This article appeared in the Nov. 20, 2018, issue of the student newsletter.
The Et Cetera, Eastfield's student newspaper, was the only two-year school student publication in the nation nominated for a Pacemaker award at October's National College Media Convention. The staff didn't come away with a 2018 Online Pacemaker, but they didn't come back home empty-handed.
The paper won first place in the diversity series and received three honorable mentions: Aria Jones for Reporter of the Year, Julio Vega for Sports Story of the Year for his story on Eastfield goalkeeper Gabriela Roa and Anthony Lazon for Cartoon of the Year.
The Pacemaker, the oldest award in student journalism, was first awarded to college newspapers in 1927 by the Associated Collegiate Press.
The Et Cetera already has three Pacemakers to its name, with its most recent coming last year. That win was the third time in six years the paper won a Pacemaker award for general excellence, the highest national honor a student publication can receive.
The conference gives members of the staff the chance to learn more about journalism from professionals.
“We get a lot of tools that we can bring back and use to make our product better. And it's a learning experience for everybody involved as well,” said James Hartley, The Et Cetera's digital editor. “You know, we go there and we bring back tools on how we can teach people to be better writers, motivate them to reach their deadlines, things like that.”
James was the paper's editor-in-chief last year.
Despite winning three Pacemaker awards in past years, this was the paper's first Online Pacemaker nomination, he said. Being the only two-year college nominated was a nice bit of acknowledgment for the hard work the paper's staff puts in on a daily basis.
“We don't really think about the awards when we're doing this, but the awards are something that tells us we're doing a good job,” James said. “It's something that says, here's the professional standard we hold you to, and you're at least meeting that, if not going beyond. Because in the day-to-day, we're doing this because we have a community that relies on us for their news.”
The Et Cetera has steadily increased its digital content since last year, which includes a sports podcast called “The Sports Stinger” and a news podcast called “The Brief.”
“We had this vision of expanding more into digital news and video,” James said. “We started video last year. This year, we're really expanding that.”