SBCC Nurturing a Pathway for Professional Journalism in the South Coast
Members of the SBCC Channels staff during a production meeting include, from left: Sofia Stavins, news editor; Claire Geriak, multimedia editor; Sylvia Stewart; sports editor; Angel Corzo, editor-in-chief; Darleen Principe, faculty adviser; John Rose, laboratory teaching assistant.
January 30, 2024

SBCC Nurturing a Pathway for Professional Journalism in the South Coast

Santa Barbara, Calif. (January 29, 2024)The Channels, the student news outlet of Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), welcomes the campus and community to tour their new collaborative workspace on the East Cliff Campus during a grand opening celebration from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8 in Room A180 of the Administration Building. (See below for more event information.)

The Channels newsroom has relocated from a portable classroom on the edge of the East Cliff Campus to a newly redesigned space in the Administration Building at the heart of SBCC. This places students in the center of the action, giving them easier access to the administration, faculty, and staff and fellow media arts programs on campus. This move and investment emphasizes SBCC’s commitment to supporting and valuing students’ freedom of press and expression, recognizing journalism’s critical role in democracy and social justice, and operating with transparency. The new newsroom allows students to practice their craft within a professional space with state-of-the-art technology.

“Strong journalism is the cornerstone of a strong democracy,” shared Superintendent/President Erika Endrijonas, Ph.D. “SBCC is proud to have a tradition of nurturing professional and balanced journalists who go the extra mile to exhume stories, unearth the truth, and provide communities with often life-changing and saving information. We are so grateful for this program and the opportunity to invest in it ... and I thank the faculty, alumni and students for their ongoing hard work.” 

Since The Channels’ inception in 1957, the program has worked to develop a pipeline of journalists to enhance the regional media landscape. The student media outlet has also had a history of encouraging women and diverse students to take on leadership positions.

“The Channels and journalism program have directly contributed to the local workforce,” SBCC Journalism Department Chair Darleen Principe said. “Several of our alumni have become journalists in the community, including former editors-in-chief, Ryan P. Cruz, who currently works at The Independent, and Jun Starkey, who works at Coastal View News. Kiki Reyes, a former Channels news editor, is now the media relations manager at UCSB.”

Additional notable alumni of the program who stayed in our region include: Victor Bryant, sports writer for The Independent and SBCC scheduling/catalog specialist; Scott Craig, manager of media relations at Westmont; Amanda Jacobs, marketing communications specialist at SBCC; Serena Guentz, journalist at; JP Montalvo, producer/ instructor at TV Santa Barbara; Delaney Smith, news reporter at The Independent; Mike Traphagen, communications director at the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians; and Nora Wallace, public relations manager at Lompoc Valley Medical Center. 

The SBCC journalism program provides students with the tools and skills they need to responsibly investigate, write and produce quality news coverage. SBCC journalism faculty and staff feel strongly that the program also provides avenues for students to find themselves, their voice and purpose. 

“It is often our programs that instill confidence and empower students to believe that they can change the world through journalism,” said Josh Molina, journalist and SBCC journalism faculty member. “I have lost count of how many students have told me that The Channels was the first place they ever felt confident enough to advocate for themselves and others.”

Student Angel Corzo, who joined The Channels as a staff writer in Spring 2023, currently heads the digital publication as editor-in-chief for Spring 2024.

“As a student and life-long learner, journalism has granted me the opportunity to seek out my curiosity about the world around me. Through journalism, I have begun to better understand not only the communities I have surrounded myself with, but also my own self and potential,” Corzo said. “Additionally, journalism encourages the accountability of those in power, and without journalists those of great influence would be able to have their way at the risk of corruption and deceit. I write to stay informed, and to utilize my freedom of expression with every story.”

Besides educating aspiring journalists, The Channels fulfills an essential role in the community.

“The Channels produces real journalism,” Principe said. “Our students cover SBCC and the surrounding communities in more diverse and nuanced ways, contributing significantly to the local information ecosystem. While Santa Barbara is lucky enough to have quality local journalism, The Channels, too, is a part of the local journalism landscape and provides a public service to our community in the same way that professional outlets do.” 

Channels Grand Opening Flyer - Thursday, February 8 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The Channels Grand Opening
Thursday, February 8, 1:30 -3:30 p.m.
SBCC Administration Building, Room A180
Event open to all 

Members of the media: Contact Jordan Killebrew,, (805) 730-4107