Viewpoints, Riverside Community College’s student newspaper, has been selected as one of the best newspapers in the nation.The Associated Collegiate Press made the announcement Nov. 7 when it released the results of its national Pacemaker Award competition. The Pacemaker Award, often described as the “Pulitzer Prize” of collegiate journalism, is the highest national award a student newspaper can receive for one year of work.
Twenty-five university and community college newspapers received the Pacemaker Award this year for issues published during the fall 2003-spring 2004 academic year. Other winners included student newspapers from Harvard and Northwestern universities. Only one other community college newspaper, Contra Costa’s Advocate, won from California.Journalists from professional newspapers select collegiate Pacemaker winners based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art and graphics.
The Viewpoints student staff entered complete newspapers from the fall 2003 and spring 2004 semesters, including the 44-page Sept. 25, 2003 issue, which included the front-page stories “Elevator permits expired” and “Hearing postponed in former RCC dean criminal case.”
Viewpoints students also entered their Oct. 23, 2003 issue with the headline “Riverside activists greet president,” about anti-war protestors, including several RCC students, outside President Bush’s $2,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser at the Riverside Convention Center.
Also entered was the Apr. 8, 2004 issue with the stories “Rotella chases top job” and “RCC elects student trustee”.
James Seals, Viewpoints’ fall 2003 editor-in-chief, said the Pacemaker Award recognizes Viewpoints students’ efforts to provide the best newspaper they could produce.
“We did our jobs,” Seals said.
Tim Guy, Viewpoints’ editor-in-chief, who was the newspaper’s managing editor during the spring 2004 semester, said the award is the result of a team effort.
“This recognition is very special for us,” Guy said. “It validates the hard work that each staff member puts into the newspaper to serve the RCC community. It also shows that the teamwork that this staff has is truly amazing.”
Viewpoints faculty adviser Allan Lovelace said the students do not work to win awards.
“I am especially happy for our students’ winning this highest of all awards because they have their priorities straight,” Lovelace said. “They want to have fun, get media experience and make a difference through public service. They win awards without that being a priority.”
Information about Viewpoints and RCC’s Journalism program is available at 951-222-8487, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at http://hometown.aol.com/rccjournalism/RCCjournalism.html.
The Associated Collegiate Press Web site, which includes a list of the Pacemakers and a winner’s gallery, is http://studentpress.journ.umn.edu/acp/index.html .