Student Media: ‘That’s what I’m talking about!’

Richland Student Media journalists won 17 awards, ranging from first place to honorable mention for previously published works and two awards for on-site contests during this year’s Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) conference.

Every spring semester, journalism students from two and four-year schools across Texas congregate at the TIPA conference to compete in contests, attend workshops and acknowledge the advisers involved in the production process.

TIPA is one of the longest-running state intercollegiate press associations in the country. It is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. The 2019 event was held at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, March 13-16.

“Every time I go to these conferences I try to choose workshops which I feel can be more useful for my professional life, so this is how I normally do it on those,” said Aly Rodrigues, design editor with the Richland Chronicle.

“The workshops are really good for you to learn from real professionals or from someone outside of your classroom and give you real-life examples of what to do and not do,” she said.

Richland Chronicle Managing Editor, Obase-Wotta Kammonke has received six awards at various conferences but had not received first place until this year.

“It felt great. It felt great. Honestly, I just want to say God is great. I think it’s an important aspect of what we do here at the Richland Chronicle. We win, we win, that’s all we do, we just win,” Kammonke said.

Upon seeing his name, he jumped out of his seat yelling, “Yes, yes baby, that’s what I’m talking about!” attracting the attention of everyone in the room as he celebrated his win.

“In all honesty I’ve been here two years and it’s probably been the most effective two years of my life. I’ve learned a lot on how to write effectively, how to convey messages succinctly and overall how to be a better journalist. I think that’s what we learn here, better journalism,” said Kammonke.

“I think this semester and the semester before this we, as a group, and myself as an individual, we all worked really hard to up the level of our work and increase the tempo in which we were working and I think that has shown with the awards that we were able to garner at the TIPA ceremony,” Kammonke said.

The three-day conference offered workshops on topics ranging from print newswriting to how to transfer to a four-year university.

There were also opportunities to explore the area. The location of the hotel offered easy access to several tourist attractions including the Selena Memorial-Mirador De La Flor, the downtown seawall, and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.