The Bridge’s Journalistic Journey to Success and Prosperity at the ICCJA Conference

Writing the Path: ICCJA Conference  

By Isabelle Flener 


The Bridge won 24 awards, including nine first-place prizes, during the Illinois Community College Journalism Association Fall Conference, which took place on Nov. 8 and 9 at Eastern Illinois University.  

Seven staff members had the excitement of clinching first-place victories. The Bridge also scored first-place, Division 2 awards in the Mike Foster General Excellence and Best Student Media categories.   

All attendees had the opportunity to participate in numerous breakout sessions during the conference, gaining valuable insights to apply to the paper.  

Six staff members attended the conference and immersed themselves deeper in the journalism world. They also personally collected any awards they received. Attendees had the chance to network with fellow newspaper members from various community colleges.  

The Bridge is under the guidance of Advisor Louise Jett and Editor-in-Chief Jeannette Carrington. Carrington also serves as writer, photographer, and graphic designer. She was among the seven members receiving a first-place award. 

“I was invited to join the bridge as it was never on my radar,” said Carrington. “I soon realized that I enjoyed it. In Fall 22, I filled the vacant associate editor position and continued through the end  

of spring. I was so excited and surprised that I won an award. There is a lot of great competition in the division and on our staff.”  

For some, this was their first time earning a first-place award. James Pepper, a photographer for The Bridge, was elated to receive his award in person.   

“I won first place for feature photo I took last year at Spring Fest,” said Pepper. “I was so happy to win this award; I got second place last year, so I really wanted to win first this year. I was so honored to win; I was crying a bit at the ceremony.”  

The conference extended invitations beyond journalists, including photographers, graphic designers, social media managers, and editors, offering unique breakout sessions covering design, photography, interviewing, story structuring, and more.   

“I really enjoyed the conference,” said Pepper. “My favorite part of it was being able to spend time with my fellow coworkers at the Bridge and get to know them better.”  

Some members of The Bridge never knew the journalism field would be something right for them until they got their foot through the door.   

“I never thought I could make a career out of it,” said Carrington.  

“My husband started encouraging me to use my skills and increase my skills. I was doing some graphic design at my job and found that I liked it. So, in January 2020 I started at LC to obtain a graphic design degree and photography certificate.” 

Readers can pick up a complimentary copy of The Bridge newspaper, available monthly across Lewis and Clark campuses and in the community, to stay connected with local stories and campus happenings. 

About Isabelle Flener

Isabelle is working towards her Associates of Arts degree, with plans to graduate in Fall 2024. After completing her arts degree, she intends to transfer to a university to pursue a degree in photojournalism.
View all posts by Isabelle Flener →

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