September 14, 2018

Daily Egyptian looks to earn second straight online collegiate award

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – For a second consecutive year, the Daily Egyptian, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s student-produced newspaper, is a finalist to receive one of the nation’s top online collegiate awards. 

The Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) recognized the Daily Egyptian as one of the 24 online news and magazine sites nominated this year in the Online Pacemaker competition. ACP is the nation’s largest and oldest national membership association for college student media, according to the organization’s website. The Daily Egyptian earned the award in fall 2017. 

Thrilled to be a finalist for second straight year 

“It really speaks to the dedication of our staff, who juggle academics, some semblance of a personal life and demanding jobs in the newsroom,” Eric Fidler, the newspaper’s faculty managing editor said. 

The Daily Egyptian will celebrate its 102nd anniversary next month, with the original publication on Oct. 28, 1916. The newspaper is now printed once a week but operates daily online at

“I tell students we are an online news organization that happens to print a weekly newspaper, not the other way around,” Fidler said. “I think that shows in the repeated recognition of our online reporting.”

No additional pressure after last year’s award

Fidler said he doesn’t believe anyone felt pressure to repeat again this year.

“Awards are so subjective that you can't let yourself get caught up in chasing them,” he said. “I tell the students to do their best and not worry about awards. That said, it's always nice to win them.”

Highly coveted collegiate award

Associated College Press states that the Pacemaker is the association’s “preeminent award and is often called the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism.”

The organization received approximately 100 overall entries from colleges and universities. The selected finalists represent 16 states and the District of Columbia. There is a separate competition for print newspapers.

“Today’s best online sites are platforms for rich multimedia storytelling,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition. “Deep and diverse coverage with strong engagement and interactivity distinguish the best student-produced sites.”

Finalists will be recognized and winners announced Oct. 27 during the ACP/College Media Association National College Media Convention, Oct. 25-28, in Louisville, Kentucky.