compose each shot through the lens; they were not able to crop or edit the image before submitting their photos.

Leading up to the competition, Martinez was nervous because it was her first time participating in a write-off. She said that a few photographers from other schools were intimidating. 

“Other people were doing so much excessive stuff; they were getting on tables and literally laying on the ground,” Martinez said. “I was like, oh should I be doing that? But then I told myself no, I know what I am used to, so I’m just gonna stick to that.”

Sticking to what she knew resulted in a first place finish. When selecting which photos to submit, Martinez knew to choose images that conveyed emotion. Picking contrasting photos that showed the varying emotions of the competition was what the judges admired about her pieces. 

Taking candid photos sometimes means part of the image is out of focus. One of Martinez’s photos shows two stressed out yearbook students trying to finish their spreads. Martinez was worried because the girl on the left was blurry. However, this small detail worked in her favor, highlighting the girl to the right who clearly showed her distress about meeting their deadline. 

Julie Martinez’s first place photo captures two Portola High School yearbook students working against the clock to finish a fake Power Rangers spread. (Photo by Julie Martinez)
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