Associate Director, Department of Public Relations
The Spinnaker, the University of North Florida’s weekly student-operated campus newspaper, has won the 2010 Pacemaker award, the Associated Collegiate Press’ highest honor, often referred to as the Pulitzer Prize for college journalism.
Winners were announced last week at the National College Media Convention in Louisville, Ky. The Spinnaker staff collected the award for the first time and this was also the first time the college newspaper staff had been named a finalist. The Pacemaker has been awarded for 83 years.
“It’s great that our students have access to one of the best college newspapers in the country,” said current Spinnaker Editor-in-chief Josh Gore, a UNF senior. “We held our own with newspaper staffs nearly twice our size.”
The Spinnaker, with a staff of 24 and a circulation of 4,000, was among the 10 overall winners chosen from the 22 finalists in the four-year, non-daily newspaper category. This category had the most newspapers chosen. Among the other nine winners were Villanova University, Western Kentucky University and San Francisco State University. The winners weren’t ranked in any order.
Professional journalists in Washington, D.C., chose the finalists based on coverage and content, writing quality, depth of reporting, leadership on the opinion page, layout/design, graphics, art and photography.
Additionally, the Spinnaker placed eighth this year in “Best in Show,” the ACP’s on-site conference print competition, an event the paper won in 2005 and placed second in 2008. Spinnaker Photo Editor Erik Tanner, a UNF senior, won this year’s Blank Slate national contest as the best college photographer. Last year, the newspaper earned an Online Pacemaker finalist spot in the ACP’s website contest.
UNF’s first student newspaper started in January 1974 and was called the Halyard, which was later renamed Campus Up-Date in 1976. On August 17, 1977, the student newspaper was dubbed the Spinnaker, the same name it has held for more than 30 years.
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