The small black flag with a big ol’ meaning

I posted something similar to this last year, but with less than 60 minutes until today’s awards presentation, I thought I’d get something together again this year. The Pendulum is a Pacemaker finalist in the non-daily newspaper category. The Pendulum Online is an Online Pacemaker finalist in the Small Schools Website category. Caroline Matthews, a 2010 graduate and former design chief for the Pendulum, is a finalist in the Infographic individual awards category. (And Colonnades, Elon’s literary magazine, is a finalist in the Magazine Pacemaker competition.) When you’re a Pacemaker finalist, you get to attach a little black flag to your nametag that reads PACEMAKER FINALIST. You can see it below.

It’s a true honor and certainly humbling to know that the Pendulum is considered a top student newspaper in the nation. It’s a testament to the incredibly hard work the students do every day of every week during the semesters. They put in long hours and work tirelessly–and thanklessly–to provide a produce to the Elon community that’s informative, educational, entertaining and readable. That fact that their work is being recognized in such grand fashion is wonderful. The Pacemaker, in particular, is special because it rewards OVERALL excellence in newspapering. That means any person who’s been a part of the general and executive staffs has helped get the Pendulum to this point. And the recognition means a lot to all the students who attend the ACP/CMA convention. You notice the folks who have the little flag, and they notice you. And it carries weight among those students who feel like they’re close to breaking through. We went to Kansas City, Mo., two years ago, we weren’t a Pacemaker finalist. But we saw the students who were, and we witnessed their reactions after they won. We knew, then, what our goal was. And the students since that point have worked doubly hard to get to where they are today.

So let me offer my congratulations and thanks to all the students involved. They make the newspaper great, and I hope they’re awarded a Pacemaker today for the second year in a row. They truly deserve one. But if even the award doesn’t come their way, it’s OK. They’re all still smart, dedicated, talented and creative students.

(You can read more about the awards HERE.)

— Colin Donohue

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