June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018


The Mercury Wins Top College Journalism Award for 2nd Straight Year

Award-winning Mercury staffers. First row, from left: Miriam Percival, Nidhi Gotgi, Pablo Juarez and Saher Aqeel. Second row, from left: Esteban Bustillos, Chad Austin, Bharat Arimilli, Cara Santucci and Bhargav Arimilli.

Award-winning staffers of The Mercury are (first row, from left) Miriam Percival, Nidhi Gotgi, Pablo Juarez and Saher Aqeel; and (second row) Esteban Bustillos, Chad Austin, Bharat Arimilli, Cara Santucci and Bhargav Arimilli.

The UT Dallas student newspaper, The Mercury, has won college journalism’s highest honor, the Newspaper Pacemaker Award, for the second year in a row at the ACP National College Media Convention.

Students from The Mercury and the student opinion magazine AMP attended the convention, held recently in Washington, D.C.

In all, UT Dallas student media groups won a combined 13 awards from two major national college journalism associations — the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association.

Chad Thomas, director of student media, said the awards speak to the quality of students at UT Dallas.

“It’s not easy to produce journalism that’s worthy of recognition on the national stage. I think receiving these honors year after year proves they can set the bar high and continue to meet or exceed that level of expectation,” Thomas said.

Media Honors

  ACP Awards

The Mercury: Newspaper Pacemaker Award, Online Pacemaker Award, Best of Show (four-year, non-weekly newspapers), third place; Comic Panel/Strip (Kevin VanHorn), third place; Illustration (Hamid Shah), third place; Editorial Cartoon (Hamid Shah), fourth place; General News Photo (Chris Lin), eighth place; House Ad Design (Hamid Shah), 10th place. AMP: Best in Show, ninth

                CMA Pinnacle Awards
The Mercury: Best Online Main Page; first place; Best Newspaper Nameplate, third place; Best Newspaper Opinion Page, third place; Best Editorial Illustration (Hamid Shah), third place

Nidhi Gotgi, an accounting senior who is The Mercury’s editor-in-chief, praised the efforts of student staff members in providing comprehensive coverage of the campus and surrounding community.

“Winning the Pacemaker for the second year in a row is a testament to The Mercury staff's drive toward excellence. The team has grown to include some of the most talented, motivated and responsible college journalists in the nation, and our showings at the ACP and CMA conventions are a result of that,” Gotgi said. “I'm so proud to have the opportunity to play a role in shaping this publication and its team, and I hope these awards will further motivate our newer members to push for high quality work.”

The Mercury also received its first Online Pacemaker Award, which recognizes the digital journalism of college media organizations.

Bharat Arimilli, a computer science sophomore and The Mercury’s web editor, helped redesign the newspaper’s website to prioritize featured content and promote the use of more multimedia projects.

“We really focused on improving how we presented our content online,” Arimilli said.

“Today when readers visit our site, they’re immediately drawn in by our stories with immersive photography and unique layouts. Going forward we’re focusing on creating multimedia stories that can engage our readers in new ways. Our new website lays the foundation for us to do that.”

The Mercury also placed third in the Best of Show contest for four-year, less-than-weekly newspapers, while AMP placed ninth in the Best of Show contest for feature magazine.

Eighteen newspapers out of 155 entries received the Newspaper Pacemaker Award; 16 of 137 entries received the Online Pacemaker Award. Pacemaker winners represent the top 1 percent of the country’s college media organizations.

Media Contact: Robin Russell, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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