Skip to main content
Society, Arts and Culture

Cal Poly’s Student Media Groups Win 46 Awards at National Conference

A group of students around a table talking and laughing with an advisor in the Mustang Media Group conference room

Accolades Include Best Website and Newspaper in the Country

Every platform of Mustang Media Group, the Cal Poly Journalism Department’s student-run media organization, received national recognition from three of college media’s most distinguished organizations — California College Media Association (CCMA), Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and College Media Business and Advertising Managers (CMBAM).

Cal Poly students returned from a joint CCMA/ACP/CMBAM national conference, held Feb. 28-March 3, at the Hyatt Regency, in La Jolla, California, with 46 awards across multiple categories, including Best Website and Best Print Weekly Newspaper.

“We are thrilled that Mustang Media Group placed in every platform among the top student media in the country,” said Editor-in-Chief Austin Linthicum, a junior majoring in business administration. “From our brand new website and updated newspaper format to social media and business strategy, we are honored to place first in the country and look forward to continuing to innovate in the future.”

Student achievements spanned every channel in Mustang Media Group — Mustang News, KCPR-FM and business entities, including print, mobile, web, social media, broadcast TV, radio, advertising, design, sales, and public relations and marketing — are a testament to the organization’s collaborative integration. 

“Mustang Media Group’s recognition among the best student media in the country reflects the growth and integration of the editorial, advertising, broadcast, and radio branches of the student-run media organization,” said Paul Bittick, Mustang Media Group general manager. “Our hardworking students are the best in the nation and so deserving of these honors.”

For the first time, the national conference brought together both the editorial and business teams in one location. More than 50 Mustang Media Group staff members attended sessions throughout the weekend. Four staff members led sessions: Linthicum; civil engineering major and Advertising Manager BJ Drye; and Social Media Manager Lauren Arendt and PR Director Claire Blachowski, both journalism majors.

Last year, Mustang Media Group received 26 state and national awards in news, advertising, multimedia, design and special editions. Mustang Media Group holds past Online Pacemaker Awards from 2014, 2013, 2010 and 2007. 

ACP’s Pacemaker Awards, collegiate journalism’s preeminent awards, are granted by the Associated Collegiate Press, a national college media association, and have been presented annually since 1927. Mustang Media Group was not able to accept the Pinnacle and Pacemaker Finalist Awards at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, Oct. 25-28, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky, due to California’s travel ban, but accepted the awards at the March 2 presentation in La Jolla. 

Associated Collegiate Press is a national nonprofit member association of collegiate journalism and student media leaders with over 650 members. CMBAM is a national awards competition founded in 1972, focused on business and advertising, and has over 125 member schools nationwide. The California Collegiate Media Association is composed of staff, advisers and supporters of college news media in California.

The state and national awards are presented by ACP, CCMA and CMBAM to the best college media programs and individual work in the country, and allow student work submissions from any college media organization. The organizations recognize outstanding work in advertising, broadcast, design, online media, photo, sports and writing categories, as well as organizational achievement for newspapers, stations, magazines, websites and yearbooks of 2018-19.

Click here for the full list of Mustang Media Group's awards.