INSIDE Chico State
0 November 11, 1999
Volume 30 Number 8
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Orion Wins Another National Award

California State University, Chico's student newspaper, The Orion, has received its fifth Pacemaker national journalism award in seven years, making it perhaps the most honored college newspaper of the decade.

The National Association of Newspapers and Associated Collegiate Press honored Orion editors with the Pacemaker award at the fall National College Media Convention in Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 30. The annual five-day convention is attended by thousands of college and university journalism students across the country.

The Orion has also won the Associated Collegiate Press' National Newspaper of the Year award the past two years, and has placed first in the university division of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association Better Newspapers' Contest four of the past five years.

Orion adviser Dave Waddell was particularly proud of the university winning another Pacemaker, called "the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism" by Tom Rolnicki, the executive director of the Associated Collegiate Press. No other university publishing a weekly student newspaper has won more Pacemakers over the past seven years than CSU, Chico.

"If the Yankees are the team of the '90s, The Orion would have to be the newspaper of the '90s in terms of the national Pacemaker award," said Waddell, a faculty member in CSU, Chico's journalism department.

Pacemakers are awarded for general newspaper excellence in three categories: community college, daily university and non-daily university. The Orion, published weekly during the academic year, won in the non-daily category, along with nine other universities.

The award was The Orion's sixth Pacemaker, the first coming in 1989. Over the past seven years, other big winners have been Auburn University, with five awards, and St. Louis University, which has won four.

Waddell said the challenge to sustain the newspaper's quality over a span of years is keen. "Turnover on a student newspaper staff is rapid -- from semester to semester it's different people over and over again," he said. "But there is a sense on The Orion of handing the baton to the next group taking the tradition and building on it. We won't have success if students don't have that feeling."

The Orion is produced in conjunction with the CSU, Chico journalism department. The university has approximately 100 journalism majors with a news-editorial emphasis, and they are required to work at least one semester on the newspaper. Enrollment in the program is up about 20 percent this fall. -- SL

 

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