Today, the Associated Collegiate Press will award its individual honors and Pacemakers. Students with newspapers, websites, magazines and yearbooks in a Pacemaker competition all get to walk around the convention hotel with PACEMAKER FINALIST flags on their name badges. The tiny couple of inches of fabric make the students walk a little taller. Not because they’re acting superior to others who don’t don the black and gold recognition. But because they feel a sense of accomplishment and validation.
Good student journalists and reporters don’t do work only to win awards. They do good work because, quite frankly, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Recognition is nice, but not needed. But yes, every now and then, it’s great that these students who toil so incredibly hard do get some notice for their work from an series of external judges. I can attest, specifically, to the work students at the Pendulum put in every day of every week during the semester. It’s not an easy job. It’s time-consuming and relentless and thankless and grinding. But they love it. And they do a good job.
So today, the Pendulum will take home an honorable mention in the editorial/opinion writing category and await the results of the Online Pacemaker winners. (Right now, The Pendulum Online is an Online Pacemaker finalist.) Regardless of whether the Pendulum brings home a coveted Pacemaker for the second time in its history, the students should be proud of the work they’re doing. But they should also continue to pursue perfection and embrace the struggle that is running a daily news gathering organization.
— Colin Donohue