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Vermont Cynic only Pacemaker winner in category without journalism program

October 31, 2011

Vermont Cynic Managing Editor Jeff Ayers and Editor-in-Chief Natalie DiBlasio seconds after receiving the Pacemaker award, the top honor in college journalism.

Each year, Newspaper Pacemakers go to the best college newspapers in the nation. When this year’s winners were announced on Saturday, only one of the winners in the non-daily university category came from a school without a journalism program.

This was The Vermont Cynic at UVM.

Research by Cynic News Editor Brent Summers turned up this fact: All other winners in the Cynic’s category—a broad category including all newspapers that publish weekly, two or three times a week or even monthly—came from universities with journalism-related studies.

While UVM offers a handful of courses related to media, it has no journalism major or concentration.

Schools in the Cynic’s category ranged from George Washington University to San Francisco State University to Boston College, according to official contest results.

“We are the only school without a journalism department and/or undergraduate or graduate programs in journalism,” Summers said. “This news is simply incredible and just goes to show how well we have been able to educate the staff of the Cynic to thrive without a classroom.

“Our team works so hard: They put in nights and weekends, and this is the ultimate gratification. We have so much room to grow, and I am so excited to be part of such a great team.”

The Newspaper Pacemaker contest, co-sponsored by Associated Collegiate Press and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, has awarded general excellence in collegiate newspapers for 84 years. This year’s entries were judged by professional journalists in the Washington, D.C., area, ACP officials said.

UVM media staff in Orlando, where the winners were announced, began texting their fellow staffers in the Vermont newsroom within minutes of the win. From left: Jenny Mudarri of WRUV-FM, media adviser Chris Evans, and Cynic staff Natalie DiBlasio, Jeff Ayers, Brent Summers and Jon Polson. Toward the back is Max Landerman of UVMtv.

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