DMC triumphs at 2024 TIPA conference

            On April 11-13, DMC students participated in the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention held in San Marcos, Texas where 10 students participated in live contests to show off their journalism skills. The Foghorn staff brought home more than 45 different awards, including Overall Excellence for the Foghorn News website, and second place in Overall Newspaper Design.

“Going back this year, I wanted to gain experience and challenge myself,” Lola Ponce, Associate Editor of Foghorn News, said about her experience as a second-time attendee. 

The Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) is the oldest state collegiate press association. It began with just nine students in 1909 on the Baylor University campus. According to their website, TIPA was founded with the intention to “improve college journalism, to raise the standard of college publications and to bring the colleges and editors into closer and more vital relationships.”

There are 30 different live contests students can participate in to showcase their skills in photography, editing, writing and design under a given deadline. Each competition covers a real-world scenario: a college sports event, a live music performance, crisis management for a major corporation, and breaking news coverage including categories for Spanish news writing, radio announcing and television announcing.

The conference offers a wide variety of guest speakers. Students attend speaker sessions to provide knowledge and essential skills they’ll need as journalists with topics ranging from advanced Photoshop to building a portfolio, even panels of experts sharing their experiences with finding jobs in the communications field.

Ponce, who participated in the sports, news, and feature photography events, won first place in News Photography. 

“The news photography competition last year was more dramatic than this year’s. It was so fast-paced! Any photojournalist needs to be able to expect the inevitable when on the scene, and I feel like that event was a good way to portray that.” 

Last year’s News event took place on the set of an old Western film. They were to cover the filming of a fight scene, when the actor accidentally made contact with the other actor. A staged brawl unfolded between the two and the students were left in awe. “I remember leaving the event just being like was that real,” Ponce recalls, “It gave a feel for how news can unfold.”

She mentions that this year’s competition was more mellow, “I was waiting for something to happen, and as a photographer you’ve got to be constantly looking around … nothing super dramatic happened.” Despite her initial grievance with the event for the News Photography competition, Ponce states that it was a nice change of pace.

When asked about her advice for any students who want to participate in the TIPA convention next year Ponce stated, “My first time competing I remember thinking ‘where do I start’ but my biggest piece of advice: it’s okay to mess up, that way you can learn from it, and now you’ll know what needs to be done to not mess up again.”

Peyton Henderson Reports on TIPA 2024

Jakob Salinas, an Advertising and Public Relations student, had never been to a TIPA convention before. This year he participated in the copy editing, editorial writing, and Spanish radio announcing competitions. While he didn’t take home a win, Salinas said, “I’m not a participation trophy kind of person but I am proud of myself for trying.” With hopes to compete again next year Salinas said, “I felt inspired coming back from the conference, by other schools and the work coming out of their programs, like Texas A&M Kingsville.”

2nd Place TIPA HYPE Video by Thomas Gummings

Whether it be a student’s first time, or they have attended the conference in previous years, Julie Reed, Executive Director of TIPA, encourages students who attend to, 

“show up and enjoy your time there, and to make use of every resource offered to you.” She says the two main goals TIPA has for students is education and connections. 

“We want to connect students to each other, to be able to see what other programs are doing, but also connect them to jobs and employers as well.” 

This year’s convention had been months in the making, with the planning beginning back in June of 2023. “It is definitely not a one-person task … It was all worth it in the end! To be able to see the excitement in the students during the awards ceremony, all the cheers and all the energy.” 

Her hopes for next year’s convention? “Bigger and better!”

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