The independent news organization of Duke University

The Chronicle's Vol. 115 wins foremost award for online college journalism

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Volume 115 of The Chronicle won the 2020 Online Pacemaker Award, the foremost digital award in college journalism, on Thursday. 

Presented by the Associated Collegiate Press, the Pacemaker is considered the Pulitzer Prize of student journalism and has been awarded annually since 1927.

Entries in the categories of Newspaper, Online, Yearbooks, Broadcast and Magazine are considered for their “coverage and content; quality of writing and reporting; leadership; design; photography; and graphics.” The organization also awards Pacemakers in the categories of Business and Innovation. 

Chronicle Vol. 115 Editor-in-Chief Jake Satisky, a senior, and Vol. 115 Managing Editor Nathan Luzum, Trinity ’ 20, both highlighted that the award is for the volume as a whole—rather than solely a personal accomplishment.  

“It was 100% a team effort,” Satisky said. “I’m really proud of all the editors and reporters that helped make Vol. 115 a success.”

The award also serves as a benchmark of progress for The Chronicle’s digital presence, which the organization has been working to expand.

“This second consecutive online Pacemaker is really a testament to The Chronicle’s commitment to meet readers where they are—online. It’s reflective of not only a push from the top to sharpen our digital acumen, but also the everyday dogged work of an incredible staff,” Luzum said.

Satisky is specifically proud of the efforts made to focus on stories that matter more to students, a shift which he is happy to see continuing onto the current volume.

“We focused a lot more on high-value student-focused stories instead of just regurgitating Duke news. We were cutting back on high-effort, low-value stories that didn’t talk about the student experience and wrote ones that highlighted it instead,” Satisky said.

The Chronicle is one of 21 newspapers at four-year universities to win the award in the online category.

Winners were announced Oct. 22 at the virtual ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention awards ceremony. 

Vol. 114 of The Chronicle won the Online Pacemaker Award in 2019 and Vol. 110 won the award in 2015.

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