ProspectorNow named finalist for Pacemaker award

Online+editor-in-chief+Caroline+Binley+edits+the+site.++Prospectornow.com+was+announced+as+an+online+Pacemaker+finalist+Wednesday%2C+March+9.+%22quote%22+%28photo+by+Caroline+Binley%29

Online editor-in-chief Caroline Binley edits the site. Prospectornow.com was announced as an online Pacemaker finalist Wednesday, March 9. "quote" (photo by Caroline Binley)

Online editor-in-chief Caroline Binley edits the site.  Prospectornow.com was announced as an online Pacemaker finalist Wednesday, March 9. "quote" (photo by Caroline Binley)
Online editor-in-chief Caroline Binley edits the site. Prospectornow.com was announced as an online Pacemaker finalist Wednesday, March 9. “Even just [being chosen as a finalist] is the biggest deal in the world to me,” Binley said. “I don’t care if we win. I’m happy already. I already feel like a winner.” (photo by Caroline Binley)
By Grace Berry, associate editor-in-chief
Senior Caroline Binley, online editor-in-chief for the Prospector, was sitting in her British Literature class last Wednesday with her phone on her desk. She checked her phone to find her group chat with the other members of the Prospector had blown up.
Senior Lauren Miller, an online staff member, had just texted them a picture of the tweet that announced that prospectornow.com is a finalist for the Pacemaker award, the highest honor given to student journalists.
“I freaked out,” Binley said. “Even just [being chosen as a finalist] is the biggest deal in the world to me. I don’t care if we win. I’m happy already. I already feel like a winner.”
The Prospector has not been a Pacemaker finalist for eight years, and this is the first year ProspectorNow is a finalist for the Online Pacemaker award. The National Scholastic Press Association chose 50 finalists for the Online Pacemaker. The winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Conference in Los Angeles April 14-17.
Binley contributes this success to the hard work she and the online staff put in to improve the website. At the end of last year, they redesigned the layout of the website. They’ve also worked to have better pictures on the website, have frequent coverage of a greater variety, and to take advantage of resources not available to print journalists, like links, videos and unlimited space for photos. The online staff even redid the way they assign breaking news stories for the site in order to get more events covered.
“We tried to change the way we looked at running the website and the importance of the website,” Binley said. “We tried to bring a lot more structure and a lot more content to [the site].”
Senior Alyssa Duetsch, online managing editor, believes Binley has brought the online staff closer together and brought more importance to the website for the entire staff.
“I’m really proud of changing the culture we have about the website. … Generally, that’s been really important for me, having [the website] be a bigger deal within our staff and within our school,” Binley said.
Editor’s note: Thank you to all readers who have supported ProspectorNow both before and after receiving this national recognition.