VERMILLION, S.D. -- Setting the pace as the students’ voice at The University of South Dakota since 1887 earned The Volante a 2008 Pacemaker Award as one of the nation’s best weekly college newspapers. The Pacemaker Award is the highest honor given by the ACP and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.
Located in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus, The Volante is available on campus newsstands on Wednesdays during the school year and updated online daily. An endowment established by the Freedom Forum 20 years ago provides scholarships, training and a professional adviser for journalism students on The Volante staff. Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth is a 1950 graduate of USD and was editor of The Volante in 1949.
"I am very proud that the newspaper received this prestigious honor," noted Michelle Rydell, editor-in-chief of The Volante, who accepted the award on behalf of her staff at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers conference in Kansas City, Mo. Rydell said the Pacemaker reflects the newspaper’s commitment to covering campus events and controversies. "The staff works incredibly hard and it’s nice to be recognized for that," she added.
Selected by the staff of a professional newspaper in the host city of the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, Pacemaker recipients are judged for their coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography and arts and graphics. This year, The Volante submitted newspapers that covered the impeachment of Student Government Association President Terry Liggins and the women’s basketball team’s second place finish at the NCAA Division II Tournament in Kearney, Neb.
The Associated Collegiate Press has sponsored the National Pacemaker Award competition for college newspapers since 1927. The award has been co-sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation since 1971. Pacemakers are judged and awarded in three separate categories: four-year dailies, four-year non-dailies and two-year newspapers. This is the seventh time that The Volante has won a National Pacemaker Award, which is often referred to as the "Pulitzer Prize of college journalism."