Journalism Expands At The College
MANOLO BARCO: Will continue to be the media adviser for The Reporter. GREGORY CASTILLO/ THE REPORTER
Nearly fifty years have passed since an inquisitive group of students with little to no journalism experience gathered in a cramped 10 x 10 white-wooden structure at Dade County Junior College to form the school’s first student newspaper, The Falcon Times.
The memory still brings joy to Raleigh Mann’s— the paper’s first editor-in-chief— voice.
“The paper was kind of an affirmation that we were legitimate,” said Mann, 76.
Using limited resources—three manual typewriters and a small bathroom that was converted into a makeshift darkroom—the spunky staff of less than 10 produced 14 issues that year.
They laid the foundation for what was to come.
In 1966, the Kendall Campus started the Catalyst. The Downtowner, which served the Wolfson Campus, originated in 1970. It was later renamed the Metropolis in 1984.
The student staffs that led these newspapers won 19 National Pacemaker Awards and received hundreds of honors from the Florida Community College Press Association.
The modest newsrooms that spawned them have produced journalism’s rising stars.
Folks such as Pulitzer Prize-winner, Liz Balmaseda, and Emmy Award-winning CBS4 News anchorman, Eliott Rodriguez, and Miami Herald Metro Editor, Jay Ducassi got their start there.
The papers have served as a safety net to legions of shy, unsure, and awkward student reporters who found their way by writing bad copy.
They exchanged pay for bylines and reveled in the long nights of editing stories long after many of their classmates had fallen asleep. They survived—like journalists do— by poking fun at everything around them— including themselves.
The experience created unbreakable bonds and hardened them for the grind that daily newspapers offer.
For the past three years I’ve served as the media adviser to The Falcon Times and the Metropolis.
It was a homecoming.
In 1994, I served as the editor-in-chief of The Falcon Times. The funky-looking mustache I sported then is gone.
But my memories have not faded.
I love TheFalcon Times.
It kept me believing I could be a reporter.
I lived out that dream as a staff writer for The Miami Herald and a criminal justice reporter at the The Dallas Morning News in Texas.
Today I’m charged with molding journalism’s next great minds.
Miami Dade College is merging its three student newspapers, creating the largest community college paper in Florida, with a circulation of 10,250 copies per print cycle.
The Reporter made its debut on Monday, Oct. 4.
It features 16 pages, prints on a biweekly schedule, and will be augmented by a website with video and audio content.
We will do our best to continue the tradition Raleigh Mann started in 1961.
“It’s kind of neat for me to hear how things have progressed,” Mann said.