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From the Editor: All good things eventually end

From the Editor: All good things eventually end


After four semesters and 31 issues on staff (with one more to go), my reign of terror as editor of Pima Community College’s student newspaper is drawing to an end.

I have written exactly 21 editor columns during my time on staff, including this one. As all the gamblers know, you always stay on 21.

Custom dictates that I reflect on my time here, the good times and bad, what I’ve learned, and all that jazz.

And thanks yous. There must be ample kudos to all the amazing people I’ve met and worked with along the way, right?

Well, it’s true. I have worked with a cadre of spectacular people that I will never forget. My experience here as the editor will never be replicated, no matter where my journeys take me once I leave Pima. But for some reason I can’t bring myself to write the typical farewell column.

Perhaps it’s because I feel like there is still more to do, always wanting to chase one more lead or work on one more story with a new reporter just learning the ropes.

Maybe it’s because I feel like this really isn’t goodbye. Sure, my writing won’t be showing up in this space on a biweekly basis anymore, but it will still be out there, somewhere.

I will never stop pursuing stories, asking questions and bringing readers the information they want.

Or it could just be the fact that I don’t imagine anyone wants to read all about me any more than I want to fill this space with my personal reflections and future aspirations.

One thing I will say as I prepare to transition away from my time on the college paper; enjoy every moment you can. Some people would give up everything for the opportunities we take for granted. You never know when everything could be gone, or what tomorrow may bring.

And I truly would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank our adviser, and my mentor, Cynthia Lancaster, for everything she has done during my time with Aztec Press. My leadership, writing, editing, layout and photography skills all evolved immensely due to her teachings.

This issue is full of stories of people seizing the moment and living life to the fullest, challenging themselves to new limits, following their hearts and chasing their dreams. I am hopeful we can all do the same.

Carpe diem. Enjoy the issue.

Pg06-Opinion-Andrew Paxton

#GamerGate: Camps form in video game industry

#GamerGate: Camps form in video game industry


#GamerGate, as it is commonly referred to online, has been the talk of the video game industry for the second half of 2014. What started off as a bad relationship between creator and critic split the video game community in two.

The controversy has forced gamers to explore serious topics, ranging from sexism, feminism and the role of females in video games to journalistic ethics, reporters’ personal lives and interactions between critics and creators.

Let’s take a quick look at what #GamerGate is and how it started.

Last August, a writer from video game website Kotaku wrote a few blog posts about his ex-girlfriend Zoë Quinn, an independent video game designer. He claimed she cheated on him with several other video game journalists.

Angry gamers attacked Quinn online, saying she had done this to create publicity for her video game, Depression Quest.

Websites 4chan and Reddit buzzed with comments about how feminists were trying to ruin games by pointing out the roles of women.

Attacks spread to other women in the video game industry, including feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian. She declined to give a speech at the University of Utah because of multiple death threats she received.

There’s another half to #GamerGate. Many movement members want to reform the video game news industry. They claim that the critics who review the games and the developers who make them are too close.

Kotaku researched the case with Quinn and the writer, and discovered there was no ethically questionable material in the pieces he wrote.

However, the website has since banned employees from donating to game designers on Kickstarter as a precautionary measure.

There is much more to #GamerGate, and I implore you to look online for the entire story.

As I see it, #GamerGate is divided into two camps: those who talk about the role of females in the video game industry and those who want changes in video game journalism.

Let’s tackle the first camp, feminists and video games.

Taking a stand is difficult for me because I can see both sides.

I agree that many women are misrepresented in video games.

There are far too many examples of females depicted as sex symbols instead of as in-depth characters.

Games like Lollipop Chainsaw, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and Bayonetta show hyper-sexualized women in suggestive positions.

It doesn’t end with playable female characters. Think back to the original Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda, where players must rescue a damsel in distress.

“Maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel and she could save herself,” Sarkeesian said in an interview on “The Colbert Report.”

This is where the other half of me sits on the fence.

There are games where the princess does just this.

Games from Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and The Walking Dead Season Two all have strong-willed female protagonists who don’t need anybody to save them.

Even Princess Peach from the Super Mario franchise, the quintessential damsel in distress, had her own game. In Super Princess Peach, she rescues Mario from evil.

Ellie from The Last of Us, a 14-year-old girl immune to a deadly virus that turns people into zombie-esque monsters, is a perfect female role model.

A young gay teenager who feels lost and alone in the world makes a great character and represents someone who resonates with girls close to her age.

The camp debating ethics has more shades of gray. Journalism ethics are a complex, touchy subject. This is especially true with video game journalists because of their close relationships with developers.

#GamerGate targets video game journalists because of the apparent conflicts of interest. Many believe the developers are too close with the critics who review and report on their games.

Having personal relationships between journalists and developers can be a very bad thing.

How would you feel if a website you like and respect reviews a game and gives it a high score, only to learn later that the publishers paid for a higher score?

Unfortunately, people generalize all too often.

My idol is Colin Moriarty, a senior editor for the Playstation sector at Imagine Games Network.

Over the years, Moriarty has been in direct contact with Sony-owned studios and executives. Despite his personal relationship with the developers, he remains unbiased in his reviews.

More video game journalists should follow suit, not only because of the industry they are in but because of the impact they have on gamers.

I’m glad that video games are in the news, but sad that it involves such a negative subject. Please share your views at

Aztec Press photo illustration by Larry Gaurano

Aztec Press photo illustration by Larry Gaurano

Strive to remember real meaning of life

Strive to remember real meaning of life


As a modern society, we are busy navigating through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the latest Kim Kardashian nude pictures. We’re thinking about our next big purchases and considering buying the latest iPhone.

As a young woman, I can shamelessly admit that I own 42 pairs of shoes. I only wear about 10 pairs. The rest are just dust collectors inside my closet.

We have become such a materialist society that we sometimes forget about the real meaning of life.

Subconsciously, we believe that everyone in the world is the same as us.

We forget about people on the street who won’t have a blanket to cover themselves from the cold this winter season.

We forget about the precious sound of a baby’s cry, the patience and love with which an older person narrates a childhood memory.

We forget about children who live in orphanages or foster homes, praying day by day to get adopted.

We forget about animals mistreated at zoos, about people with terminal diseases, about children in Africa dying of hunger and AIDS.

We forget about people who are kidnapped and the horrible conditions in which they survive, about the worries of their family members.

We forget about prisoners doing life sentences, and the non-guilty who serve sentences as well, due to unfair trials or corrupt governments.

We forget there are people in underdeveloped countries who live in houses made from cardboard boxes.

We forget about immigrants who leave everything behind, risking their lives through sometimes fatal conditions in search of a better future.

We forget there is life outside the United States.

Our biggest problem is that our iPhone battery died and now we won’t be able to post on Instagram a picture of our favorite Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato. What a waste!

Seriously? All I am saying is, look up. Put away your phone for five minutes and take a deep breath. Feel the fresh air running through your nostrils and the warming sun kissing your skin. Smile.

Re-evaluate yourself. Dream again. Think of your long-term goals, and write down simpler strategies to accomplish them with daily actions.

Travel, try new food, meet new people.

Learn a second language and experience new cultures. Go hiking, and connect your soul and spirit with nature. Get involved in an issue you feel strongly about.

Listen to both sides of the story. Ask questions and make informed decisions. Always strive for education, because that is the only tool that can set you free.

Ceja hopes disinterest in the outside world is due to lack of knowledge. She wishes to become a connector who helps bridge the gap.


Is Black Friday worth the cost?

Is Black Friday worth the cost?


Black Friday has changed the way we look at the end of November.

After giving thanks and stuffing our faces on Thanksgiving Thursday, many of us will give our money to cashiers early on Friday morning.

Last year, I waited in the cold outside a GameStop for more than six hours to get a PlayStation 4 that was sold out everywhere else. When the door opened and I was first in line to pick it up, all those hours paid off.

Everyone in line was calm about waiting for the neon lights to glow red. It was surreal to think that in other places within a few miles, people would be pushing and shoving over marked-down items.

That fact made me look at how consumerist we have become. I realized that most people don’t look forward to Thanksgiving as much as they do Black Friday.

They anticipate deals on a new television or toys for their kids. The inner consumer inside all of us rips other people out of the way to grab a toaster with an egg attachment for nine bucks less than normal.

We’ve all seen the videos online. People will and have trampled fellow humans in past years. Sickeningly, some people died.

That has made many people, including me, think twice about going out to shop for the holidays. We’re actually afraid we will get hurt.

A few years ago, I went with family to Walmart on Black Friday. We passed a huge crowd surrounding a gigantic stack of Blu-ray players. The crowd went wild as soon as a worker said the deal was live. Chaos ensued, to say the least.

I remember wondering if saving a few bucks was worth being trampled. I still wonder that.

It would be hypocritical for me to tell you not to go out on Black Friday to shop these deals, because I can’t in all honesty say I wouldn’t myself. I plan to spend this year’s shopping day at home online, but your plans might send you out into the battle royale.

If you do go out, just make sure you and your loved ones keep each other safe. A few dollars isn’t worth getting hurt over.

Fruechtenicht is a veteran of many Black Friday outings and knows the true horror of fighting someone over video games.

Pg06-Alex Fruechtenicht


Rap lyrics filled with misogyny

Rap lyrics filled with misogyny


Music is an important part of many people’s lives but we have raised a society that is influenced by the negative message some rap songs imply.

The rap lyrics that flood through our speakers promote both distasteful misogyny and acceptance that women are nothing but “hoes and bitches.”

“And I love all my bitches but it’s like as soon as I cum, I come to my senses and I would say these hoes’ names but then I would be snitching.” – Lil Wayne.

These songs are catchy and there’s no denying their ability to pump up the club. But, does their popularity make it any more acceptable to treat women with such low respect?

We used to hear rappers like Tupac Shakur create music that placed women on a pedestal, while empowering and respecting their existence:

“Since we all came from a woman, got a name from a woman and our game from a woman, I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women. Do we hate our women? I think it’s time to kill for our women. Time to heal our women, be real to our women.”

These are the types of words that should be blasting through our stereos, not the ones encouraging the hatred and abuse of women.

As the younger sister of two older brothers, I have always been taught the value of respect and the importance of not just being a lady but being treated like one.

We should be teaching young boys the importance of respecting a woman.

Instead, we’re negatively influencing them through misogynistic lyrics and media that imply women are sexual objects who deserve zero respect.

Young girls are worthy of one day being the women sitting on pedestals.

They should feel empowered and respected by the boys who became men and learned how to truly appreciate a woman.

One day society will learn to ignore all those dirty rap lyrics.

We need to learn how to pay more attention to the respectful Tupac Shakur-types of music and focus less on the type of lyrics that should make any women feel uncomfortable.

Knutzen believes that every person deserves to feel like a respected, empowered and valued human being who is capable of anything, even if songs sing otherwise.

Pg06-Opinion-Tanisha Knutzen

Minimum wage not only issue

Minimum wage not only issue


Citizens of San Francisco voted Nov. 4 to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour over a four-year timeline.Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of economics might call this a bad idea.

Supply and demand suggests that raising the price of employment will decrease the number of people employed.

Only large corporations could afford the wage hike. Small business would need to decrease employment — or go out of business — to manage costs.

However, evidence suggests this is not the case.

In the two areas of the country where minimum wage is highest for their categories, Washington state and the city of San Francisco, unemployment has decreased.

More importantly, the number of jobs increased.

In 2013, California experienced a 2.95 percent increase in employment. Washington saw a 2.10 percent increase.

There is one simple reason this happens: people who make minimum wage don’t save money, they spend it.

Those who make minimum wage are more likely to turn right around and spend that money where they work, especially when businesses offer incentives in the form of discounts.

Large corporations especially should increase the minimum wage of their employees. Some economists say that if Walmart or McDonald’s doubled the minimum wage of employees, prices would experience minimal increases.

Other economists say prices would not increase at all since they are set by the market, not by the cost of production.

Either way, those companies would still experience greater returns as their employees shop there.

There are other problems, however.

For starters, San Francisco has the third highest cost of living in the United States.

A $15 minimum wage roughly equates to $1,800 per month.

Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $2,800. That means you’d have to work a nearly 80-hour week on minimum wage just to live in the city.

Additionally, McDonald’s has found a way around the increase in minimum wage: by employing machines instead of people.

That may seem like a cheap tactic, but isn’t this the direction all labor is headed?

As technology advances, more and more jobs will be replaced by machines. We are already experiencing this trend.

The move by McDonald’s is a symptom of an even greater problem than increasing minimum wage: What will humans do when machines do all the work?

That is the question we should be trying to answer, not whether to increase minimum wage.

Meyers intends to study journalism in conjunction with economics to make the subject more accessible.

Pg06-Opinion-Nick Meyers


GUEST COMMENTARY: Time to sign up for heath care

GUEST COMMENTARY: Time to sign up for heath care


Get ready Pima Community College – it’s time to enroll in health insurance. My name is Rahsheen Taborn and I am the student government president at Pima’s Downtown Campus. I have been working with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group.

If you are like most students I talk to, you have a lot of questions about health care. It often seems easier to do nothing than to do something. Don’t let your questions get in the way of getting the coverage you need. It is affordable. Read on.

First, why have health insurance? If you don’t have coverage and you get into an accident you could face thousands and thousands of dollars in bills. Couple this with student loans and well you could be facing a lot of debt when leaving PCC.

If you don’t have coverage you might not find out about a health condition you have until it is harder and more costly to treat. Coverage not only provides peace of mind but also can make sure you get any prescriptions you need. And no longer can you be denied for having a pre-existing condition.

OK on to affordability. Despite what you may have heard or think, health insurance is now very affordable – particularly for college students. While health insurance costs depend on your specific financial situation and medical needs, individuals in Arizona earning $16,000 a year or less are likely to qualify for AHCCCS, and individuals earning $40,000 a year or less are likely to qualify for financial assistance in the health insurance marketplace.

To make it even easier to learn about health insurance and to assist in the enrollment process, student government on the downtown campus is partnering with the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and its colleagues. We know that students don’t want slick salespeople who stand to make a profit from the insurance they choose.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and members of the Cover Arizona Coalition, which includes the Pima Community Access Program and others, will be on the Downtown Campus on Nov. 19 and 20 speaking with students at a table and in classrooms. I will be participating with Chancellor LEE Lambert and these organizations at a news conference to let individuals in Tucson know about our efforts.

On Nov. 21, you can come to the Downtown Campus and get enrolled. Best to set up an appointment through<>

For those new to health insurance or for individuals seeking a refresher, I have found the Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s guide “So You Need Health Insurance. Now What?” very helpful.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund guide is available at and contains definitions of common health insurance terms, helps you navigate your options, and provides the know-how needed to make an informed decision.

For example did you know that young adults have additional options, which include staying on your parents’ plan until you are 26?

I encourage members of the PCC community to learn about your health insurance options and get covered. You can apply for AHCCCS any time and the Health Insurance Marketplace opened on Nov. 15. #Getcovered

Rahsheen Taborn
Pima Community College Downtown Campus
Student Government President

FROM THE EDITOR: Involvement enriches college life

FROM THE EDITOR: Involvement enriches college life


During my time at Pima Community College, I have been privileged to be involved with several dynamic groups that have enriched my educational experience and helped me advance as a leader and an individual.

After my first full semester at Pima, my GPA made me eligible for an invitation from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

I had never heard of the group, so I did my research like a good journalist should. After deciding they were legit, I paid my membership fee and joined.

It turned out to be one of my best decisions.

The opportunities afforded to me by Phi Theta Kappa have enriched my life, and hopefully the lives of others.

Accomplishments included leadership building workshops in Philadelphia and organizing a commitment drive resulting in more than 500 Pima students pledging to get their degrees.

Shortly after joining PTK, I signed up for the Aztec Press student newspaper. Getting to meet so many people, to hear their stories and share them with others, has opened my eyes. I’m not alone. Check out other staffers’ experiences on Page 7.

As editor, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a talented staff. We continue to make an impact, and are winning awards while doing it. Read about our latest accomplishment on Page 3.

I have also been involved with Honors Club during my time at Pima. The work they have done the last few years is truly amazing. Our piece on Page 5 spotlights their hard work and selfless efforts to enhance the community around them.

You don’t have to be an honors student or journalism junkie to get involved at Pima. There are literally dozens of organizations, all with a specific focus or goal, to suit every student’s needs and interests.

The most rewarding part of being involved with these organizations is getting to help others. Seeing smiles on people’s faces makes the volunteering hours well worth your time and energy. Knowing that you are making a difference is a uniquely satisfying experience.

In addition to growing as an individual and having opportunities to travel and meet new people, getting involved also makes you a better candidate for scholarships and grants. A little monetary incentive never hurt, right?

Whatever your reasons, get involved at Pima. Head to your campus student life office and tell them I sent you. They will take good care of you and tell you everything you need to get started.

Enjoy the issue.


Where’s my Disney Latina doll?

Where’s my Disney Latina doll?


We have Disney princesses for almost all ethnicities, starting with the nine white ones: Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Merida, Elsa and Anna.

Disney later added minority princesses such as Pocahontas (Native American), Mulan (Asian), Jasmine (Arab) and Tiana (African-American).

Where is my Latina princess?

Yes, Disney unveiled a “Latina princess” in 2013. Sofia the First is a little girl who must learn about royalty.

Her mother is from Spain and her father is Scandinavian. Sofia is fair skinned, with light brown hair and blue eyes – just like most of us Latinas look.

This character has not made it into theaters like the other princesses. She can only be watched on Disney Channel episodes.

Why do all the other princesses have their own movie, but not this one? Are we trying to downgrade our little “Latina” princess?

C’mon Disney!

Make a princess that looks like me: brown eyes and dark hair.

I also need my Latina princess to have the complexity of Dora the Explorer. Don’t try to whitewash me.

Obviously, most Latinas don’t have royal blood. We come from humble working families, but we’re proud of our roots and our brown complexion.

There’s no need for lighter tones or fantasy worlds, just reality.

Our Latina girls need somebody to look up to, somebody they can find themselves in. They must realize they don’t need to be blonde and blue-eyed to be pretty.

We have the right to be princesses too.

Disney should remember that people from more than 20 countries speak Spanish.

Hispanic parents travel long distances at great expense to take their children to Disney theme parks.

Why would a multibillion dollar corporation ignore such a lucrative market?

I am not asking for nine Hispanic princesses, just one that looks like me.

Give my niece and I a chance to be beautiful princesses in our own skin.

Ceja hopes she doesn’t have to wear a blonde wig next Halloween. She would rather style her natural dark hair when dressing up as the new Latina princess.


Journalists need more protection

Journalists need more protection


At least 370 journalists have been murdered since 2004 and in 90 percent of the cases nobody was convicted for the crime, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Governments need to make a more active effort to protect journalists and enforce strict punishment to discourage violence against the press.

One especially gruesome example took place on Nov. 23, 2009, when 58 people were kidnapped and brutally murdered in the Philippines while on their way to witness Esmael Mangudadatu file a certificate of candidacy for an upcoming election in the Maguindanao province.

Of the victims, 34 were confirmed journalists and media workers covering the story. The others were family and supporters of Mangudadatu.

Nov. 23 has been marked as International Day to End Impunity.

Organizations such as CPJ work to fight back against the intimidation that hampers free press.

Since then, progress to end impunity has been negligible.

More than 50 journalists have been killed worldwide in 2014 so far, with 100 percent impunity, according to CPJ. Of the victims, 41 were killed with definite intent.

Although malicious massacres aren’t prevalent in the U.S., violent attacks on journalists are becoming more common.

One infamous case is when police officers in Ferguson, Mo., attempted to silence journalists while they were documenting protests for slain teen Michael Brown.

Why is it important to end impunity? Other than to save lives, it helps protect the truth.

The more governments, individuals or organizations get away with murder or intimidation, the more journalists are inclined to censor themselves in fear of retaliation.

If important issues aren’t brought to the public eye, entities can get away with any number of criminal actions.

The issue is not a high priority for most people because it doesn’t affect them directly. Many politicians merely promise action to boost their reputation.

This kind of thinking is irresponsible. People have a right to know what is happening in the world and to be exposed to the reality of the situation.

Corruption is happening now and it needs to be brought to light. Journalists risk their lives for the truth, and the truth should be undeniable.

Ledesma is studying to be an artist and a journalist. He doesn’t want to scare potential students from practicing journalism despite the dangers.

Pg06-Opinion-Zachary Ledesma

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL: Offer online winter classes

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL: Offer online winter classes

Written by Editor-in-chief Andrew Paxton for the Aztec Press editorial board.

Students expecting to retake a class or focus on a difficult course during the holiday break will find themselves left out in the cold this winter.

Pima Community College recently announced it would no longer hold classes during the winter break. The public proclamation came with little fanfare and was released more than a year after the formal decision had been made.

The decision to cancel the classes was made with little or no student input. Many student leaders were unaware of the changes, and most students seemed unaware of the decision even after PCC posted notices on its website and on MyPima.

College officials have given several reasons for the choice to eradicate winter classes, including falling enrollment, low student success rates and budget issues.

The decision to eliminate the entire winter session, including online courses, must be reconsidered.

Hundreds of students registered for winter classes at PCC every year. Although this may be a small percentage of Pima’s 25,000 enrollment during an average spring or fall semester, it is still a key demographic that the college should be serving.

One reason the college has given for cancelling winter courses is student success rates.

However, students often took one difficult class during the winter session. Doing so allowed them to concentrate their focus instead of taking the troublesome course along with a full slate of others.

Removing the option for students to invest their winter break in one class that has been giving them problems will not improve success rates. It could even ultimately be a “last straw” for some students looking to continue their education at another institution.

Most students seek to finish their time at Pima as quickly as possible, to either transfer or enter the workforce. Abolishing winter courses makes it increasingly difficult to finish at PCC in a timely manner.

A primary factor given by the college for cancelling winter classes has been the cost of keeping campuses open for so few students.

Offering online courses during the winter session seems like the obvious solution.

The college should consider providing, at minimum, a robust selection of online courses for students who need them starting in Winter 2015.

Any future changes made by the college that foretell sweeping consequences for students must include increased student input and effective communication to the entire Pima community.

Upholding these commitments will ensure that student’s needs are met.


Every voice carries meaning

Every voice carries meaning


I have always been drawn to words. My oma (grandmother) often regales me with the vivid stories I created as a child. Despite her recent diagnosis of dementia, she still remembers those stories.

As a teenager, writing poetry became my medicine for depression. It halted anxiety issues and the woes of puberty, all driven by the same new hormones.

With technology, my writing obtained a new platform. The Internet allowed me to share my poems, and I made the first discovery that would lead me to journalism.

When I wrote something, I realized it resonated with others. People related to my prose and I found a new joy putting the complicated nuances of life into words.

Journalism, at its roots, is helping others, helping to foster change. We don’t do this with fluff, propaganda, coercion, bias or persuasion. Journalists do this with truth, with facts, the tools that allow us to find answers.

I do this because I know there is no such thing as a meaningless voice. I am a journalist because there are too many injustices in our world, and I can’t stand by and let it happen anymore.

I say here in print, permanent and on the record, that I will work to give voice to as many people as possible. I will never tell you what to think. I want to provide information to help you make your own decisions. I want you to know the who, what, when, where and why.

Knowledge, truth and the power of our voices can empower us to make change happen.

I didn’t always have a clear path for my future. In fact, I forged a pretty bleak one for myself at times. I have attended Pima Community College off and on for about eight years. I dropped out a couple of times, made a ton of poor life choices and grew complacent.

After I got into some trouble, I returned to school. I knew I wanted to be a journalist but had no idea how much it was going to change my life.

I started on Aztec Press last semester and instantly felt like I had found my place. I wanted to take on every story I could and worked incredibly hard.

All the long hours I’ve put into my articles, sending emails every day, transcribing interviews, riding the bus across town to talk to people, setting my social life aside to meet deadlines, were all worth it. I live for it now.

The Aztec Press is the perfect setting for future journalists. We are encouraged to take risks, be creative and dedicate ourselves to the truth. We are held responsible for accuracy, legwork, deadlines, editing and thinking skills. We are taught well.

I have found my calling because of my fellow news crew, now friends for life, and through all the skills I have learned and the incredible people who have been a part of this process.

My life has changed because of Aztec Press. My only hope is that I can be an investigative reporter who helps bring change to others.



Spring classes

All PCC journalism classes meet at West Campus. Here’s a list of days and times for Spring 2015:

JRN 101–Introduction to Reporting
and Media Writing
Monday-Wednesday: 10:40-11:55 a.m.
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:40-11:55 a.m.

JRN 102–Survey
of Media Communications
Monday-Wednesday: 9:10-10:25 a.m.

JRN 185–Newspaper Publishing
Tuesday-Thursday: 1:40-2:55 p.m.
Prerequisite: JRN 101

JRN 235–Broadcast Journalism
Tuesday-Thursday: 9:10-10:25 a.m.
Spring semester only

JRN 240–Editing, Layout/Design
Monday: 1:40-4:10 p.m.

JRN 260–Magazine/Feature Writing
Wednesday: 6:10-8:50 p.m.
Spring semester only

JRN 280–Photojournalism
Wednesday: 1:40-4:10 p.m.

JRN 285–Advanced
Newspaper Publishing
Tuesday-Thursday: 3-4:15 p.m.
Prerequisite: JRN 185

JRN 290 –
Journalism Internship
Self-paced. First secure an internship,
then meet with faculty adviser Dave Irwin
Prerequisite: JRN 101

Questions? Contact Cynthia Lancaster, or 206-6635

Internship provides career insights

Internship provides career insights


The best way to get a real understanding of how news stations operate is to intern at one while still in school.

This fall, I began an internship with Tucson’s CBS affiliate, KOLD News 13. It’s helped me gain a broader understanding of broadcast news and what it takes to work in the industry.

E.J. Junker, assistant content director at KOLD, believes internships can be beneficial.

“It’s a chance to see the day-to-day happenings and real-world stuff,” he said. “I hope you guys come in, have fun and learn a lot.”

News internships can even be beneficial to those not pursuing a career in journalism because it teaches the many layers of communication.

“Any good business is run on good communication,” Junker said.

Communicating is vital in broadcast news to ensure a quality product, KOLD reporter Barbara Grijalva said.

“We have to always communicate with our photographers, or we have to talk with the marketing department, or the art and graphics department,” she said.

The basic prerequisite for a TV internship is to take an introductory news writing class, such as Pima Community College’s JRN 101 – Introduction to Reporting and Media Writing.

In addition to JRN 101, I’ve taken a variety of other journalism courses including the Aztec Press newspaper production classes (JRN 185 and JRN 285), Photojournalism (JRN 280) and Survey of Media Communications (JRN 102).

I also took classes related to my plans for a four-year degree in journalism at the University of Arizona, such as SPE 102 – Introduction to Speech Communication and STU 201 – Transfer Strategies.

“Everyone needs to look into internships and take advantage of what schools like Pima and the UA offer,” STU 210 instructor Ed Doran said.

PCC instructor David Irwin, who oversees internships for the journalism program, told me how to get an internship and urged me to apply for any available.

“Internships are vital in gaining knowledge about a potential career,” Irwin said.

Internships allow students to make professional connections that could be beneficial in future career searches, and can potentially lead to a full-time job.

“In my first and only internship, I went in knowing that I would get hired,” KOLD anchor Dan Marries said. “I would do anything from writing or recording to mopping the floors.”

In my time at KOLD, I’ve done everything from running the teleprompter to being a cameraman for reporters in the field to answering and relaying calls.

Before my internship experience, I didn’t know that sports reporters must deal with long nights. I also had no idea that most reporters meet deadline by finishing their work in a car or at a fast food place with Wi-Fi.

TV reporters deliver 20 to 30 seconds of news, but their job is far from easy. They run around all day to ensure they do the best job covering their story, and always try to improve on the previous report.

“Those guys out there beat themselves up, whether they misspeak or could’ve done their live shot better,” Junker said. “They really just want to get it right.”

They also must battle misconceptions.

“One stereotype of the business is that all folks think it’s only the people that are on TV,” Junker said. “Well, there are 85 people in the newsroom but you don’t see 85 people on TV. It really takes that kind of group to get it done.”

Working in broadcast news isn’t as easy and luxurious as people may think.

“When I told people that I used to anchor, they would say ‘oh, so you go in about 30 minutes before the show and they do your hair and makeup and then you go do a show?’” Grijalva said. “People don’t really know what it takes.”

Junker gets calls asking who does the anchors’ hair. “I said, ‘what do you mean who does our hair?’ It’s whoever has the comb.”

Being in the public eye provides both perks and challenges.

“I don’t know if everyone knows about all the outside-of-work things people do, community service stuff, public speaking events,” Junker said.

On-air personalities such as Marris and Heather Rowe never leave the public eye.

“If you’re Dan or Heather or someone like that and you’re out in public, people recognize you,” Junker said. “You always have to be a little bit on, and I think that’s a challenge.”

Pg07-Beto-internship-Barbara Grijalva

FROM THE EDITOR: Your vote matters this election

FROM THE EDITOR: Your vote matters this election


Another election is here, and most of us probably just want it to be over so those annoying campaign ads will finally stop.

This election is admittedly less exciting than recent contests, with no presidential race on the ballot, but fewer people than usual are paying attention to what are actually some very important races.

First, the U.S. Senate is up for grabs, with most pundits predicting a Republican victory. That would mean a GOP-controlled Congress, a dream for conservatives and a nightmare for President Obama and his supporters.

Closer to home, Arizonans will vote in the first open election for governor in more than a decade.

Again, the experts predict a victory for the Republican candidate, Doug Ducey. However, a higher-than-anticipated voter turnout could swing the seat to Democratic challenger Fred Duval.

And that’s what every election boils down to: voter turnout.

It’s not always about who has the best ideas (far from it) or the most cash or the most popularity. It’s about who can get their factions to cast ballots when the big day arrives.

Obama swept into the White House six years ago riding a huge voter turnout of youths and minorities, two groups traditionally devoid of much power over anything.

His victory, regardless of how you feel about it, represented the importance of a robust voter turnout among targeted demographics.

The significance of your vote is especially magnified on the local level, and there are several decisions this year that will certainly impact the lives of those around us.

Proposition 303 would allow terminal patients to use experimental medication if there are no other viable options.

I believe this is a crucial piece of legislation and highly encourage everyone to vote for its approval.

There is also a proposition asking voters to give state legislators a raise. A similar measure seems to be on the ballot every election. Given the past voting habits of our state combined with a growing discontent with government nationwide, I see this crashing and burning yet again.

At the county level, Prop. 415 asks voters to approve funding for construction of a new animal control facility. Check out our story on page 7 for more details, but if you believe furry little critters deserve humane conditions, a “yes” vote is the way to go.

In the Pima Community College District 1 race for a seat on the governing board, Mark Hanna and Michael Duran are competing for your vote. Our story on page 7 will fill you in on where they stand on key issues.

No matter who or what you vote for, make an informed vote. Let your voice be heard. Honor the sacrifice of those that fought for you to have that right, and cast a ballot Nov. 4.

Enjoy the issue.

Pg06-Opinion-Andrew Paxton

Study abroad widens horizons

Study abroad widens horizons


Traveling allows us to immerse ourselves in new cultures. It also provides opportunities to learn another language and meet people completely different than us.

Since college is a time to absorb knowledge, why not take time to travel?

Many colleges offer opportunities to study abroad. You can narrow your choice to a course selection focused on your major or you can take different kinds of classes to explore what it is you’d like to do.

It’s common for students to lose passion when they stay in the same place too long. Viewing the world from a different perspective may put us on the right path.

The main idea of studying abroad is leaving your comfort zone.

I often hear adults say they wish they had participated in this type of worldliness, if only for the sense of wisdom it brings.

Broadening our horizons at this age is the best thing we can do for ourselves. If we become open minded, we will be closer to pursuing our dreams and accomplishing our goals.

Travel often presents obstacles. Work can get in the way and many people have families and other responsibilities.

Students, of course, often face the same obstructions. Many of us work full-time or part-time jobs. Between managing finances, homework, class attendance and internships, how can we sail away to exciting, new lands?

The administrators who facilitate study abroad programs say there are ways to make it work.

Though most students who participate earn academic credits, some programs offer paid jobs. That allows young people to experience life in a different county while working.

I do not yet have personal experience with studying abroad, but many of my friends and family have. Although there was some pretty severe jet lag and culture shock, all experiences have been positive.

Some of my friends went to Barcelona together and had a blast touring museums and eating at superb restaurants. The pictures they sent made me very jealous.

My cousin traveled alone. Though she was nervous, she met great people who helped her enjoy her time away. My aunt and uncle had to force her to come home.

I hope in the next year to be able to share the same story. Perhaps you should look into it as well. You may never have the opportunity again, so embrace it!

Jones is majoring in journalism and hopes to study abroad in Australia.