Student Newspaper Wins National Pacemaker Award

The Chimes makes history

Oct. 31, 2011 By Melissa Soto

The Chimes, Biola University’s student-run newspaper, was awarded the Associated Collegiate PressPacemaker Award on October 29, 2011 for the first time in the newspaper’s history. Announced at the National College Media Convention in Orlando, the award is the top prize for non-daily newspapers granted by the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers (CMA/ACP) — the largest combined campus media organization in the United States.

This award honors the work of the 2010-2011 Chimes staff. Biola junior Elizabeth Sallie worked as managing web editor for The Chimes in May of 2011 and now serves as the paper’s current editor-in-chief.

“We focused on accurate reporting,” said Sallie, “Content was most important…well-researched and thorough stories.”

Dozens of student reporters, editors and photojournalists drawn mainly from the Department of Journalism & Integrated Media, but also from the English department, the art department, communications studies, and others across the University contributed to the winning team effort.

The Chimes was named as one of the 24 finalists for the Pacemaker award in September. Other finalists in the Chimes’ category included Boston College, George Washington University, San Francisco State University, Loyola Marymount University, University of Alaska, Butler University and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

The Chimes submits its editions to contests annually and has won awards for writing, design, photojournalism and opinion over the years from such organizations as the Southern Baptist Convention and the California College Media Association.  The Pacemaker Award marks the most significant distinction yet — a key vote of confidence from experts in the media industry.

The student newspapers are judged by media professionals in the Washington, D.C., area and are critiqued in the following areas: coverage and content, quality of reporting and writing, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, layout and design, photography, art and graphics.

“Our vision was clean and classy with great visuals,” said Sallie.

Professor of journalism Michael Longinow, who also serves as the journalism department chair, is the official academic advisor for the The Chimes staff.

“They come at their work with innovation and professionalism that not all campus media staffs are willing to pursue,” said Longinow, “They’re serious about journalism. And it shows.”

Top editors of the award-winning staff were Katie Watson, editor-in-chief; Harmony Wheeler, news editor; Nathan Palatsky, sports editor; Tiffany Sun, features editor; Kelsey Heng, photo editor; Jeff Koch, opinions editor; Cody Wagner, multimedia editor; Amanda Warner and Callie Miller copy editors; Elizabeth Sallie, managing web editor; Patricia Diaz, web content editor; and Sarah Grunder, production editor.

“Working journalists in positions of influence in major U.S. media centers trace their professional roots to the long nights, tireless reporting, and painstaking edits in newsrooms where work has resulted in the Pacemaker Award,” said Longinow.

The contest has been administered by Associated Collegiate Press and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation since 1971. The ACP has been awarding student newspapers since 1927.

The web site for the Associated Collegiate Press Association says the criteria judges use to award the Pacemaker are “coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art and graphics.” The Pacemaker is awarded in three categories: Four-year dailies, four-year non-dailies, and two-year papers.

Learn more about Biola's Department of Journalism & Integrated Media.

Read The Chimes Online.

Written by Melissa Soto, Media Relations Intern. For more information, please contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at or at 562.777.4061.

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