The independent news organization of Duke University

The Chronicle's Vol. 116 wins premier award for online college journalism

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Volume 116 of The Chronicle won the 2021 Online Pacemaker Award, the third year in a row The Chronicle has won the award.

The Pacemaker, presented by the Associated Collegiate Press, 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. 

Vol. 116 Editor-in-Chief Matthew Griffin and Managing Editor Maria Morrison, both seniors, lauded Chronicle staff for their work over the last year.

“Last year saw some really big stories, from the COVID-19 pandemic to protests for racial justice and fraternities disaffiliating from Duke. It was a ton of work to cover those stories; a lot of people really stepped up, and it’s awesome to see that recognized,” Griffin said.

Morrison also noted the award was “a group effort of every writer, photographer, interviewer and reader who supported The Chronicle.”

“Although the organization continues to go through changes to our structure and style, our mission and values have remained constant. I think this award is a testament to that,” Morrison said. 

She said Vol. 116 was simultaneously “one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences” and highlighted the power of student journalism throughout the last year.

“I think that our work and perseverance is a testament to the power of college journalism and students in telling important stories while promoting transparency and comradery,” she said.

General Manager Chrissy Beck said that she is “so proud of the hard work our staff puts in” and “thrilled” that The Chronicle was “recognized as one of the very best online sites in college media for the third year in a row.”

The Chronicle was one of 13 newspapers at four-year universities to win the award in the online category. Winners were announced Thursday at the virtual ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention awards ceremony.

Vol. 115 won the Online Pacemaker Award in 2020, as did Vol. 114 in 2019 and Vol. 110 in 2015.


Leah Boyd | Editor-in-Chief

Leah Boyd is a Pratt junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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