The Pendulum, Elon University's weekly student newspaper, received a 2009 national Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press on Oct. 31 at the organization's joint conference with College Media Advisers in Austin, Texas. The Pacemaker is the highest honor ACP gives to its members.
Student leaders Andie Diemer (editor in chief), Alexa Milan (managing editor), Ashley Barnas (online editor), Pam Richter (sports editor), Sam Calvert (assistant sports editor) and Alex Trice (multimedia editor) were in attendance with adviser Colin Donohue from Oct. 28-Oct. 31. The students also took home a plaque recognizing their finish as a finalist for the Pacemaker award.
The ACP Newspaper Pacemakers are judged by the staff of a Newspaper Association of America-member newspaper. They award general excellence in four-year college daily newspapers, four-year college non-daily newspapers and two-year college newspapers. Entries for the competition are judged based on their coverage and content, the quality of writing and reporting, the leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, layout and design, and photography, art and graphics.
The Pendulum submitted five newspapers for consideration, according to the guidelines laid out by ACP. One entry had to be published during the two-week period of Oct. 6-17, 2008, two entries had to be published during the four-week period of Feb. 16-March 13, 2009, and two entries were the staff’s issues of choice published between Aug. 1, 2008 and June 1, 2009.
Student leaders at The Pendulum chose the following issues:
- Oct. 8, 2008 (Edition include stories about North Carolinians’ feelings about the federal bailout, the Ever Elon campaign and a denied visa that prohibited a Mexican muralist from coming to Elon.)
- Nov. 6, 2008 (Edition includes coverage of President Barack Obama’s historic win.)
- Feb. 18, 2009 (Edition includes stories about Elon’s budget committee calling for lowest percentage raise in nine years, the Burlington resident who was arrested for an alleged sex offense in Belk Library and Elon town residents complaining about weekend noise.)
- March 4, 2009 (Edition includes stories about North Carolina nonprofits suffering through the recession and students who were charged with marijuana possession and stolen property.)
- May 13, 2009 (Edition includes stories about students who were charged in an undercover drug operation and how the arrest of an Elon employee led to questions about confidentiality of sexual abuse victims.)
The Pendulum was among 25 finalists in the four-year college non-daily competition. The award is often considered the most respected award a student newspaper can win. Only 19 student newspapers at four-year universities received the designation. Six are dailies: Yale, Minnesota, Michigan State, Oregon, Kent State and Ball State. The rest are non-dailies: Elon, MIT, Miami, Chicago, Nevada, Creighton, Western Kentucky, Alaska Anchorage, Cal State Chico, Indianapolis, Columbia College, Art Institute Chicago and Washington University. Based on newspaper size and frequency, the four “Best of Show” winners in 2009 were Elon, Duke, Indiana and Nevada.