National Pacemaker Awards

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The National Pacemaker Awards are awards for excellence in American student journalism, given annually since 1927. The awards are generally considered to be the highest national honors in their field, and are unofficially known as the "Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism".[1][2][3][4]

The National Scholastic Press Association administers the contest for high school programs, while the Associated Collegiate Press administers the college and university contests. Pacemakers are awarded annually at the JEA/NSPA National Conference (for high schools) and the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention (for colleges) in the following categories: Newspaper, Online, Yearbook/Magazine, and Broadcast.

Newspaper Pacemakers[edit]

ACP, NSPA and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation have co-sponsored the Pacemaker competition since 1961. NSPA began the awards in 1927. The Pacemaker competition was discontinued in 1948–49, then resumed in 1961. The awards, which are considered by many to be the highest national honors for student journalism, are unique in their judging. Several issues from each newspaper's production schedule are randomly selected to be judged, which ensures that to be competitive for a Pacemaker, a publication must show consistent quality over an entire academic year.

Judges select Pacemaker Finalists and Pacemakers based on the following: coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art and graphics.

Pacemakers are selected by the staff of a professional newspaper in the host city of the annual National College Media Convention, in the case of college papers, or the National High School Journalism Convention for high school publications. There are multiple awards in each category every year: in 2006, there were 26 high school winners.[5]

Online Pacemakers[edit]

This contest replaces the NSPA/ACP Best of the Net competition, which began in 1996. Member publication Web sites are not automatically entered in the Pacemaker competition; staffs must submit a Pacemaker entry form.

Online Pacemaker entries are judged during the months of February and March, based upon the following criteria: design, navigation, writing/editing, graphics and interactivity.[5]

Yearbook/Magazine Pacemakers[edit]

Yearbook/Magazine Pacemakers are judged based upon the following criteria: writing/editing, design, content, concept, photography, art and graphics.

In conjunction with the Yearbook Pacemaker competition, ACP/NSPA will recognize with an award of excellence the best interactive (CD/DVD) yearbooks in a separate contest. Interactive entries must include a copy of the printed book.

Broadcast Pacemakers[edit]

The NSPA awards Broadcast Pacemaker awards for student-produced television news programs at high schools.

An entry consists of a student-produced news program or segment of a longer news program, on VHS format video tape. For the purposes of this competition, student-produced means that the majority of the planning, writing, scripting, taping and editing of the program was done by students.

This contest is unique to the high school level, as no similar award is offered by the ACP to college broadcast programs.[citation needed]

Past winners[edit]

The following is a partial list of college and high school newspapers which have been awarded a National Pacemaker Award by the Associated Collegiate Press or National Scholastic Press Association, respectively.

College newspapers[edit]

College magazines[edit]

College Online Pacemaker[edit]

Broadcast Pacemaker[edit]

High school newspapers[edit]

High School Online Pacemaker[edit]

High school yearbooks[edit]

High school newsmagazines[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Washington Square News wins Pacemaker". The Villager. 74 (27). November 10–16, 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-30. Considered "the Pulitzer for college journalism," the prize was awarded last weekend by the Associated Collegiate Press and is considered the highest honor in college journalism.
  2. ^ "SFSU Student News Web Site Awarded 'Pulitzer Prize' Of College Journalism" (Press release). San Francisco State University. 2005-12-02. Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2009-07-30. The Pacemaker is the highest honor for collegiate journalism given annually by ACP to college newspapers, magazines and Web sites. [...] The awards are regarded as the Pulitzer Prizes of college journalism.
  3. ^ "Northern Star wins Pacemaker award, college press equivalent of Pulitzer" (Press release). Northern Illinois University. 2008-11-10. Archived from the original on 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  4. ^ Lowry, Bob (2003-11-10). "Auburn Plainsman Earns 22nd Pacemaker Award" (Press release). Auburn University. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 'In college journalism, the highest honor is the Pacemaker, the college equivalent of the Pulitzer,' he said. 'Both are awarded for excellence in journalism.'
  5. ^ a b c NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2015-05-11 at the Wayback Machine. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "studentpress1" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ "ACP contest winners". Archived from the original on 13 June 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  7. ^ "ACP contest winners". Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  8. ^ Archived 2009-11-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  10. ^ "CU Independent wins collegiate journalism's preeminent award". Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  11. ^ ACP – Contest Winners
  12. ^ ACP – Contest Winners Archived 2010-09-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ ACP – Contest Winners Archived 2011-12-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "2007 NSPA Pacemaker Winners". National Scholastic Press Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  16. ^ "2007 NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Winners". National Scholastic Press Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  17. ^ "2007 NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Winners". National Scholastic Press Association. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
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  19. ^ a b NSPA – Contests and Critiques Archived 2015-02-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "NSPA – 2007 Newspaper Pacemaker Winners". Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b "Northwest Scholastic Press Hall Of Fame". Northwest Scholastic Press. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
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  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  26. ^ a b NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2010-04-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners
  30. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2007-11-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2010-04-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine.
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  43. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2010-04-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  44. ^ NSPA – Contest Winners Archived 2010-01-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
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  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
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