Student media celebrated at National College Media Convention

Elon News Network, which collected two Pacemaker awards, and Phi Psi Cli were recognized by the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Association during a national student media convention held in Washington, D.C.

Elon News Network won both a national Newspaper Pacemaker and an Online Pacemaker, as well as a 4-Year TV Station Pinnacle Award at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association National College Media Convention that was held Oct. 31- Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C.

The Pacemaker award is the highest honor awarded by ACP for excellence in student journalism. The Pendulum, the newspaper of Elon News Network, was one of the 19 newspapers to win the award out of 160 total entries.

For each category of publication type – online, newspaper, magazine and yearbook – Pacemaker entries are judged based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics. Additionally, the winning papers “took risks and served as a strong voice for the student audience,” according to the Associated Collegiate Press.

The newspaper editions submitted for consideration were:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 (This edition featured stories on Hispanic Heritage Month, the Latino/Hispanic experience at Elon and stories on students’ immigration to the United States. The dual-language edition also included pieces written in Spanish.)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 (This edition featured stories on President Connie Book and her future plans serving Elon, the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and local opinions on 287(g).)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 (This edition featured stories on unionizing of non-tenure Elon faculty, black student study abroad statistics and the passing of President George H.W. Bush.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 (This edition featured stories on Black History Month, the importance of black leadership on campus, strides made to increase diversity and the overall desire for a greater minority population on campus.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 (This edition featured stories on recent ICE raids and the push for equality among faculty.)

This is the second consecutive year The Pendulum has won a Newspaper Pacemaker and the third time overall (2009).

“The Pacemaker recognizes the very best of collegiate media,” said Kelly Furnas, an ENN faculty mentor and a lecturer in journalism. “So to be in the same company as schools who have been recognized as performing at that level, it’s humbling, it’s an honor, but I think more than anything, it’s a testament to just the number of hours and the amount of work the students who work for student media put into their craft.”

Out of 182 entries for an Online Pacemaker, Elon News Network was one of 20 winners. It’s the second time ENN has won the award (2015).

“We’ve really made a big push to be what we call ‘web first,’ where we make sure as much of our content is on the website before it goes onto the show or the newspaper,” said Jack Haley, executive director at Elon News Network. “To really get the sense that we’re moving toward that and starting to do well with that is encouraging, and it’s proof to us that the vision that was set three, four, five years ago is finally starting to take shape.”

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ENN itself finished first for the second year in a row in CMA’s

Four-Year TV Station of the Year Pinnacle Awards competition. TV shows in this category were evaluated on their depth and creativity of content, high level of production and community value. ENN submitted its Sept. 17, 2018, Oct. 18, 2018, and Feb.

28, 2019, shows for consideration.

The College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press also honored individual Elon students in several categories. Below are the students who finished in the top three of any competition.

ACP Individual Awards

CMA Individual Pinnacle Awards

ACP also awarded Best of Show awards to ENN and Phi Psi Cli yearbook:

  • Anton Delgado ’20 placed third for Multimedia Package for his story on concealed weapon carry permits.
  • Elon News Network placed third for Four-Year Weekly Newspaper for its Oct. 9, 2019 edition that featured stories on food insecurity, textile sustainability and a local pride festival.
  • Phi Psi Cli placed fourth for Yearbook 299 Pages or Less for its 2018-19 book, “Connected.”

Haley said to be recognized for these awards in such a competitive environment speaks to the professionalism of the students’ work.

“To win three national awards across our three platforms

shows that we are committed to serving the Elon and surrounding communities every way we can,” Haley said. “I think this is so important because it shows we are not a ‘broadcast’ or a ‘newspaper’ organization that so many other universities become categorized as. We have shown now that on a national stage we are a news organization first and foremost, and we can and will continue to give a well-rounded, real-world experience for anyone who walks through our doors.”

​Tommy Kopetskie, communications manager in Elon University’s School of Communications, was awarded his 2019 Honor Roll Four-Year Yearbook Adviser Award from CMA. The award is given to a member with fewer than five years of advising experience.

“Any success a student-run organization has begins and ends with the students,” said Kopetskie, who’s advised Phi Psi Cli since 2014. “I am just glad I have been able to help produce four wonderful publications at Elon, thanks largely to the ambitious student leaders who have passed through our organization. To help make their vision a reality has been without question one of the greatest rewards of my professional career.”