The website of The Pioneer, Whitman College’s weekly, student-run newspaper, was once again honored as “Best of Show” in its category of schools at the 27th Annual Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) National College Journalism Convention, held in Hollywood, Calif., March 3-6. This is the second time in three years that “The Pio” has earned this award, which recognizes “excellence in design, navigation, writing/editing, content, graphics and interactivity.”

Pioneer staff members who attended the ACP convention included (from left to right) Diana Dulek '13, Rachel Alexander '13, Derek Thurber '11, Libby Arnosti '13 and Maggie Appleton '13.


On hand to accept the honor were five Pioneer staff members, including Derek Thurber ’11, co-editor-in-chief, Rachel Alexander ’13, news editor, Libby Arnosti ’13, sports editor, Maggie Appleton ’13, production manager, and Diana Dulek ’13, humor editor. Travel to the conference was made possible thanks to a generous gift and ongoing support from Whitman trustee Megan Salzman Medica ’81 and her husband, John Medica.

Since summer 2010, The Pioneer’s website has undergone a significant update and redesign. The new site, which launched at the beginning of 2011, was designed entirely by student webmaster Rebecca Fish ’11; content is managed by Web editor Ellie Gold ’11 along with various section and graphic editors.

“We feel extraordinarily lucky to have been able to attend this conference and to win this award,” Thurber said. “We are always looking for ways to improve the content and quality of the paper we provide to the campus community and we believe many positive changes will come out of the conference, both in our print edition and on our website.”

As part of the three-day conference, participating Pioneer staff members attended sessions offering new perspectives and skills on topics ranging from newspaper layout and design to newsroom management. Whitman attendees also contributed to the convention in a number of ways, including Thurber’s participation in a panel on “how to manage a non-daily newspaper on a four-year campus.”

Another highlight, Thurber said, was the chance to have a the print edition of The Pioneer reviewed and critiqued by the faculty advisor of The Daily Bruin, the student newspaper of the University of California Los Angeles.

“She gave us some really great feedback, telling us that we were doing a really great job on providing interesting, in-depth content and high quality photos. She also offered advice on improving on the graphical layout as well as the readability and audience participation of the paper,” Thurber said. “We are hoping to improve the paper’s design and to increase the amount of space available for Whitman staff, faculty, students, alumni and parents to have their voice heard in the paper.”

View The Pioneer’s website here.
 
— Joe Gurriere