NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Observer alum wins award

Student holds award certificatePhoto courtesy of Mary Jo Shafer

Former Observer Editor-in-Chief / Sports Editor Jose Rodriguez shows off the second place award for College Rising Star from the New England Newspaper and Press Association he received May 6 in Waltham.

22-year-old Jose Rodriguez  is a journalism graduate of Northern Essex Community College who is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Salem State University, where he is majoring in Media and Communication minoring in Journalism. Rodriguez is the former Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor of the NECC Observer.

Recently Rodriguez has also won second place for the New England Press Association’s College Rising Star award, making him an official award winning journalist. The NECC Observer staff also won a third place award for best college news website at the awards banquet May 8 in Waltham.  That award includes when alumni Isa Grullon was editor-in-chief.

When asked what brought Rodriguez to journalism he says, “I always told myself if I am not going to be a baseball player I want to be a sports journalist, what inspired me was the Yankees announcer Michael Kay and he has his own radio show on the weekdays during the afternoon so I want to be like him, he is a role model and that brought me in. My favorite part about is doing interviews before and after the game and talk to head coach and athletes to get a feeling what the game is going to be if there is any injury or a good player from the other team that they are trying to be careful and after the game talk about what went wrong and good and focusing on a player or two or if there is some confusing talk about that is the post game.” Rodriguez has played baseball at a highly competitive level, he hosts a radio show like his inspiration, he interviews players and coaches and covers recent games and his insights. He was also the announcer for the NECC Knights basketball team. The definition of rising star.

“I am …. climbing the ladder step by step to get there and the recognition that I got from NENPA is building up my resume….I was competing with community college, colleges, and 4 year university in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine and finishing in second place is a honor,” he said.  Starting his educational career at NECC back in ‘21 Rodriguez has come a long way after moving to Lawrence from Queens, NY.

When asked what is some advice he would give to other writers Rodriguez says along with determination “some advice that I would give to writers is double check, even triple check your spelling, making sure every word is accurate, but most importantly spell the other person’s name correctly, people get mad and upset if you write a story and mention someone’s name and is spelled incorrectly.”

He added that reading stories out loud can help as well.

“Also I would like to add read it out loud, don’t read it in your head because if you read it out loud it is going to be totally different then if you read it in your head and that’s where you know if you need to add a coma or a period you know simple grammar issues,” he said.

A fun fact Rodriguez wishes everyone knew is “I am the back up play by play baseball announcer in Salem State and is live streamed so everyone can watch the game. My radio show was on until this past Tuesday because it is the end of the semester, I can’t do my radio show until … September where we return back to class that’s when I can start again but now I am getting involved with Salem State Vikings podcast which means that I will interview a coach or a athlete for an episode, then it is going to be up online where ever the people consume their podcast, for example Spotify, Apple among other podcast pages as well is available in the Salem State Vikings athletic website.”