El Vaq Alum Kevin Olivas Recruits Journalists

Describing his experience on GCC’s El Vaquero newspaper, Kevin Olivas had a hard time just picking one or two great memories.

Olivas, news recruitment manager at Sinclair Broadcast Group in Baltimore, was El Vaquero’s assistant sports editor in 1986.

Adviser Joe Thomas “taught us how to write in an inverted pyramid style and to think critically about stories,” Olivas said.

He chose to join the staff after Glendale College’s football team was invited to play in the 1985 Potato Bowl.

“It was a big deal at the time and was basically viewed as the Super Bowl on the community college level,” he said. “But no one from the El Vaq was there to cover it.”

The game ended with a Vaquero win, so Olivas submitted a story summarizing what happened.

Aside from sports coverage, he also wrote breaking news stories, including one that got him into some hot water. A GCC student had been struck by a car right outside the campus.

“But I wrote in my story that at the time it was unclear whether the student crossed the street legally or not,” Olivas said. “His father was a Glendale firefighter and was not pleased to hear that.”

The firefighter sternly told Olivas that the firefighter’s son had not broken any laws at the time of the incident.

“But the point of this is that you have to be very careful about what you write because it has an affect on your audience,” Olivas said.

He took the lessons learned on staff and applied them to his future endeavors. He became an on-air reporter in Arizona and California, including for KFWB News Radio in Los Angeles and KSDO News Talk Radio in San Diego.

He also worked for years to diversify the news media by helping journalists find jobs through the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California.