The centerpiece of Diablo Valley College's journalism program is the award-winning, student-led newspaper, The Inquirer. It is published at least eight times during the semester on the Contra Costa Times' presses and has a circulation of 5,000.
In the production class for the newspaper (JRNAL 126), you learn the fundamentals of journalism and how to work under deadline pressure.
No matter your job - reporter, photographer, copyeditor, graphic artist, page designer or advertising rep - you learn about professional standards and journalism ethics. And you gain real understanding of the rights and responsibilities inherent in the First Amendment.
At the same time, you are also putting out a quality newspaper for the DVC community that serves as a forum for diverse public opinion.
Yes, it's a challenge. As a staff member, your "homework" hits the Inquirer newsstands Friday mornings for all the world to see, instead of the usual private exchange between student and instructor. And the responsibilities are great, because what you do can affect people's lives. But it's also fun, and the rewards are significant.
You get lots of great clips - something employers want to see when you look for that first internship or media job. And you get lots of one-on-one coaching and collaborative editing that helps your work stay focused and relevant, even under deadline pressure.
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|You get real responsibility. No other newspaper covers the college in such depth. So it's your job to be on top of breaking news and provide coverage that is timely, accurate and interesting.
In short, it's up to you and your fellow staffers to make The Inquirer a "must read" for the DVC community.
You get lots of help - from the editors, faculty adviser and the instructional lab coordinator in workshops, staff meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions.
And you learn how to work as a team and produce quality work in the creative chaos and deadline pressures of the Inquirer newsroom.
These are skills you will take with you, no matter your future major or job.
I had no experience before joining The Inquirer. I was just put out there and told to write a story. That was the best experience I ever got.
The only way to learn is just to do it and learn from your mistakes. I got the thrill of finding a great story, of getting feedback from readers, of informing the public.
I learned how to be more outgoing and how to ask those hard-hitting questions and actually get answers. It really brought me out of my shell and paved the way to the job I have today.
In all honesty, the night I got my (current) job, I came upstairs and told my colleagues, "I have DVC to thank." OK, so it was cheesy, but it's true.
When I look back on my college years, I really enjoyed SF State and loved my education there, but I often find myself nostalgic for DVC.
Quite a few Inquirer graduates transferred to State with me, and we'd sit in the [X]press newsroom, reminiscing about competitions, production days, paste-up fiascos, stoic sources and Wednesday night burritos.