The COVID pandemic prevented the nation from coming to Atlanta to celebrate student media. It did not stop students in Atlanta from having reasons to learn and to celebrate.
Members of The Signal, Underground and Panther Report (NeoN) received 10 awards at the fall 2020 National College Media Convention, held virtually Oct. 22-24, 2020. The convention serves student and adviser members of the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and the College Media Association (CMA).
This included the ACP Pacemaker Honors for Underground, a first for Georgia State publications. Underground was recognized in the Magazine-Literary Arts category. Pacemaker awards are often informally referred to as the “Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism.”
The award recognized excellence in the Fall 2019 issue of Underground, themed “In Transit.”
We poured it all into creating this collection of Georgia State exclusive art and literature. Most of us had no prior experience: we were the wild card. But to be honest, the moment we finished our final proofread, I knew we had it in the bag.
~ Cayce Tiedemann, 2019-20 Underground Editor-in-Chief
This marked the first year that Georgia State University media outlets were finalists in three separate Pacemaker categories: NeoN’s PRN was recognized in the resurrected Broadcast category and The Signal received its third finalist placement in six years.
The Pacemaker ceremony kicked off a two-day virtual convention where students learned from professionals and peers. Breakout Zoom sessions and critiques were paired alongside recognition of student work in journalism, literature and film.
More than 3,100 entries were submitted into this year’s CMA competition, a record number according to Len O’Kelly, emcee for the Pinnacle ceremony.
The Signal received a first place award in both the ACP Individual and CMA Pinnacle Awards. The staff was recognized in the ACP Editorial category for its commentary on the Henry Grady statue. Current Editor-in-Chief Brooklyn Valera and staffer Imani Dennis topped the Pinnacles’ General News Story category for their coverage of the SGA election. For the second straight year, Amanda Dixon-Shropshire ranked second in the Cartoon of the Year- Comic Panel/Strip category.
NeoN News Director Elisheva Wimberly and Timo Clark were two Georgia State honorees in the convention’s Best in Show.
A total of 15 Georgia State University students and staff participated in the weekend convention. With the lessons learned, they are hopeful that more honors will be forthcoming in their future.