Onward and Upward

Journalism students shine after community college education

Ikedra King, Arts Editor

Underrecognized majors at San Diego City College such as Radio, TV, Film and Digital Journalism programs have continued to produce successful contributors to their respective fields of news and entertainment.

Students such as Brittany Ford, Billy Khang, Andrew Jimenez and Cristal Miranda can attest to the great foundation and experiences gained from their studies while enrolled in the Broadcast Journalism and RTVF programs. 

Community colleges have previously held the stigma of being subpar or less valid in comparison to traditional four year colleges and universities for many years. Despite their attractive cost of tuition, appealing small classroom sizes that allow for a more engaged learning environment, and flexibility to learn at the students’ pace, San Diego City College RTVF and Digital Journalism programs have fought an uphill battle to show and prove its value.

Current student, chapter President of National Association for Hispanic Journalists, full-time mother and wife, Cristal Miranda said “The lack of class availability due to the one core class for radio being cut proved to be a challenge” with her schedule and graduation timeline.

On a more positive note, Miranda’s current job for iHeartMedia resulted from a previous class assignment covering specific areas of development within San Diego; City Stories. Miranda is currently enrolled in classes at City College with hopes to finish within the next three semesters.

Brittany Ford, reporter for WLUK Wisconsin, completed a few semesters at City College as an opportunity to gain more hands on experience that was lacking in courses provided by her alma mater, San Diego State University.

“My most memorable moment while enrolled at SDCC broadcast program has to be the knowledge and experience gained from Newscene,” she said. “I was able to be exposed to so many different people and valuable experiences that go into producing a show that I see reflected in my real life career today.”

Ford said to have faced a similar challenge while enrolled at SDCC, where classes and fundings were being cancelled, which resulted in the Newscene course not having a physical building location during her Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.

Professors that have 10-plus years in journalism and RTVF such as Jerry McCormick, Laura Castañeda, and Lisa Lake Grossman, provide students with an intimate learning environment filled with wisdom and learned lessons, awaiting for enrolled students to take advantage of.  

NFL Films Cinematographer and City College alumnus, Andrew Jimenez, gave glowing remarks about the program professors for their motivating words of encouragement during his three time attempt to get into NFL Films. “Professor Cy Kuckenbaker had a fundamental influence on my filmmaking journey for always giving good, critical feedback and believing in me,” he said.

Jimenez encouraged current students and prospective students to not discredit SDCC as a valuable education option as he learned more in his two years at SDCC than at his four-year college because of the hands on experience and genuine concern from his professors.

That hands on experience and use of up to date programs paid off for KYMA multimedia journalist, Billy Khang, as his new station utilizes the same programs and systems he was able to become familiar with as a student. “I was able to make the mistakes and discover who I was and what I was meant to do while enrolled and prepared to enter the newsroom confident in my education foundation,” Khang said. Khang is based in Yuma, Az.

All students shared a common piece of advice for all interested in journalism fields: Network network network! “Don’t be afraid to network and introduce yourself to everyone in a room. You never know when you may work for or with that person again in the future,” said Miranda. Ford reassured those interested in Digital Journalism and RTVF programs at SDCC that “you’re in good hands and a good environment with seasoned professors.”