CWU News

CWU Student Media Outlets Honored at National Media Conference

Two of CWU’s student media outlets, PULSE Magazine and Central News Watch, won a combined six awards at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention earlier this month. 

PULSE earned a first-place Individual Pacemaker Award, a Pacemaker for its website, and two second-place Pinnacle Awards at the convention, held October 31 to November 3 in Washington, D.C. Central News Watch claimed a second-place honor for its coverage of the Ryan Thompson memorial and a ninth-place award for Best of Show.

PULSE won the top prize for local climate change reporting for its fall 2018 piece titled “Opening the conversation on climate change.” Nikole Chumley, Matthew Conrardy, Lexi Phillips, and Bailee Wicks produced the article, which explored the ways people are combatting climate change and improving sustainability practices in their communities. 

“Climate change isn’t a topic we have covered very often, so to win a first-place national award is pretty prestigious,” said Jennifer Green, the faculty adviser for PULSE. “We want the magazine and website to be entertaining, but we also want them to be informational.” 

The magazine also was recognized with a Pacemaker for its website,, competing against four-year college newspapers, magazines, and websites from around the country. Joining PULSE among the 16 award recipients were publications from the University of Alabama, Duke University, the University of Minnesota, UCLA, and the University of Colorado.

“When you think about a magazine, it’s not just putting words and pictures into print,” Green said. “What the judges are looking for is lots of multimedia — photo galleries, videos, podcasts, virtual reality. Our students know how to think beyond the print publication, and that’s really reflected on our website.”

In addition to winning the two Pacemaker Awards, PULSE earned two Pinnacle Awards for Best Photo Package and Best Magazine Sports Page/Spread.

Central News Watch also had a strong showing at the national convention, taking home a second-place Pinnacle Award from the College Media Association for Best TV Special Event Coverage. The winning video, produced by Daisy Hernandez, covered the memorial service of Kittitas County Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed in the line of duty in March.

“Daisy’s story was phenomenal,” said Terri Reddout, the staff adviser for Central News Watch. “For me, it was the pinnacle of the coverage we had of the entire Thompson story. It wasn’t just one story but a bunch of stories put together. She had an opportunity to show what she could do, and she did it brilliantly.”

The student-run broadcast media organization also took ninth place for Best of Show for reporter Mariah Valles’ story about CWU’s “Run. Hide. Fight.” video. Valles also works as the online and social media editor for The Observer, CWU’s student-run newspaper.

Reddout said Central News Watch has been making a strong impression in the Kittitas County community over the past year. By the end of the 2018-19 school year, News Watch had reached 2,700 “likes” on Facebook — an increase of more than 700 over a five-month period.

“We have increased our viewership a lot over the past year, and I think that’s because our students are realizing that the community is counting on them,” she said. “We call ourselves, ‘your home for local news in Kittitas County,’ and people are beginning to see that we are a legitimate news source.”


Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,