Pacemaker’ finals honor Daily reporting, editorials

For the third time in four years, The Daily Northwestern was named one of the nation’s top college newspapers as a finalist for the Associated Collegiate Press’ National Newspaper Pacemaker Award for overall journalistic excellence.

Daily staffers also were recognized as finalists for news story of the year and editorial of the year.

The news story — written by a team of Medill senior Seth Freedland, Weinberg senior Jerome C. Pandell, Medill junior Laurel Jorgensen and Medill senior Jordana Mishory — covered the Iowa presidential caucuses. The foursome stayed three days in a Des Moines, Iowa, motel and filed the story from John Kerry’s pressroom. Their coverage also included four other articles and a column.

“It’s a perfect example of teamwork in journalism,” said Freedland, currently The Daily’s campus editor. “As Kerry was declaring victory, Jordana and Laurel phoned in quotes as I wrote and Jerome edited. It was insane — even professional writers were running around. But it was a rush.”

Penned by Jessica Mayle, Medill ’04, the recognized editorial denounced former Weinberg freshman Jaime A. Saide, better known as Xander, for faking two hate crimes. The editorial also urged the campus community not to let Saide’s poor behavior mar progress in improving racial dialogue.

“That discussion was pretty heated, though not because we couldn’t agree to condemn Xander for his actions,” recalled Elaine Helm, current editor in chief, who was campus editor when the editorial was published. “It was difficult to find a way to move forward from that event. Jessica really captured our outrage and hope that something good would come out of it.”

The winners for both the individual and overall awards will be announced in early November at the Associated Collegiate Press’ annual convention in Nashville, Tenn.

The Daily most recently won Pacemakers for overall excellence in 2001 and 2002. The newspaper also was recognized last year for editorial of the year.

— From Staff Reports