The Ouachita Baptist University Signal’s Web site has been named a finalist for the prestigious Pacemaker award from Associated Collegiate Press (ACP).
Ouachita’s newspaper was one of the smallest schools represented in the non-daily category. Others vying for the award in the category include University of Missouri-Columbia, Tulane, Temple and University of Miami.
The Pacemaker winners are announced at the fall ACP meeting in Austin, Texas.
“It’s an impressive list of finalists,” said Mitch Bettis, adviser to the online Signal and co-adviser to the print edition. “Everyone should be proud to be named a finalist since our site has been active for only six months.”
The Signal’s Web site went live Sept. 22, 2008, and students Holland Powell and Emma Smith are co-editors. Chloe O’Connor is editor-in-chief, which includes the print and online editions.
The contest was judged by Ellyn Angelotti, interactivity editor for the Poynter Institute, a leader in online journalism training and education.
Angelotti noted that the top sites displayed excellence in the following areas: Integration of multimedia and user-generated content; navigability; breadth of coverage, including in-depth reporting; custom, clean design; sound news judgment on the home page.
The 223 total entries into the contest were divided into the following categories: Four-year Daily Newspaper, Four-year Non-Daily Newspaper, Two-year Newspaper and Non-newspaper sites, including Broadcast, Yearbook, Magazine and Online-only publications.
“The online site represents a convergence of all that is produced in the mass communications department,” Bettis said. “That’s why it’s such an honor to be named a finalist — many people had a role in this recognition.”
In addition to publishing stories from The Signal’s print edition, the Web site contains video from Dr. David Ozmun’s video students, feature stories from Dr. Deborah Root’s feature writing class and stories from Bettis’ Media Writing class.
The site features photographs taken by the photography staff members, and it also features photographs and photo slide shows from the Introduction to Photography class. Stories written by students working the public relations office are also part of the online edition.
The university’s sports information department and information technology department have also been important contributors to the project, according to Bettis.
The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), based and incorporated in Minnesota as a non-profit educational association, provides journalism education services to students, teachers, media advisers and others throughout the United States and in other countries.
NSPA has three divisions. Memberships for college, university and professional and technical school student media are organized under the Associated Collegiate Press.
To see a list of finalists in all categories, click here.
by OBU Signal