The Pendulum wins its first national Online Pacemaker award

The student news organization was commended for its presentation and coverage of significant and pressing community issues.

The Pendulum, an Elon University student news organization, received an Online Pacemaker from the Associated Collegiate Press at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention held Oct. 31 in Austin, Texas. It’s the first win for The Pendulum, which had been a finalist three previous times—2010, 2011 and 2013.

A panel of professionals with extensive online media experience evaluated the ACP Online Pacemaker entries. Judges admired The Pendulum’s “courage in tackling difficult issues like hunger and religious tolerance.”

According to ACP, recognized websites also “provided readers with a complete visual experience, utilizing graphics, powerful photography and polished multimedia to tell stories. Timely coverage of topics relevant to the audience was a must. The best sites also engaged audiences effectively on social media.”

The Pendulum was one of two student news websites to be named a winner in the “Newspaper 5,001-10,000 Enrollment” category. In total, there were 14 Pacemaker winners (out of 145 entries) across all competition categories.

“Winning a Pacemaker is a testament to the hard, often thankless, work The Pendulum’s staff puts in on a daily basis,” said Pendulum editor in chief Michael Bodley ’16. “As editor, I’m proud beyond words to see their collective efforts rewarded, and I can’t wait to see what else staffers go on to do in the future.”

While this was The Pendulum’s first Online Pacemaker, it’s not the organization’s first contact with the award. In 2009—also in Austin—The Pendulum won its first and only Newspaper Pacemaker.

Additionally, three students—two now graduates—were honored with individual ACP awards. Katy Canada ’15 and Mackenzie Roberts ’15 placed fifth in the News Story of the Year competition for their piece, “Unaccompanied minors seek new homes and lives in NC.” Leena Dahal ’16 also finished fifth in the Feature Story of the Year competition for “Social media awareness campaign fosters visibility and acceptance for POTS.”

“The Pendulum staff is a highly motivated, thoughtful and creative group of students,” said Colin Donohue, Pendulum adviser and coordinator of student media. “They work incredibly hard throughout the year to provide meaningful news to the Elon community. I’m excited that they’ve been recognized for their efforts with college journalism’s most esteemed award.”

Pendulum student leaders Bodley, Tommy Hamzik ’17 (managing editor), Caroline Fernandez ’17 (news editor), Lauren Phillips ’16 (opinions editor), Alex Simon ’17 (sports editor), Stephanie Hays ’18 (design chief) and Hali Tauxe-Stewart ’17 (photo editor) accepted the awards at the Oct. 31 ceremony. Donohue was also in attendance.

ACP announced its convention Best of Show awards on Nov. 1 in a separate celebration. The Pendulum won first place for Website Small School and second place for Newspaper Special Section. Colonnades, Elon University’s literary and art journal, won first place for Literary Magazine.