The College Heights Herald, WKU’s student-led news organization, was named to the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker 100 Top 10 list on Saturday at the National College Media Convention, honored as the sixth most successful student media outlet in the century-long history of ACP and its prestigious national Pacemaker Awards.
The announcement capped a banner weekend for WKU Student Publications at MediaFest 22 in Washington, D.C., where WKU’s two flagship student publications brought home multiple awards.
In addition to coming in No. 6 in the Pacemaker Top 10, the Herald added two additional Pacemaker awards to its trophy case, achieving Pacemaker status for 2022 as a newspaper for its print edition and as an online news outlet for WKUHerald.com. Talisman also won a 2022 Pacemaker for its WKUTalisman.com website.
The Pacemaker is the most prestigious honor in collegiate journalism, with the Pacemaker designation going to student-led outlets judged to reach an exceptional level of quality. All together, WKU Student Publications has now won 44 Pacemaker awards – 22 for Talisman, 21 for the Herald and one, the first Innovation Pacemaker in 2020, for the Cherry Creative branded content studio.
WKU’s first Pacemaker was awarded in 1978 to Talisman, then a yearbook. The Herald won its first Pacemaker in 1981. Of the 44 Pacemakers won to date, 31 have been awarded since 2000, and 19 since 2010. ACP has been awarding Pacemakers since 1927.
“What this says is that our students produce some of the best journalism of any students at any university, and they’ve done it consistently for more than 40 years,” said Chuck Clark, director of WKU Student Publications. “These students’ outstanding performance this year, and their consistent track record for excellence, shows that they continue to perform at an exceptional level, among the best in the country.”
In addition to the three Pacemakers awarded to the Herald and the Talisman for 2022, WKU had three additional Pacemaker finalists. Both publications were finalists for ACP’s first Multiplatform Pacemaker, which judges an outlet’s work in print, online, newsletters, video and audio, and Talisman was a finalist for the Magazine Pacemaker.
Also at the Washington convention:
- Bob Adams, who served as the Herald adviser from 1968 to 2012, and as director of WKU Student Publications from 1988 to 2012, was honored as a member of the inaugural class of ACP Pioneer Award winners.
- The College Heights Herald was named the best less-than-weekly print news publication in the College Media Association Pinnacle Awards.
- WKUHerald.com won an honorable mention for university website of the year from CMA.
In ACP individual awards:
- Sports game or action photo, first place, Arthur Trickett-Wile, Talisman.
- Digital advertisement, first place, Katie Ulrich, Cherry Creative.
- Print advertisement, third place, Bailey Brush, Cherry Creative.
- Photo slideshow, fourth place, staff, Talisman.
- Feature photo, fourth place, Veronica Teeter, Talisman.
- Media kit, fifth place, Kayla Worden, Cherry Creative.
- Magazine page or spread design, honorable mention, Bree Gravatte, Talisman.
- Feature photo, honorable mention, Rhiannon Johnston, Talisman.
- Digital advertisement, honorable mention, Gabby Wilson and Cristina Betz, Cherry Creative.
Last year, both the Herald and the Talisman were named to ACP’s Pacemaker 100, the 100 most successful student publications in the award’s history. This year, ACP announced its Top 10, as ranked by points accumulated for winning Pacemakers and for being finalists since the competition began in 1927.
The Top 10 list announced at a reception at The Washington Post was:
- The Royal Purple, Kansas State University, yearbook.
- The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin, newspaper.
- Indiana Daily Student, Indiana University, newspaper.
- Minnesota Daily, University of Minnesota, newspaper.
- The Auburn Plainsman, Auburn University, newspaper.
- College Heights Herald, Western Kentucky University, newspaper.
- The Advocate, Contra Costa College, newspaper.
- The State News, Michigan State University, newspaper.
- The Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, newspaper.
- Flux, University of Oregon, magazine.