Student newspaper named among nation's best

SF State's student newspaper, the Golden Gate Xpress, has been named one of the best in the nation by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP).

A photo of awards hanging on the wall of the Xpress newsroom.

Pacemaker awards from previous years hang on the wall in the Xpress newsroom.

The Xpress received the prestigious Pacemaker award at a student newspaper convention Oct. 31 - Nov. 4 in Chicago, the seventh time the newspaper has been given the ACP's highest honor. The publication's web version was also named a finalist for the Online Pacemaker award.

"I was thrilled," said Rachele Kanigel, associate professor of journalism and faculty adviser to the Xpress. "We have won a number of these but we don't win them every year, so every time we do it's a delight."

In addition to the Pacemaker, the Xpress also received a Pinnacle Award from the College Media Association, which co-sponsored the convention with ACP, for an audio slideshow produced by student Elijah Nouvelage about The Lusty Lady, a unionized, worker-owned San Francisco strip club.

Twelve student newspapers, including the Xpress, received a Pacemaker in the "four-year non-daily newspaper" category. Since 1999, the Xpress has received a Pacemaker seven times and has been named a finalist three times. The online edition has been awarded a Pacemaker five times and been named a finalist twice. The newspaper has also received past awards from The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Society for Professional Journalists, the California College Media Association and the California Newspaper Partnership.

The Xpress is an integral part of SF State's journalism program. Students are required to spend two semesters working for a print or online publication, including at least one semester as a member of the Xpress or Xpress Magazine, a separate publication that has print, online and iPad editions. Many students then use the second semester to participate in internships at a professional news outlet, but others remain with the Xpress for an additional semester or two.

"It's a culminating experience," Kanigel said. "Students take what they've learned in their classes and then they go out and do it. They do journalism, covering the campus and the city."

To learn more about the journalism program, visit http://www.journalism.sfsu.edu.

-- Jonathan Morales