Elon News Network brings home awards from National College Media Convention

Two alumni and a student also lead sessions at the conference, which was held Oct. 20-23 in Washington, D.C.

The Pendulum, the newspaper of the Elon News Network, earned two first-place finishes in national and Best of Show competitions from the Associated Collegiate Press at the National College Media Convention Oct. 20-23 in Washington, D.C.

Al Drago '15, during his session on using Snapchat to report. 
Additionally, alumnus Al Drago ’15 presented a session on Snapchat, and Director of Student Media Colin Donohue ’05 and ENN Executive Director Tommy Hamzik ’17 offered a session on the newly merged news organization.

Associated Collegiate Pacemaker and Individual Awards

These are ACP’s most prestigious national competitions. The organization accepts entries from in writing, photography, multimedia, design and more. A former student, an alumnus and a senior were honored.                                   

  • Colonnades, Elon’s literary and art magazine, collected its Magazine Pacemaker finalist award.
  • Former student Hali Tauxe won first place in the General News Picture competition for her photo of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders signing autographs at a rally he held in Greensboro.
  • Alumnus Jordan Spritzer ’15 won fifth place in the Multimedia Sports competition for his story “Keeping the soccer dream alive” about Elon men’s soccer players who traveled from England to North Carolina to continue their athletic careers in college.
  • Journalism major Courtney Campbell ’17 won honorable mention in the Multimedia Features competition for her story “Small home, big living” about an Elon alumnus who lived in a tiny home on Loy Farm during his senior year.

Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show Awards

The Best of Show awards are open only to student media groups who submit their entries during the convention. Categories are offered for newspaper, yearbook, website, magazine, special section and multimedia package.

  • Journalism and Media Analytics major Bryan Anderson ’18 won first place in the Multimedia Package competition for “Elon using politics to put itself on the map” about how Elon is attempting to become a destination for political events and how students are becoming more politically involved.
  • Elon News Network won second place in the Website Small School competition for its newly designed site: www.elonnewsnetwork.com.
  • The Pendulum won second place in the Newspaper Special Section competition for its 2016 Fall Sports Preview.
  • The Pendulum won fourth place in the Newspaper Four-Year Weekly competition for its Oct. 5, 2016, edition.


Drago, a photojournalist at The New York Times, delivered a session titled “Snapchat success: Reporting live 10 seconds at a time.” Drago offered his insights, tips and tricks on how to generate an audience and how to use Snapchat as an effective reporting tool.

Director of Student Media Colin Donohue '05 (left) and journalism student Tommy Hamzik '17
Donohue and Hamzik offered a presentation titled “Don’t call it convergence.” It covered the construction, the timeline and the reasons behind the ENN merger of The Pendulum and Elon Local News.

In attendance at the conference representing Elon News Network were Hamzik, Anderson, Emmanuel Morgan ’19, Alex Hager ’19, Stephanie Hays ’18 and Christina Elias ’19. Students representing Phi Psi Cli, Elon’s yearbook, were Kim Honiball ’17, Sarah Stone ’19 and Laurel Wind ’19. Donohue and Tommy Kopetskie, the communications manager for the School of Communications and adviser to Phi Psi Cli, were also in attendance.

This year more than 1,300 students from schools across the country attended the National College Media Convention, which featured hundreds of journalism sessions, networking opportunities, professional critiques and other special events.