The Collegian won four national awards at the Associated Collegiate Press conference in Florida last week, including the highest award given to student publications: the Pacemaker.
The Collegian’s editor-in-chief Hayleigh Colombo and adviser Loni McKown attended the conference in Orlando, Fla., from Oct. 26-30 where they accepted the award.
The Pacemaker Award honors those who set the pace, surpassing all others, according to the Associated Collegiate Press. The Pacemaker was awarded for last year’s newspaper.
Colombo said there is a reason The Collegian is surpassing the rest.
“The caliber of reporting that The Collegian does is really top notch,” Colombo said. “We covered complex issues with ethics and sensitivity that sets us apart from other student publications.”
“The quality of The Collegian last year was significantly stronger than previous years and more consistently high quality,” she said.
While the Pacemaker Award was the highest honor The Collegian received at the conference, it was not the only one.
The newspaper also received two third-place Best of Show awards and one fifth-place award for Story of The Year.
The Collegian’s website won a third-place Best of Show award, and the Oct. 29 story, ‘Inside the SGA budget: $703,752,’ won the same award.
The fourth award The Collegian won was a fifth-place Story of the Year award for its staff editorial, ‘Independence, free speech necessary for student organizations.’
News editor Jill McCarter said the awards serve as encouragement to the current staff as it moves forward and continues to strive for excellence.
“We really have started to take on tougher stories, but I think this shows that it can pay off,” she said. “These awards are a way of telling our staff that we’re doing things that not everyone else can do, and we’re doing those things well.”
McKown said these awards are proof The Collegian staff is working harder than ever to put out a quality publication every week, and people are noticing it.
“This year’s staff, led by Colombo, has been much more aggressive in putting the news back in newspaper,” McKown said. “The results of that are that the Collegians fly out of newsstand boxes.”
Sports editor Colin Likas said these awards will undoubtedly increase The Collegian’s credibility and publicity.
“[The awards] make people think, ‘Wow, that’s an award-winning newspaper. Maybe I want to be a part of that,’”Likas said.
Despite the publicity and accolades The Collegian received, Colombo said the staff will continue to work hard.
“It’s nice to know that the work we do is appreciated,” Colombo said. “But we’re not satisfied, and we’re going to continue to cover campus with ethics and sensitivity that set us apart from other student publications.”