Journalism Event Aims to Get the Word Out About the Student Press


SAC.Media team, Top row from left to right: Brett Hernandez, John Athan, Brigette Lugo, Adam Valenzuela. Middle row from left to right: Zea Huizar, Ferry Baylon, Joliana Frausto, Josh Sanchez, Andres Soto, Joseph Harvey, Cory Jaynes. Bottom row from left to right: Daniela Maldonado, Taylor Muse, Professor Toni Albertson, Lauren Scheer, Miranda Virgen, Angelica Cruz, Guillermo Soza.

The Mt. SAC Journalism Program will host Project Interact on Tuesday, April 24 in front of the Student Life Center from 12 p.m to 3 p.m. Project Interact is an event that is geared to engaging students by making them aware of the student media and events in society.

The idea of Project Interact was created by Miranda Virgen,  a 19-year old journalism major who serves as the news editor for SAC.Media. SAC.Media is the all-digital student-produced digital publication. She thought of the idea after she heard confusion among students in her class who were commenting that they didn’t know where to find find reliable news sources. They were also unaware of the student media on campus.

Project Interact will give the opportunity to students to learn about the news and the journalism program.

“It would be a good way to get the word out about our publication and inform others at the same time,” Virgen said. “I think it’s important for us to educate and help them [the students].”

Toni Albertson is the journalism professor and adviser of the student media who has helped the program grow.

“One of the things that drives me crazy is the idea that students on campus don’t know that we exist or that we have a partnership with the Washington Post,” Albertson said.

The Mt. SAC journalism program is the only community college in the nation that has a partnership with the Washington Post,  alongside USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Columbia University, and University of Michigan. They are also the first and only college to ever form a partnership with Medium, created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

Project Interact will be hosted by student editors and staff writers. They will encourage students to pitch story ideas and get students to read SAC.Media  and to follow the student media on Instagram and on Twitter by participating in games and winning prizes and snacks. The journalism program has had similar events in the past as a way to engage the campus and help them understand how important it is to follow the student media.

“When Miranda presented this to me, I thought it was a brilliant way to reach our audience, which is comprised mostly of millennials and younger,” Albertson said.

Albertson added that the student media is completely student-run and all stories are written by and for students.

“We are the only free student press on campus, and students need to know that if they have a story, or an issue that they feel needs addressed in the news media, we are the ones to come to.”

The journalism program is an award-winning program that has been recognized as a pioneer in college media across the country. They are the first community college in California to go all digital. These efforts have been written about by Nieman Lab at Harvard and The Poynter Institute, among many others.
The journalism program offers an Associate Degree for Transfer in journalism, and also offers opportunities for students including conferences in other cities. Over the years, students have attended journalism conferences in New York City, Dallas, and other cities around Southern California.

Virgen and Albertson along with the staff is hoping that Project Interact, which will be held at a minimum of monthly, will help get the word out.

For more information on the journalism program, students can contact Toni Albertson via email at [email protected]
For more information on the journalism program, please visit the program’s website.