The Hornet Tribune prepares for national competition



Award winners from the regional competition earlier this spring include (L-R) Ronald Martin, Micah Sanders, Lateef Okolo, Khalil Stewart and (center) Camille Zanders. Each of these students will be submitting their work for the ACP national competition.

Denise Ringo, Staff Reporter/Writer

As the semester comes to a close, The Hornet Tribune is busy making preparations for a national competition – the Associated Press Collegiate Newspaper Pacemaker Awards.
This summer, the official school newspaper will be one of hundreds across America submitting entries to the esteemed Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Pacemaker Newspaper Competition.
These Pacemakers have seven categories that school publications can submit to, including broadcast, magazine, newspaper, online, yearbook, business and innovation, as well as new category multiplatform pacemaker.
Multiple categories means multiple chances for The Hornet Tribune to take some award home.
The awards will be given out in fall 2022, and The Hornet Tribune will apply to every section to see where they stand against the other colleges entering the competition.
While last year the ceremony was held virtually in New Orleans, this fall hundreds will be traveling to Washington, D.C., where the ceremony will be held from Oct. 27-30, 2022 at the Grand Hyatt Washington, just blocks away from landmarks such as the National Mall.
After speaking with the outgoing editor-in-chief Micah Sanders, who has immense faith in the talents of not only his staff, but himself as well, he first heard of the ACP Competition from his general manager, Kenneth Dean, J.D., who told him about it prior to 2021, when Sanders was appointed editor-in-chief.
Dean informed Sanders about the different goals he had and hoped to attain with the newspaper. Dean’s goals were not different from Sanders’, who had objectives to win awards for the publication as well.
The ACP Pacemaker awards began in the year 1927, but this will be the first time ever that The Hornet Tribune is submitting work to the competition.
When asked whether or not this made the staff nervous, Sanders replied, “Honestly, I’m not nervous at all because I’m confident in my staff and our abilities. I think during my leadership and tenure, I have allowed for us to be the best student journalists possible. I have definitely thoroughly read each article and edited them to the best of my ability. I have always encouraged my writers and staffers to give 110% and do their jobs to the fullest. I believe we are prepared and I’m ready to see what the results are.”
When it comes to the categories such as “Cartoon of the Year,” ASU is pushing an original work by Ronald Martin, the medium’s cartoonist who won first place for “Cartoon of the Year” at the Southeastern Journalism Conference. Everyone is hoping that he will bring another award home.
Graduating senior and design editor Lateef Oloko is submitting some work for the “Design of the Year,” which ASU hopes he will place first in. The three photographers participating in “Photo of the Year” are Liyah Hogan, Esaelyn Cameron, and Lateef Oloko.
The Hornet Tribune will submit about five new stories for the “Story of the Year” category with the authors of the articles vying for first place, including Micah Sanders, University News Editor Brianna McCall, and several others.
On what this potential win could mean for ASU, Dean responded.
“It means that we are nationally ranked for quality,” he said.
Sanders had different thoughts.
“I think that would mean a job well done. This would only be a cherry on top to my accomplishments and it will state that I honestly did my job to the fullest and that I made an impact on The Hornet Tribune’s 143 years of existence.”
According to Sanders, good journalism is storytelling, and the impact of making sure that people can have empathy and also know what’s going on in the world and be informed.
“I think that in this day and age, we’re focused on social media and journalism is trying to transition to that. And so, I say that good journalism allows both parties, baby boomers and generation X, generation Z, and the people after us to all connect at one angle.”
Despite being the oldest Black college newspaper in the nation, Sanders feels that Black publications in America are dying out.
“I feel that us winning a first place award exudes the confidence and professionalism that HBCUs do have. It would also say ‘Hey, don’t count us out. We’re actually here and we’re actually vying for the win.’”
As the summer approaches, along with the June 15 deadline to submit entries, the staff can only hope that their entries will catch the eye of the judges.
“This is a first for us and to be frank, I will be overjoyed if we win a Pacemaker Award and are ranked in the Top 20 college newspapers in America,” Dean said. “However, if we do not win this year, I am sure that we will know exactly what to improve on for next year.”