News & Events

OC Press Club Board Adds 2 Members

Orange County Press Club members have elected two new board members in addition to re-electing the vast majority of the Board of Directors.

Caitlin Antonios, dining reporter for the Southern California News Group, and Jeremy Shermak, journalism instructor and faculty adviser to Coast Report at Orange Coast College, have joined following the election.

“Caitlin and Jeremy are exceptional additions to the Board of Directors,” Board President Daniel Langhorne said. “Their unique experiences will help us amplify the voices of Orange County journalists and continue defending a free press.”

Re-elected to the board are:

Hannah Fry

Kathy Hobstetter

Daniel Langhorne

Patty Marsters

Brandon Pho

Sonya Quick

Shawn Raymundo

David N. Young

OC Press Club Opens Voting for 2022-23 Board of Directors

The Orange County Press Club named a slate of highly-qualified candidates to serve on its 2022-23 Board of Directors on November 14.

OC Press Club members are invited to cast their votes for candidates until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 18. Click here to access the ballot.

The Board of Directors would like to thank departing board members Benjamin Brazil and Bradley Zint for their leadership and dedication to the region’s journalism community.

OC Press Club Joins Journalism Organizations in Calling on CA High School Principal to Drop Disciplinary Action Against NAHJ Academic Officer

The Orange County Press Club has signed on to the following joint action letter:

 

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) in solidarity with a coalition of Southern California and national journalism organizations are calling on a California high school principal to immediately drop disciplinary action taken against teacher Adriana Chavira, a respected journalism mentor and NAHJ’s Academic At-Large Officer, for refusing to censor her students’ reporting.

The students at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in the San Fernando Valley wrote a story published last fall about mandatory vaccinations for public school teachers. They named a teacher-librarian at their school who didn’t want to be vaccinated and didn’t show up for work.

The librarian asked Chavira to remove her name from the story. Chavira declined.  Students aren’t bound by federal HIPAA or by confidentiality/privacy laws to remove the librarian’s name. The story is factual, and Chavira has supported the students and their First Amendment right to name the teacher-librarian. California’s education code also upholds their right to exercise their freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

In response, Pearl High Principal Armen Petrossian notified Chavira last Thursday that she will be subject to a three-day, unpaid suspension. Chavira is appealing the action. The issue of censorship isn’t unique to Daniel Pearl High School. Over the years, attempts to censor student newspapers and punish educators who serve as news advisors have become far too common, mirroring the challenges facing journalists nationwide.

“The fear of repercussions from authorities can often cause emerging journalists to self-censor, producing a media landscape dominated by commentary and social media feeds rather than news stories that hold those in power to account,” said Yvette Cabrera, NAHJ President.  “Adriana Chavira has years of experience working with students to create journalism that matters. She is an invaluable resource to our next generation of journalists and a vital member of the NAHJ Board. She has our full support.”

High school is a foundational period in a student’s educational development. Attitudes toward democracy and how to engage in civil disagreement are forged within a school’s walls, and students should be nurtured and encouraged to  become active, engaged and responsible citizens. Principal Petrossian’s actions work contrary to this by attempting to silence the voices of student journalists and obstruct them from freely reporting a matter of public concern to their school community.

A 2022 Knight Foundation report on the First Amendment revealed that nearly 40% of high school students have not taken a single class on the First Amendment, despite its importance to all citizens, not just journalists. The report also found that while a majority of high school students believe that the First Amendment protects them personally, “they are far less likely to feel the protection of these rights than are college students, teachers and adults in America.”

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists also expressed its support for Chavira, and condemned Petrossian’s handling of the matter.

“SPJ/LA stands with our colleagues in the professional journalism community in protesting Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s treatment of student newspaper adviser Adriana Chavira,” said Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, president of SPJ/LA. “The administration’s conduct dishonors the man for whom the school is named, a journalist who literally gave his life to the cause of informing his readers and reporting the truth. We urge them to reconsider their actions, and instead reaffirm their support for their faculty member and for robust, independent student journalism.”

Other Southern California and national journalism organizations also spoke up in defense of Chavira.

“High school journalism advisors train the next generation of journalists, and they should not be penalized for defending their students’ First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press,” said journalism professor Sharyn Obsatz, co-organizer of the Online News Association Los Angeles group.

Our organizations applaud Chavira’s commitment to the First Amendment and her students, and urge Principal Petrossian to do the right thing: rescind the suspension. We also call on the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second largest public school district in the country, to ensure that its administrators abide by the state education code and the Constitution to guarantee the rights of student journalists are protected.

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Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

National Press Photographers Association

Online News Association Los Angeles

Orange County Press Club

Radio Television Digital News Association

OC Press Club Mourns Courts Reporter

Jeanne Wright, who covered courts at the Register in the 1980s, passed away this year after a long battle with early Alzheimer’s. Colleagues remember Jeanne as a smart, beautiful, loving woman and great journalist with an infectious laugh. She is survived by her husband, Ralph Vartabedian, and their two adult children.

RSVP Now: OC Press Club Awards Gala

The Orange County Press Club annual awards celebration is back.

The gala will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 at the Clubhouse at Anaheim Hills, 6501 E. Nohl Ranch Road in Anaheim.

Gustavo Arellano of Los Angeles Times will be the guest emcee for the event along with Kedric Francis, editor-in-chief of Blue Door Magazine.

RSVP today. Purchase your tickets using the PayPal link below.


Entree



OC Press Club joins journalists standing with Alene Tchekmedyian

The following statement is from more than a dozen organizations representing thousands of working journalists and First Amendment advocates. Orange County Press Club’s Board of Directors agreed to join our colleagues in standing up for a free press.

Journalism is not a crime. Our community of journalism associations, media unions and First Amendment advocates stands in solidarity with Los Angeles Times reporter Alene Tchekmedyian and all journalists who are threatened or harassed by law enforcement.

Today, the Los Angeles County Sheriff suggested that Alene is a subject in a criminal investigation into a leaked video showing a deputy kneeling on an inmate’s head. In recent weeks, Alene has reported on claims alleging that the Sheriff obstructed justice and retaliated against whistleblowers who raised concerns about the incident. This escalation comes after a years-long history of the Sheriff harshly criticizing many local journalists just for doing their jobs, including Cerise Castle, Josie Huang, Maya Lau and others.

For over 50 years, the Supreme Court has upheld the First Amendment right to publish information of public concern received by members of the press or public. For the Sheriff to suggest otherwise is an unconscionable attempt to deter the press from exercising its long-established right to report on abuses of power.

We condemn these outrageous attacks on newsgathering, and we remain committed to supporting journalism that reports on the facts without fear or favor.

Media Guild of the West, The NewsGuild-CWA Local 39213

Los Angeles Times Guild

Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

First Amendment Coalition

Radio Television Digital News Association

Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles

Online News Association Los Angeles

CCNMA Latino Journalists of California

Los Angeles Press Club

National Association of Black Journalists of Los Angeles

National Association of Hispanic Journalists

National Press Photographers Association

Open Vallejo / Informed California Foundation

We Make KPBS (SAG-AFTRA)

SPJ San Diego

SPJ Northern California

ACLU of Southern California

Susan E. Seager, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Press Freedom clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law

Orange County Press Club

Californians Aware

Media Alliance

OC Press Club mourns veteran copy editor

The Orange County Press Club is saddened to learn that our colleague Dennis Brosterhous has died.

Since 2015, Brosterhous had served as a copy editor for Los Angeles Times Community News in Fountain Valley, helping publish The Daily Pilot and Times OC. Working the night shift, Brosterhous answered calls from feverish reporters needing an eleventh-hour edit on a story.

“I can’t tell you how lucky the younger people at the Daily Pilot were to have their work edited by a journeyman like Dennis. He was never judgmental; he took pride in pointing out our errors but did so in the manner of a teacher, not a critic,” Los Angles Times assistant managing editor John Canalis said.

Brosterhous worked hard all his life and never retired.

“I wish he had, but this is a hard line of work to give up once it’s in your blood,” Canalis added.

A Sun City resident, Brosterhous worked as a copy editor and designer for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside from 1998 to 2009.

Before that, he served as managing editor of The Sun City News and its sister community newspapers (Menifee News and Perris Valley News), according to his resume.

Brosterhous earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and an associate’s degree in English/Journalism from Long Beach City College.

Colleagues also described him as decent, funny, and smart. Brosterhous was an avid Dodgers fan and looked forward to attending games with his children for his birthday or on Fathers’ Day.

“He was so kind to us cub reporters and always willing to help out on a tight deadline,” Los Angeles Times reporter Faith E. Pinho said.

OC Press Club Opens 2022 Award Submissions

The OC Press Club is opening this year’s award submissions and looks forward to recognizing the county’s best journalism produced in 2021.

In addition to a continuing pandemic, 2021 was the year local journalists covered the siege of our nation’s capital, the effects of massive shipping delays, the tensions surrounding the gubernatorial recall election and more. Orange County journalists faced all these reporting challenges despite COVID protocols and an ever-shifting media landscape.

The OC Press Club is dedicated to shining a light on Orange County’s strong journalism community, and with the help of journalist judges across the country, it will recognize the great writing, photography, designing, illustrations, broadcasts and more from its members. New this year is the Journalist of the Year award, a nominated category which recognizes a journalist whose work stood out last year in the eyes of their peers.

View the full list of award categories and how to enter submissions HEREBe sure to review the rules and categories carefully, as some have been updated.

People who submit by April 24 will get the “early bird” rate of $5 per entry (rather than the full price of $10 per entry).

May 1 is the FINAL deadline and there will be no chance of the deadline being extended.

OC Press Club to Host Virtual Panel on Upgrading PRA Requests

An Orange County Press Club panel will discuss local government transparency in the Covid-19 era from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on March 17. The Zoom panel participants are:

David Burke – Cypress resident and president and founder of Citizens Take Action
Nick Gerda – investigative reporter, Voice of OC
Teri Sforza – investigative reporter, Southern California News Group

The event will be broadcasted live from the Press Club’s Facebook page and moderated by Daniel Langhorne, president of the Orange County Press Club. We’ll focus on common mistakes reporters make when filing public records requests and how they can craft more successful requests via the California Public Records Act or Freedom of Information Act. Expect success stories in overcoming stubborn agencies in Orange County and elsewhere.

Attendees are invited to come with their own questions for panelists. Send questions or comments to ocpressclub@gmail.com.

CLICK HERE to watch the live video on Facebook.

Orange County Press Club Welcomes 2021-22 Board of Directors

The new year’s Orange County Press Club Board of Directors welcomes two new members and a new president.

Daniel Langhorne will serve as the press club’s new president, new board member Brandon Pho will serve as vice president, and Shawn Raymundo joins the board for the first time.

“I’m humbled by my fellow board members’ confidence in me to lead the Press Club as its next president,” Langhorne said by email shortly after his election by the board Thursday.

“We’re committed to defending the First Amendment, mentoring the next generation of journalists, and diversifying our ranks to reflect the communities we cover.”

Langhorne has served on the Board of Directors since 2018. He is currently executive editor for the Laguna Beach Independent and engagement editor for a nonprofit newsroom, The War Horse. As an Orange County Press Club scholarship winner, he believes the Press Club plays an important role in fostering the skill and talent of young journalists, who are needed more than ever.

Incoming vice president Pho is a reporter for Voice of OC covering North Central Orange County. Pho was the senior editor for his college newspaper, The Daily Titan at Cal State Fullerton, where his work garnered first place honors at the Los Angeles Press Club and the College Media Association.

“It’s an honor to join the OC Press Club Board of Directors — and as Vice President, at that,” Pho said.

“I’m encouraged by the support I’ve gotten from the rest of the board and am chomping at the bit to outreach and expand our local press corps to include younger, Gen-Z journalists such as myself, as well as newsmakers with something new to say about our fast-changing region.

Patty Marsters continues as the board’s treasurer and administrator of the annual awards contest. She has served on the board of the Orange County Press Club since 1998, acting in many roles. For the past several years, she has focused her organizational skills on putting together the annual Excellence In Journalism contest. After 24 years at OC Weekly, she moved on to the similarly LW Weekly, the newspaper for Leisure World Seal Beach. She also mentors aspiring writers at Newport Harbor High School and co-leads a multilevel Girl Scout troop.

Bradley Zint will continue as board secretary. He is the assistant director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Prior to joining the Diocese, he worked in newspapers, marketing and for B2B publications. Much of his newspapering career was spent at the Daily Pilot, part of the Los Angeles Times Community News division based in Orange County. In his role at the press club, he focuses on the annual awards dinner and organizing events for working journalists.

The other 2021-22 board members include:

SHAWN RAYMUNDO

Shawn Raymundo is a city editor for the San Clemente Times and is running for a seat on the Press Club Board for the first time. Here is his candidate statement:

I’m an Arizona State University alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. During my time at ASU, I worked for the school’s newspaper The State Press, where I held various positions including reporter, photographer and news desk editor.

Prior to living in South Orange County, I spent three years in the U.S. territory of Guam, working as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News. There, I covered the island’s legislature and governor’s office.

Now, with Picket Fence Media, I’m reporting on the city of San Clemente while also managing the production of the newspaper. My time here has allowed me to cover a range of issues such as nuclear waste and utilities, transportation and mobility, coastal environment, and the never boring subject of local government.

I believe I can be a great fit for the Press Club, and would enjoy the opportunity of collaborating with a group of talented journalists from the area.

BEN BRAZIL

Ben Brazil is a features writer for TimesOC. He previously covered Huntington Beach for the Daily Pilot. Before joining the Daily Pilot in September 2016, he was a reporter for City News Service, a Southern California-based news service.

HANNAH FRY

Hannah has served as an OC Press Club board member for five years and most recently served as club President. She has advocated for press freedom both locally and statewide and has helped organize events such as the annual Journalism Awards Gala. Hannah is a Metro reporter covering Orange County for the Los Angeles Times. She joined the newspaper eight years ago as a reporter for the Daily Pilot, a Times Community News publication. Hannah covered breaking news for The Times for two years and was part of the team that was a 2020 Pulitzer finalist for its coverage of a boat fire that killed 34 people off the coast of Santa Barbara.

KATHY HOBSTETTER

Kathy is an international journalist and has been an OC Press Club board member for five years. Her publication, the iJump Sports Business Journal, has always been based in Orange County. The journal covers the international show jumping horse business, which has a financial impact of millions on the economy and the people and businesses who are in the sport. She has lived in Orange County since 1965. She enjoyed promoting and writing about a wide variety of subjects and she wrote extensively as a freelance journalist before opening her own magazine.

SONYA QUICK

Sonya Quick is a digital editor, reporter and educator with more than 15 years of experience in news. She is digital editor at Voice of OC where she manages online fundraising, marketing, engagement, digital storytelling and user experience. In addition to working at Voice of OC, she teaches digital journalism at Chapman University. Previously, she worked for eight years at the Orange County Register as a digital and engagement editor, reporter, infographics storyteller and as the Register’s first mobile editor. She has more than decade of experience in leading efforts to create more connected journalism across devices, social platforms and audience types. Her career of work includes editing, reporting, designing infographics, researching data, developing mobile apps, refining user experiences, managing fundraising efforts, engagement on social media, guiding newsroom groups towards transformation and designing complete marketing roll-outs.

DAVID N. YOUNG

David is a working journalist and internationally recognized public affairs strategist who has worked in a variety of public capacities throughout his career. Currently, he is an editor with Community Media Corporation and has formerly served as editor of the Catalina Islander, the Seal Beach Sun and other publications. Based for many years in Washington, D.C., he now lives and works in Southern California. As a strategist, has counseled local, state, and federal agencies, Fortune 500 companies, public officials and nonprofits. He was awarded the journalism award in high school, the telecasting innovation award in college and was first named to Who’s Who in America in 1994.  He attended the LSU School of Journalism and studied broadcasting at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. His work has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Information Agency and others.