Texas Tech’s campus newspaper, The Daily Toreador, was named a finalist for the 2011 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker award, given annually to the nation’s best collegiate newspaper website.
The DT is one of 16 finalists in the 20,000 or more enrollment category, according to a news release from the Associated Collegiate Press, and is one of four Big 12 Conference student-run newspaper websites named finalists.
According to the ACP’s website, the Online Pacemaker award is the organization’s “highest honor,” and is based on “coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth reporting, design, photography, art and graphics.”
Kevin Cullen, editor-in-chief of The DT, said the finalist announcement is the first the newspaper has received in awhile.
“I think it’s nice to see that, as we’re trying to increase our online presence, we’re at least on the right track,” the senior journalism major from Las Cruces, N.M., said. “You know, we’re always working to try to get better at it. I think we’re on the right track as far as online and our website is concerned.”
One improvement Cullen said he wants to see is more interactivity within the site from readers, including comments and voting in polls.
He also said he wants to keep updating the site throughout the day to provide readers with a “new experience” as the day progresses.
Brett Winegarner, The DT’s electronic media editor, said one of the strongest parts of the website is the sports section and its videos. However, he said he believes the website can continue to grow with more multimedia features, including podcasts.
“People like listening to podcasts,” the sophomore broadcast journalism major from Spearman said. “I mean, people always have their iPods, their iPhones — so that would be a really good thing. I think people would really get into those, a bigger staff would be good, maybe bring back a sports show; people always enjoyed those when we had those.”
The Online Pacemaker winners will be announced at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 29.