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Santa Monica College Student Newspaper Named Finalist in Prestigious National Competition


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By Lookout Staff

September 8, 2017 -- Santa Monica College's student-run paper The Corsair is among 43 finalists for the Associated College Press's (ACP) annual national collegiate Pacemaker competition for print newspapers, college official announced this week.

A total of 150 student newspapers from two- and four-year institutions from 21 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada, entered the nationwide competition.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award and is often called the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” said Laura Widmer, ACP executive director. “ACP is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

The winners will be announced at the ACP/College Media Association National College Media Convention October 25-29 in Dallas.

"For our students and their work to be recognized alongside the best and brightest college news publications in the country is truly an honor," said Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SMC journalism professor and co-advisor for The Corsair.

"It is a testament to the hard work, dedication and passion the staff at The Corsair newspaper exhibit each day and on every story they cover."

Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging the papers based primarily on their coverage, writing, editing, design and photography, ACP officilas said.

The winning newspapers “took risks and served as a strong voice for its student audience,” the ACP said in a statement.

“The best newspapers didn’t just recap campus events, they delivered tenacious in-depth reporting and impartial and objective coverage,” said Gary Lundgren, ACP associate director. “It was a presidential election year and the top newspapers found fresh, campus angles to this national story.”

Journalism professor Saul Rubin, who was the Corsair's advisor during the Fall 2017 term, said the students' hard work paid off.

“The announcement that The Corsair is a finalist for a top student journalism national award shows the tremendous quality of the work being produced by journalism students at Santa Monica College,” Rubin said.

The Corsair staff -- advised by faculty members Gerard Burkhart and Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins -- produces a bi-weekly newspaper in the spring and fall semesters and also maintains an online news site,

For more information on The Corsair, contact Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins at (310) 434-8858 or


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