2017 Newspaper Pacemakers

MINNEAPOLIS – The Associated College Press named 23 collegiate student newspapers as Pacemaker winners on Oct. 28 at ACP/CMA National High School Media Convention in Dallas.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” said Laura Widmer, executive director. “ACP is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

In all, 150 student newspapers entered the Pacemaker competition. When the process was finished, the 43 Pacemaker finalists were named. From that group, 23 earned the Pacemaker honors, placing those newspapers in the top 15 percent. The 43 finalists newspapers represent 21 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada.

Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging and studied every entry, discussing its strengths and weaknesses. At least two of the three judges agreed on the Pacemaker winners and finalists. The national award-winning judges were:

Paul Bittick, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Chris Evans, University of Vermont
Beth Francesco, University of Texas at Arlington
Joe Gisondi, Eastern Illinois University
Ron Johnson, Indiana University
Judy Riedl, formerly University of Minnesota

The teams were organized so judges did not see or hear the discussions about the newspapers from their own universities. In fact, the two judging teams worked in different locations, several floors apart.

In addition to demonstrating excellence in key areas including coverage, writing, editing, design and photography, the winning newspapers took risks and served as a strong voice for its student audience.

An instructional video shares observations about the newspapers and insights about the selection process from three of the six judges. A downloadable PDF profiling the Pacemaker winners is provided for educational purposes.

Newspapers competed against those publishing the same number of issues per week.

Of the 43 Pacemaker finalists, 18 publish more than one issue per week with five finalists publishing five days per week. Another 18 newspapers published one issue per week. Seven published less than weekly. Five two-year colleges were represented among the 43 Pacemaker finalists.

2017 Newspaper Pacemaker Winners

The Auburn Plainsman
, Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama
Editor: Corey Williams
Adviser: Alec Harvey
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: In-depth coverage of events, such as student protests, and resourceful reporting on news, such as hiring a new president, sets this newspaper apart. Exhibits clean design and strong sports coverage.

Arizona Daily Wildcat
, University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Editor: Sam Gross
Adviser: Brett Fera
Frequency: Three days per week

Judge’s comments: Strong editorial leadership, mature commentary before and after the election. Exceptional coverage of both local and campus news and issues. Standout election coverage on deadline.

The Sun
, Southwestern College
Chula Vista, California
Editor: Mirella Lopez
Adviser: Max Branscomb
Frequency: Less than one day per week

Judge’s comments: This outstanding newspaper consistently delivers compelling, strong reporting and coverage of a diverse range of issues. Stories emphasize deep reporting, and editorials don’t shy from strong stances. Anyone who reads The Sun gets a strong sense of what is important to its community through its own voices included on its pages.

Daily Trojan
, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
Editors: Matt Lemas, Danni Wang
Adviser: Mona Cravens
Frequency: Five days per week

Judge’s comments: A clean, colorful design to package stories that dig deep into problems and challenges impacting their readers while still covering the day-to-day, beat-level issues that every good newspaper should cover. In addition, these young journalists take a strong stand on the opinion pages, showing leadership where it counts.

The State Hornet
, California State University, Sacramento
Sacramento, California
Editors: John Ferrannini, Barbara Harvey
Adviser: Stu VanAirsdale
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: This publication has an exceptionally strong voice, which is exhibited by its strong front-page covers that engages immediately with its thoughtful, comprehensive content and packages. Its political coverage is thoughtful. Exhibits advocacy journalism on important issues, such as drinking water and smoking.

el Don
, Santa Ana College
Santa Ana, California
Editors: Laura Garcia, Aurielle Weiss
Advisers: C.W. Little Jr., Sarah Bennett
Frequency: Less than one day per week

Judge’s comments: As we have seen time and time again, the award-winner gives us a gorgeous paper with a variety of stories and visuals designed to capture the attention of readers and to educate them in the process.

The Advocate
, Contra Costa College
San Pablo, California
Editor: Roxana Amparo
Adviser: Paul DeBolt
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: Outstanding feature stories and packages cut to the heart of a dynamic and diverse student body. If anyone wants to find out what drives Contra Costa College and the area around it, this newspaper is the place to find the stories, images and details of that life.

The Columbia Chronicle
, Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Editors: Megan Bennett, Arabella Breck, Zoe Eitel, Charlie Connelly, Lauren Kostiuk, Alex Aghayere
Advisers: Chris Richert, Len Strazewski, Stephanie Goldberg
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: Substantive content, appealing design and strong diversity coverage that both engages readers with its creative design and special features and reflects its community on and off campus. Offers several long-form features on complex and difficult topics.

The Knox Student
, Knox College
Galesburg, Illinois
Editor: Rachel Landman
Adviser: Tom Martin
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: An exceptionally strong narrative voice, solid reporting and diverse sources on local features and news elevates this newspaper to a Pacemaker winner. Offers stories that impact its community and reveals challenges of its students and staff.

The DePaulia
, DePaul University
Chicago, Illinois
Editor: Jessica Villagomez
Adviser: Marla Krause
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: Strong angles explore routine topics, fresh and engaging content that merges campus events and national events with a local lens. Had several engaging profiles. Took a few design chances that further created a publication that is smart and fun.

Indiana Daily Student
, Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
Editors: Alison Graham, Hannah Alani
Advisers: Ron Johnson, Ruth Witmer
Frequency: Five days per week

Judge’s comments: A striking design that packages engaging images and prose on a wide variety of topics is a trademark of this consistent award-winner. In its best issues, it gives readers a newsworthy surprise on every page.

College Heights Herald
, Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Editors: Brandon Carter, Lashana Harney
Advisers: Chuck Clark, Carrie Pratt
Frequency: Two days per week

Judge’s comments: Tenacious in-depth reporting that yields impartial and objective coverage. Strong visual/verbal connections with its solid reporting structures.

Minnesota Daily
, University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Editor: Dylan Scott
Frequency: Two days per week

Judge’s comments: Exceptional team reporting on topics, such as the shooting of a man by local police and alleged sexual assault by the football team. Powerfully written and researched editorials. Visuals, such as locator maps and timelines, further elevate the coverage.

The Daily Tar Heel
, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Editor: Jane Wester
Adviser: Erica Perel
Frequency: Four days per week

Judge’s comments: Dependable reporting on campus issues, sharp photography and a steady editorial voice make this newspaper a reliable source of news and information for its community.

The Oklahoma Daily
, University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma
Editor: Dana Branham
Advisers: Judy Gibbs Robinson, Seth Prince
Frequency: Two days per week

Judge’s comments: Exhibits commitment to long-form investigative stories and breaking news that addressed topics relevant to its readership.

The Daily Barometer
, Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon
Editor: Riley Youngman
Advisers: Candace Baltz, Steven Sandberg
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: Consistently strong mix of in-depth coverage and daily reporting addresses important issues and events on and around campus during a tumultuous year. Exceptionally strong photos further distinguish this newspaper’s coverage. This is one of the most effective tabloids among all entries.

The Daily Pennsylvanian
, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Editor: Dan Spinelli
Adviser: Eric Jacobs
Frequency: Four days per week

Judge’s comments: Consistently bold covers entice and invite readers to engage with content of importance to the Penn community. Strong localizations of national issues show an editorial team committed to tackling major stories without losing focus of its audience. Its best editions show us consistency doesn’t have to mean looking the same each day.

The Pitt News
, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Editor: Elizabeth Lepro
Adviser: Harry Kloman
Frequency: Five days per week

Judge’s comments: With a steady editorial voice and strong story selection, this newspaper shows a commitment to its community. Its best issues bring readers stories not just about what is happening in the world around them, but the emotional impact of local and national events. Photographers catch “the moments,” as do the descriptive storytelling techniques.

The Shorthorn
, University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, Texas
Editors: Anna Gutierrez; Dylan Bradley
Advisers: Laurie Fox, Beth Francesco
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: Appealing design and strong photos. Blends campus news, compelling features, and a lively opinion page to engage readers through diverse sourcing.

The Collegian
, Tarrant County College
Hurst, Texas
Editor: Katelyn Needham
Advisers: Eddye Gallagher, Christopher Whitley
Frequency: One day per week

Judge’s comments: The strength of this newspaper lies in finding a variety of angles from which to cover its campus. Compelling slice-of-life stories live side by side with strong advocacy journalism and stark crime coverage make this a newspaper worth noting.

The Et Cetera
, Eastfield College
Mesquite, Texas
Editor: David Silva
Advisers: Elizabeth Langton, Lori Dann
Frequency: Less than one day per week

Judge’s comments: Creativity in design and news coverage makes this a news organization to watch. These student journalists tackle large issues from the campus perspective while delivering consistent, student-focused campus life stories. Compelling illustrations and diverse story approaches invite the reader in.

The Daily Athenaeum
, West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Editor: Caity Coyne
Adviser: Adell Crowe
Frequency: Three days per week

Judge’s comments: Tackles prominent and unexpected issues, from opioid usage and suicide to heavily rutted roads, on and around campus offered with solid visuals. Great job securing student voices in both the news and opinion sections.

The Calgary Journal
, Mount Royal University
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Editors: Jodi Brak, Michaela Ritchie, Deanna Tucker, Josie Lukey, Colin Gallant, Emily Rop
Advisers: Sally Haney, Ian Tennant, Terry Field, Archie McLean
Frequency: Less than one day per week

Judge’s comments: It is rare to see a college newspaper so colorful, creative and vibrant. Even when covering mundane topics, the journal manages to provide writing and images that are a joy to take in.

2017 Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists

The Bison
, Harding University
Searcy, Arkansas
Editor: Joshua Johnson
Adviser: Katherine Ramirez
Frequency: One day per week

The Daily Californian
, University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Editors: Melissa Wen, Michelle Pitcher
Frequency: Four days per week

Daily Bruin
, University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Editor: Tanner Walters
Adviser: Abigail Goldman
Frequency: Five days per week

The Bottom Line
, University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Editors: Gwendolyn Wu, Shomik Mukherjee
Adviser: Leah Bartos
Frequency: One day per week

The Corsair
, Santa Monica College
Santa Monica, California
Editors: Zin Chiang, Christian Monterrosa
Advisers: Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Gerard Burkhart
Frequency: Less than one day per week

The Roundup
, Pierce College
Woodland Hills, California
Editors: Salvador Fariaz, Victor Rodriguez
Frequency: One day per week

The GW Hatchet
, The George Washington University
Washington, DC
Editors: Ellie Smith, Lillianna Byington
Frequency: One day per week

The Daily News
, Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana
Editors: Breanna Daugherty, Robby General
Adviser: John Strauss
Frequency: Three days per week

Iowa State Daily
, Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
Editor: Emily Barske
Adviser: Mark Witherspoon
Frequency: Five days per week

The Tulane Hullabaloo
, Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana
Editor: Brandi Doyal
Adviser: Tel Bailliet
Frequency: One day per week

The State News
, Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Editor: Jake Allen
Advisers: Robert Hendricks, Travis Ricks
Frequency: Two days per week

Central Michigan Life
, Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Editors: Dominick Mastrangelo, Kate Carlson
Advisers: David Clark, Kathy Simon
Frequency: Two days per week

The Ithacan
, Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York
Editor: Kayla Dwyer
Adviser: Michael Serino
Frequency: One day per week

The Daily Orange
, Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
Editor: Justin Mattingly
Adviser: Mike Dooling
Frequency: Four days per week

The Kent Stater
, Kent State University
Kent, Ohio
Editor: Jimmy Miller
Advisers: Susan Zake, Mitch McKenney
Frequency: Three days per week

The Volante
, University of South Dakota
Vermillion, South Dakota
Editors: Malachi Petersen, Ally Krupinsky
Adviser: Chuck Baldwin
Frequency: One day per week

Foghorn News
, Del Mar College
Corpus Christi, Texas
Editor: Natalie Murphy
Advisers: Robert Muilenburg, Scott Beckett
Frequency: Less than one day per week

The Rice Thresher
, Rice University
Houston, Texas
Editor: Yasna Haghdoost
Adviser: Kelley Lash
Frequency: One day per week

The Mercury
, The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas
Editors: Nidhi Gotgi, Cara Santucci
Adviser: Chad Thomas
Frequency: Less than one day per week

The Vermont Cynic
, University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Editors: Hannah Kearns, Kelsey Neubauer
Adviser: Chris Evans
Frequency: One day per week