The Et Cetera lands in top 100 of most-awarded college publications

The Et Cetera staff celebrates their Pacemaker Awards during the National Media Convention on Oct. 29, 2017.

The Et Cetera staff celebrates their Pacemaker Awards during the National Media Convention on Oct. 29, 2017.

BY HARRIET RAMOS, Editor in Chief

The Et Cetera, Eastfield’s student media organization, has been named to the Associated Collegiate Press’s Pacemaker 100.

The list, created in honor of ACP’s 100th anniversary, honors the most decorated student news outlets in the country over the past 100 years.

The Pacemaker is the highest award in college journalism and is equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize.

“The Pacemaker really represents the best of the best,” ACP associate director Gary Lundgren said on the ACP website. “It is appropriate that we recognize the rich tradition this award has in collegiate journalism as part of our centennial celebration.”

The Et Cetera received its first Pacemaker in 2011. In total, it has won four Pacemakers for its print newspaper and two for its website. In 2020 it won both in one year.

Skye Seipp, the editor in chief in 2019-20 when The Et Cetera won the double Pacemaker, said excellence in all areas is one key to The Et Cetera’s success.

“We spend a lot of time . . . working on our stories, ensuring that everything’s good,” Seipp said. “Not just the written stories, but also the photos, the videos, the newspaper design and the graphics. We . . . have a lot of passion for the things that we do, and so I think it’s not surprising that we ended up on that list.”

David Silva Ramirez, editor in chief in 2016-17, said the advisers also play a huge role in the paper’s success, but it is a role that often goes unnoticed.

“We’re the ones that get the accolades,” Silva Ramirez said. “We’re the ones that win individual awards and group awards and competitions and stuff, but it’s really the work that they do that shapes who we are.”

Lori Dann, Elizabeth Langton and Sarah Sheldon have advised The Et Cetera over the past decade.

Silva Ramirez said he didn’t feel prepared when he took on the position of editor in chief, but the advisers were there to point him in the right direction. The Et Cetera won the print Pacemaker that year.

“I had their guidance. I had their high expectations,” Silva Ramirez said. “I think that’s the thing that was really crucial, not only to our success as a publication during that time and years after, but also for our development as journalists.”

The Et Cetera has proved to be a training ground for editors who go on to be professional journalists.

“It shows how great our program is,” Seipp said. “And why it’s so important for us to have this newspaper and this resource at Eastfield to be able to teach students the ins and outs of working for a media organization.”

After his stint with The Et Cetera, Seipp interned with the Dallas Free Press and is a journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin.

Silva Ramirez is studying journalism at the University of Texas at Arlington and is interning at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Aria Jones, the editor in chief from 2018-19, has interned for the El Paso Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Texas Tribune. She is studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Et Cetera was awarded its first Pacemaker for website the year Jones was editor in chief.

In spite of the awards The Et Cetera has won, Jones said that is not why student journalists do what they do.

“Awards are not necessarily something that we focus on,” Jones said. “At the end of the day what we’re really trying to do is just serve our community the best we can.”