Arrow Named Finalist for Associated Collegiate Press’ Pacemaker Award


The Arrow, the student newspaper at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named a finalist for the Associated Collegiate Press’ (ACP) Pacemaker Award to be presented in October.

The Arrow is among 37 national finalists for the print product category for a special report titled “The Impact Zone.” The winners will be announced at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association (CMA) Fall National College Media Convention Oct. 25-28 in Louisville, Ky.

The Pacemaker Awards are presented by the Associated Collegiate Press to newspapers that demonstrate excellence in key areas including coverage, writing, editing, design and photography. In addition, the finalist newspapers took risks and served as a strong voice for its student audience.

This is the fourth national finalist recognition the Arrow has received this academic year.

“To be in the running for four national awards, one of which we’ve never been nominated for, is exhilarating for us as an organization,” said Matt Dollard, Arrow editor. “It places a lot of weight on everything we produce this year, to contend with what our predecessors produced, and maintain that high level of quality. Now that we are being recognized as a high level news organization, it is of the utmost importance to build on that.”

The Arrow’s special report titled “The Impact Zone” detailed the impact of the opioid epidemic facing Missouri and southeast Missouri in particular. The Arrow is a finalist along with newspapers representing 18 states competing for 11 awards. “The Impact Zone” is available in its entirety at

The Arrow has also been named a finalist in three categories for College Media Association Pinnacle Awards. The Arrow is among three national finalists for a Writing Pinnacle in the “Best Special Section: More than Four Pages” category for the “The Impact Zone”; among four finalists for a Best of Collegiate Design Pinnacle in the “Best Feature Page/Spread” category for a Black History Month centerspread; and among four finalists for an Online Pinnacle for Four-Year Less-Than-Weekly Paper of the Year category. The winners will also be announced at the ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention.

“Not only are we currently in the top 37 finalists, but we also have the opportunity to place among the top seven percent of the student newspapers across the nation,” said Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck, faculty advisor to the Arrow and multimedia journalism coordinator in the Department of Mass Media. “That’s very gratifying to see the caliber of this competition and our competitors. It’s very encouraging to the students to have their work recognized at this level.”

Additionally, the Arrow was one of only a few student newspapers from regional universities to make the finalists pool, Buck said. This recognition and the growing number of awards the Arrow has received and competed for in recent years affirm the caliber of the multimedia journalism program at Southeast.

“I’m excited the Arrow and our students ranked in four finalist positions on the national scale this year,” she said. “We haven’t had that before and it really speaks to the work of the students and the quality of their work. They have tremendous dedication for everything they work on. I am so proud to see them get this recognition.”

As the Arrow is honored by these prestigious recognitions, its staff and faculty are dedicated to continuing to examine difficult issues and to expand its impact through multimedia and digital content, said Dollard.

“In years past, we’ve received the most encouraging feedback from readers of our print newspapers, but continuing to improve it is necessary for us to take advantage of resources available to us and create dynamic and engaging content that goes beyond the printed page,” he said.