Breezing Through NYC
By Paris Barraza, Kenya Staley and Kiara Jerez
In the beginning of March, The Breeze took a trip to New York City to participate and compete in the College Media Association awards and learn about journalism in the real world.
The College Media Association (CMA) is an organization dedicated to serving student media programs across the nation. Journalism students from different states gathered to attend the conference. For students within this field, access to resources, mentors and networking opportunities is invaluable. The CMA's Spring Nationals were held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, a three-day event focused on guiding students success and showcasing exceptional work produced in some of the institutes in attendance.
Professors hosted sessions on a variety of topics, as well as editors and reporters from VICE, Marie Claire, NBC and the Washington Post. Featuring everything from digital rebranding to tips on working freelance and covering sexual assault, there was an array of resources made available to The Breeze.
Moreover, several students from the program received the opportunity to tour media organizations such as PBS, VICE, ProPublica and Good Morning America.
Beyond the conference, we had a chance to experience New York while networking with peers of the same field, something many of us could not have done otherwise.
This was the Breeze's third consecutive year attending the CMA convention. In 2018, The Breeze won an award for Best Newspaper at a 2-year school. This year, The Breeze received a second place award for Best Multimedia Package.
The students strolled through Central Park, Times Square, The Bronx and more. Others moved with ease on the trains and on the streets, navigating from The Empire State Building to the surrounding area of New York University and back to the Marriott Marquis hotel on Broadway Ave.
During the conference, the CMA provided keynote speakers to attendees each day. The final speaker, Felice Leon, touched on the importance of covering black stories in their true light. She spoke about police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary. Once her speech was over, many students in attendance felt compelled to ask questions.
By Sunday, March 10, a group of students prepared for their flight back to Rancho Cucamonga. Students shared a meal and began to reflect on what they learned. Whether it be a desire to live in New York, a rekindled passion for the industry or a new plan to revitalize The Breeze back home, there was something gained for everyone.