Newsroom Receives Top Honor


Screenshot courtesy of the National Scholastic Press Association.

For the first time in its eight-year history, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) honored The Gator as a Pacemaker Finalist for overall excellence in journalism.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” Executive Director Laura Widmer said. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

The newsroom shares the coveted recognition with 46 scholastic news sites around the nation.

Winners will be announced during NSPA’s Spring National High School Convention next month in Los Angeles, California. Either way, The Gator will be awarded a trophy.

“The judging teams will now continue to study the sites named as Pacemaker finalists on a frequent basis,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition. “The Pacemaker winners will be selected shortly before they are named in April, so for the 47 schools we are naming as finalists today, the competition is still happening in real time.”

This fall, the newsroom also won similar recognition from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA).

“Receiving recognition for overall excellence in online journalism from both CSPA and NSPA is incredibly affirming,” Cutler said. “It’s a testament to the professionalism of student journalists, who care deeply about practicing ethical and responsible journalism. It’s equally emblematic of the superior education that students receive here, even during a global pandemic.”