Brief: The Valley Star honored by LA Press Club and College Media Association

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Print submissions from the 2020 semester grant Monarchs the top spot among student papers.


The Valley Star wins first place at LA Press Club's 63rd annual Southern California Journalism Awards. (Photo by Jeremy Ruiz/The Valley Star)

On Oct. 16, The Los Angeles Press Club named The Valley Star the "Best College Newspaper" at its 63rd annual awards honoring Southern California journalism. The Star won first place over dozens of other community colleges and four-year institutions.


Valley Star’s independent student publication beat out Santa Monica College’s The Corsair, LACC’s Collegian, Long Beach State’s Daily Forty-Niner and Pepperdine University’s Pepperdine Graphic Media for the top collegiate honor at the 63rd annual Journalism Awards Dinner. The Star also won third place for best college news website, defeating The Collegian and Pepperdine Graphic Media.


“The mix of stories on the first few pages was great, the paper was easy to read, and well-organized, the photos were sharp and the layout was tight,” wrote competition judges.


Further, the Star won third place in the College Media Association's Pinnacle Awards for two-year newspapers. For this award, the Star competed against colleges from around the nation.


The awards earned in 2020 by the Star, led by former Editor-in-Chief Gabriel Arizon, set the standard for news teams to follow.


“Winning first place for best college newspaper from the LA Press Club is an amazing honor and it goes to show the level of hard work and dedication everybody on our staff poured into it,” said Arizon. “From writers finding and producing stories weekly, photographers going out and getting the perfect shot, editors planning and assembling new newspaper editions and advisors guiding us every step of the way, each person on all levels put everything they had into making the Star the best it could be.”


Solomon O. Smith, former political news editor, and Ava Rosate, current photo editor, were both finalists for photo submissions. Smith was recognized for “Best News Photo” in “Youth Organizers Turn Small Protest into Major March for Justice" and Rosate for "The Show Must Go On...line" in the “Best Feature Photo” category.


The LA Press Club was founded in 1913 to support, promote and defend quality journalism in Southern California along with recognizing free press as a crucial component to a free society according to the organization’s website.


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