Texas Intercollegiate Press Association to host conference virtually

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The Ranger won six journalism awards from the Texas Community College Journalism Association.

By Sergio Medina


The Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, or TIPA, will host its conference virtually March 25-26 on Zoom.

Graphic by Sergio Medina.

In an interview March 17, Robert Muilenburg, journalism professor at Del Mar College and executive director of TIPA, said the journalism convention will be virtual to prevent Covid-19 infections.

“We weren’t able to have it face-to-face until we have all the right indicators both from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the different (college) institutions that we can travel freely and get together safely with students again,” he said.

A virtual conference is the best way to keep connected, he added.

About 450-500 students and advisers typically attend TIPA conferences, Muilenburg said.

The conference offers workshops, presentations and contests on communications and journalism, presented by field professionals. More information on TIPA is available here.

The CDC suggests avoiding large gatherings.

“This guidance is intended for those who are planning a large event, such as sporting events, concerts, festivals, conferences, parades or weddings,” reads the CDC guidelines.

Muilenburg said, “We currently now are tentatively planning for the 2022 conference to be face-to-face.”

He said the 2022 conference is planned for Fort Worth.

“We want people to be able to go and attend and be a part of this again.

“Quite frankly, I mean myself, personally, I miss seeing a lot of the people,” he said.

Additionally, Muilenburg said Zoom access codes will be emailed to journalism program advisers in the week leading up to the conference.

The emails include access instructions and schedules for panel discussions, speaker sessions and the awards ceremony for the Previously Published/Broadcast contest.

He said the speaker line-up was not yet complete.

The conference will not host on-site contests this year, Muilenburg said.

“This is a very, very simplified conference,” he said. “The idea is to get us connected again, at least to get us all in the same spot, virtually, for a little while and communicate.”

In contrast, the Texas Community College Journalism Association, or TCCJA, plans an in-person conference Oct. 8 at the University of North Texas in Denton, TCCJA President Rachel Jennische said in an email March 18.

“We will monitor Covid rates and vaccination percentages before we decide if we will actually be face to face,” Jennische said. “The hope is that we can all be together soon, but only if it is safe.”

As well as an educational organization, the journalism associations conduct annual clip competitions.

In the 2020 contest, The Ranger won the following TCCJA journalism awards:

  • Second place for overall excellence — Website.
  • Second place for news photo, “Religious Demonstration,” by former student Linda Owens.
  • Second place for sports action photo, “Dunk,” by former student Vivian Zuniga.
  • Second place for sports photo, “Dance Choreography,” by former student Noah Alcala-Bach.
  • Honorable mention for sports photo, “Backyard Beast,” by former student Anai Ramos.
  • Honorable mention for in-depth or investigative reporting, “Ranger Mascot In-depth/Series,” by journalism sophomore Sergio Medina.

For more information on TCCJA, go here.


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