SMC Corsair Named Finalist in Prestigious National Competition

One of Five Two-Year Colleges Among 43 Finalists

The Corsair The Associated Collegate Press (ACP) has named The Corsair—SMC’s student-run newspaper—as one of 43 finalists in its annual national collegiate Pacemaker competition for print newspapers. SMC is one of five community colleges among the 43 finalists, which come from 21 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada.

September 7, 2017

SANTA MONICA, CASanta Monica College (SMC) is pleased to announce that The Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) has named The Corsair—SMC’s student-run newspaper—as one of 43 finalists in its annual national collegiate Pacemaker competition for print newspapers. SMC is one of five community colleges among the 43 finalists, which come from 21 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada. 150 student newspapers entered the Pacemaker competition.

"The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award and is often called the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” said Laura Widmer, ACP executive director. “ACP is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging process, and naming of the 43 Pacemaker finalists. Pacemaker print and online finalists—a separate ACP Online Pacemaker competition had 25 finalists this spring—will be recognized, and the winners of each category announced at the ACP/College Media Association National College Media Convention to be held Oct. 25-29 in Dallas.

"For our students and their work to be recognized alongside the best and brightest college news publications in the country is truly an honor," said Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SMC journalism professor and co-advisor for The Corsair. "It is a testament to the hard work, dedication and passion the staff at The Corsair newspaper exhibit each day and on every story they cover."

Saul Rubin, journalism professor—who was the student newspaper’s advisor during the Fall 2017 term—echoed the sentiment. “I am very proud of the students and the work they did last year to make The Corsair one of the top student news organizations in the country,” said Rubin. “The announcement that The Corsair is a finalist for a top student journalism national award shows the tremendous quality of the work being produced by journalism students at Santa Monica College.”

In addition to demonstrating excellence in key areas including coverage, writing, editing, design and photography, the winning newspapers “took risks and served as a strong voice for its student audience,” the ACP said in a statement.

“The best newspapers didn’t just recap campus events, they delivered tenacious in-depth reporting and impartial and objective coverage,” said Gary Lundgren, ACP associate director. “It was a presidential election year and the top newspapers found fresh, campus angles to this national story.

The Corsair staff—advised by faculty members Gerard Burkhart and Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins—produces a bi-weekly newspaper in the spring and fall semesters and also maintains an online news site, www.thecorsaironline.com.

For more information on The Corsair, contact Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins at (310) 434-8858 or blaize_ashanti@smc.edu.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

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