The Columbia Chronicle, Echo magazine earn national recognition; Chronicle wins Newspaper and Online Pacemaker awards

By Staff

Editors’ Note: Due to the way 2020 has unfolded, requiring all of us to put in the hours needed to transition to a remote environment, it is humbling to receive public recognition for the dedicated work of Chronicle staffers. It is a slight boost amid an otherwise stressful year. As co-editors-in-chief, we are proud of the Newspaper and Online Pacemaker awards our publication has been given, and we strive to keep up the momentum in the coming year. 

The Associated Collegiate Press recently named The Columbia Chronicle among the winners of two of its top annual organizational awards – the Newspaper Pacemaker and the Online Pacemaker.

In revealing Pacemaker finalists in October, ACP Executive Director Laura Widmer said, “The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award. ACP is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

The ACP announced 46 Newspaper finalists from across the country, later naming 19 as Pacemaker winners, representing two-year schools and four-year schools competing in separate categories based on frequency of publishing. Three judges selected winners after evaluating five issues of each competing school’s newspapers.

The organization announced 55 Online Pacemaker finalists, with 24 ultimately earning the Pacemaker. The ACP recognized winners among two-year schools and four-year schools, which competed in categories based on enrollment.

The Chronicle was the only student news organization from Illinois to win both a Newspaper and the Online Pacemaker. The Chronicle last won a Newspaper Pacemaker in 2017 and an Online Pacemaker in 2006, according to the ACP’s archives page.

The awards were announced at the 2020 Fall National College Media Convention, hosted by the ACP and the College Media Association.

Between the two national organizations, The Columbia Chronicle earned recognition in 16 different categories during award ceremonies, and Columbia’s Echo magazine earned recognition in three categories.

The Chronicle placed first in three CMA Pinnacle Awards categories – Best Newspaper Front Page (Shane Tolentino), Best Newspaper Opinion Page/Spread (Tolentino) and Best Special Section Cover (Mike Rundle).

Columbia students Tolentino and Ignacio Calderon each earned multiple award recognitions. In addition to Tolentino’s first place finishes for her design work on the newspaper front page and opinion page spread, she also earned an Honorable Mention for Best House Ad.

Calderon was named Third Place in CMA’s Pinnacle Awards for Best Online Infographic and Fourth Place in ACP’s Individual Awards with Kendall Polidori in the Broadcast: COVID-19 News or Feature Story category.

Calderon’s infographics complemented the investigative story “Chicago’s one-star nursing homes were troubled before the pandemic. Now they’re ‘ground zero,’” a collaboration between the “Investigative Reporting” course in the Communication Department, taught by adjunct faculty member Sam Roe, and the Chronicle that earned Third Place in the CMA Pinnacles competition for Best Investigative Story.

Echo magazine’s “Home” issue, published in 2019, was recognized by the ACP as Fourth Place in the Magazine Cover category for the cover designed by Amanda Melley. The CMA honored Echo’s Hannah Faris with Second Place for Best Profile in the Writing category and Maria Maynez with Honorable Mention in the Best Feature Story category.

The ACP and CMA’s annual awards covered the 2019-2020 academic year and work from late summer 2019/early summer 2020 and represented Chronicle content produced under student Co-Editors-in-Chief Alexandra Yetter and Blaise Mesa in the Fall semester, EIC Yetter in the Spring and Co-EICs Polidori and Mari Devereaux during the first part of this past summer.

A full list of Chronicle award-winners can be found here.