Lately, it seems that there is never a shortage of news on the Chapman University campus. Good thing Chapman News and The Panther newspaper have got it covered. Last week, Chapman’s two student journalist groups were recognized for their hard work and dedication to news reporting by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Collegiate Press. These organizations honor outstanding journalism and support the professional needs of journalists.
An Intense Year for Reporting
Chapman News, a broadcast journalism program within Dodge College, won four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists:
- Best All-Around Newscast (for their March 6, 2020 show).
- TV Breaking News Reporting (for reporting on Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis).
- COVID-19 Coverage (for Jackie Gold’s interview with Dr. Jerika Lam and Colette Ngo’s reporting on COVID-19 and tourism).
- Best News Magazine, Regional Finalist (for “Corona Diaries” reporting)
“The award we won for TV Breaking News Reporting was actually the night before our first ever remote show. It was already insane trying to figure out everything, and then we found out that Trump got COVID. We were calling professors at 10 p.m. trying to get them to interview in the morning, and we literally stayed up all night monitoring the news,” says Jackie Gold ‘21, executive producer of Chapman News and Broadcast Journalism and Documentary major. “We pour our hearts and souls into every single thing, every single story, so it’s really nice to be recognized for that.”
During her freshman year, Gold wanted to get involved in Chapman News, so she asked Professor Bret Marcus if she could sit in on the class. Since then, she’s played an integral role in the weekly broadcast.
“What I saw then is what I still see today – that it’s intense, there’s a lot of work that goes into each week, and none of that happens without people who care about quality,” says Gold.
Students involved in Chapman News seem to make it a priority to support one another.
“For my story about how COVID affected tourism and the hospitality industry, some of my peers from Chapman News connected me with interviewees. It ended up being a really well-rounded story, and I couldn’t have done it without my peers in Chapman News,” says Colette Ngo ’20, who graduated last semester with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary and Business Marketing.
Working From Home
The Panther, staffed with students from all disciplines, received 10 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Collegiate Press. These wins include:
- Best All-Around Student Newspaper (for special issues “Black Lives Matter,” “The Power of Democracy” and “Merry COVID-Christmas,” Regional Finalist).
- Best of Show: Four-year weekly newspaper, 10th place.
- General News Reporting – Jasmin Sani (for ‘This is not who we are’: Chapman professor represents Trump in lawsuit, Regional Winner).
- Breaking News Photography – Jasmin Sani (for “Chino Hills residents debate evacuating during fire,” Regional Winner).
- Breaking News Reporting – Jasmin Sani & Luca Evans (for “Over 100 students attend Black Student Union protest calling for greater administration response,” Regional Finalist).
- COVID-19 Coverage – Luca Evans (for “Chapman study explores xenophobia toward Asian Americans,” Regional Finalist).
- Feature Writing – Luca Evans & Mitali Shukla (for “Students show professor appreciation on Zoom in TikTok trend,” Regional Finalist).
- Best of Show: Social Justice Reporting – Juhi Doshi (for “Anti-Asian racism and xenophobia on the rise due to the pandemic,” 4th place).
- Best of Show: COVID-19 Reporting – Juhi Doshi (“Chapman students on frontlines of vaccine distribution,” 8th place).
- Sports Writing: Joe Perrino (“Alumnus goes from fighting in water to fighting fire,” Regional Finalist).
“When I first came to this position, I was really nervous because we’re a print publication and have our meetings on campus, and I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to stay engaged in the same way online. But, we were able to improve our work ethic and hone in on everything by doing things over Zoom,” says Jasmin Sani, ‘21, Strategic Corporate Communication and Broadcast Journalism and Documentary double major, editor-in-chief of The Panther and a member of Chapman News. “Our staff has exceeded all my expectations and shown to me how great of a group we are as coworkers and friends.”
The current Panther staff has only met in person once at the beginning of the fall semester, despite having all received negative COVID test results. Since then, they’ve done all of their work from home over Zoom.
“I’m really proud of Chapman News and The Panther. This has been a hectic year, and we were able to not let that slow us down and make it what fuels and drives us instead,” says Sani.