Student newspaper earns prestigious award

Student newspaper earns prestigious award The Volante, The University of South Dakota's student newspaper since 1887, received a national Pacemaker award in early November.

The Pacemaker, which was given to 23 college newspapers, is often referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism. Editor in chief Michael Klinski and managing editor Dana Gross Rhode accepted the award at a college media convention in Dallas.

The Volante submitted five newspapers for Pacemaker consideration. All of the newspapers spanned the 2002-03 school year.

In the fall of 2002, The Volante displayed their new redesign, which was created by then editor in chief Jon Benedict. Klinski said it was instrumental in the paper winning the prestigious award.

"It gave our paper a more professional look," Klinski said of the redesign, which emphasized white space and larger photos. "When our front page is on the racks, I think we could be put in the same class as some top daily papers, not to mention college papers."

The Volante has received the award two times in the past, including 1992-93 and 1997-98. They have also been a finalist five other times.

"A lot has changed in the past two years," Klinski said. "We are all digital now, and our photography is leaps ahead of where we use to be. Our writing is more crisp and we have a better sense of what is news."

This past fall, The Volante relocated to its current location in the Al Neuharth Media Center. It used to operate out of the Coyote Student Center. The award-winning paper publishes every week during the school year and circulates 6,000 copies around the school and to Vermillion businesses.

The Volante, which covers campus news, sports and entertainment, employs over 50 students, including reporters, photographers and ad representatives. The Volante has produced successful journalists in the past; including USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth.

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