Arapahoe Herald Named Pacemaker Finalist

Hayden Peirce, Managing Editor

The Arapahoe Herald has once again been named a pacemaker finalist for Volume 53. The Herald was one of 49 schools nationally that was named a finalist for this award.

Lead by Editor-in-Chief Paige Paulsen and Managing Editor Abigail Guadanola, last year’s Herald staff produced five issues through the 2016-2017 school year.

“Being nominated [for a pacemaker] is incredible and such an honor. It’s always exciting when the things you do and are passionate about get recognition but it’s even more special to see the product of four years of hard work and learning pay off,” said Guadanola. “I personally am so proud of the amazing staff we had and how hard everyone worked to make the Herald the best it could be.”

Last year’s staff had a number of new staffers, creating a unique challenge for the editorial board. “With so many new staff members last year, The Herald had a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. The nomination for a pacemaker shows that staffers were able to rise to the occasion and let their work speak to their dedication to the magazine,” former Editor-in-Chief Paige Paulsen said. “It is reassuring to know that we are leaving behind a strong team of journalists. The staff and its editors all deserve to know that their hard work is appreciated.”

The award will be presented to 23 schools at the national convention in Dallas from November 16-19.

The official NSPA press release is below.

MINNEAPOLIS — The National Scholastic Press Association has named 49 scholastic
student newspapers and newsmagazines as finalists in its annual Pacemaker competition.
“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” said Laura Widmer, executive
director. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”
The NSPA Pacemaker award has a rich tradition and the association started presenting
the award to high school newspapers a few years after the organization was founded in
1921. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs
were added to the competition.
The 49 Pacemaker finalists represent 21 states and England. California sets the pace with
eight finalists.
In all, 275 student news publications entered the Pacemaker competition. Two teams
of three judges devoted two days to the judging and studied every entry discussing its
strengths and weaknesses.
In the first round of the competition, the news publications competed against those of
similar types — tabloid newspaper, broadsheet newspaper, newsmagazine and junior high/
middle school.
When the process was finished, the 49 Pacemaker finalists were named. From that group,
26 will earn the Pacemaker award placing those publications in the top 10 percent. Four
middle school/junior high publications are included on the finalist list.
Insights and observations from the judges about the Pacemaker winning newspapers
will be posted when the Pacemaker winners are announced along with the names and
professional bios of the judges.
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 best newspapers and newsmagazines didn’t just recap school activities and
sporting events, they delivered tenacious in-depth reporting and impartial and objective
coverage,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director.
Print news publications are thriving in high schools across the country, Lundgren said.
“We have noticed a steady shift to the newsmagazine format,” he said. “More and more
schools are using online news sites for day to day reporting and publishing quarterly
newsmagazines for in-depth, long-form storytelling.”
In 2017, approximately 98 of the print news publications entered used a newsmagazine
In this competition, only the print news product was judged. A separate NSPA 2017
Online Pacemaker competition recognized 38 online news sites in April. Several schools
earned Pacemaker honors for both their print and online products.
Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners will be announced at
the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 16-19, 2017 in Dallas.