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Student Newspaper Named 2017 Pacemaker Winner

TKS students work on newspaper in publication office.

by Bailey Musselman ‘18

The Knox Student (TKS), Knox College's student-run newspaper, has won collegiate journalism's renowned Pacemaker award. The award was announced on October 28 at the annual Associated College Press convention in Dallas, Texas.

The Associated College Press Newspaper Pacemaker award is often referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism. TKS is among 20 newspapers nationally to receive Pacemakers.

Entries were taken from the 2016-17 academic year. When critiquing each paper, judges looked at five editions of the newspaper during different time periods of the academic school year.

"TKS has had a steady line of strong editors with talented and diligent staffs," said Tom Martin, editor of Galesburg's The Register-Mail and TKS advisor since 2009. "They take journalism seriously, and the awards show that."

Martin says he has witnessed continuous progress in the paper over the years. "The staff earned best in state recognition in 2010, 2013, and again in 2017. By 2012 the editors began entering national contests and bringing home awards," said Martin.

This was the second time in the last three years that TKS was named a finalist for a Pacemaker, "which puts TKS with the best collegiate newspapers in the country," he added.

Along with the Pacemaker award, the Associated College Press (ACP) announced at the conference that last year's editor-in-chief, Rachel Landman '17, received honorable mention for the 2017 Reporter of the Year. Sofia Tagkaloglou's discourse piece titled "I'm Sorry, Knox" earned third place for Opinion/Editorial Writing.

"Three awards in the annual ACP conference is entirely new ground for TKS. We've never had even two in one year," said Martin. "Pacemaker is the big award, but Reporter of the Year is also prestigious. Only 10 college reporters in the nation earned that distinction."

Current editor-in-chief Erika Riley ‘19 originally joined TKS because she was involved in the student paper during high school. When she attended her first TKS meeting, Riley was attracted to the passion she discovered in the publication office.

"I could tell that everyone really cared. All the editors were really excited about what they were doing and doing it really well," said Riley. "The way that everybody was friends with each other but also got such great work done, made me want to be a part of it."

The Knox Student was founded in 1878 by S.S. McClure who, after graduating from Knox, created McClure's Magazine, one of the first publications in the field of American investigative journalism.

"It's an historic year for TKS," said Martin.

The Knox Student: Award History


  • 2017: Pacemaker Award - Associated College Press
  • 2016: Nominated for News Story of the Year in Associated College Press
  • 2015: ACP Honorable Mention for Feature Story - Kate Mishkin
  • 2014: Pacemaker Finalist Award - Associated College Press
  • 2014: Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper, in Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) - Society of Professional Journalism
  • 2013: Fourth place for News Story of the Year - Associated College Press contest
  • 2012: Seventh place for Best of Show (4-year colleges on tabloid paper) - Associated Collegiate Press

STATE AWARDS (Illinois Collegiate Press Association/entries from previous calendar year)

  • 2017: 20 awards (7 first, General Excellence) Editor-in-chief, Rachel Landman ‘17
  • 2016: 19 awards (10 firsts) Editor-in-chief, Kate Mishkin ‘16 
  • 2015: 12 awards (4 firsts) Editor-in-chief, Julian Boireau '15
  • 2014: 18 awards (5 firsts, second in General Excellence) Editor-in-chief, Charlie Megenity '14
  • 2013: 14 awards (5 firsts, including General Excellence) Editor-in-chief, Anna Meier '13
  • 2012: 18 awards (4 first places) Editor-in-chief, John Williams '12
  • 2011: 19 awards (7 first places; second place General Excellence) Editor-in-chief, Annette Zak '11

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Advisor Tom Martin (left) and editor Erika Riley (right) talking to newspaper staff at organizational meeting for TKS, The Knox Student.

#"They [students] do it all, from determining stories to getting papers on racks." —Tom Martin, TKS advisor

Knox College

Printed on Sunday, May 9, 2021