Cal Poly Student Media Wins 46 Awards

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Every platform of Mustang Media Group, the Cal Poly Journalism Department’s student-run media organization, received national recognition last weekend 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, Feb. 28 - March 3, at the Hyatt Regency, in La Jolla, CA, 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. 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,” said Editor-in-Chief Austin Linthicum, a junior majoring in business administration.

Student achievements across 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,” Mustang Media Group general manager, Paul Bittick, said. “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. Editor-in-Chief Linthicum; civil engineering major and Advertising Manager BJ Drye; Social Media Manager Lauren Arendt and PR Director Claire Blachowski, both journalism majors, led sessions at the convention.

    ACP/CMBAM Best of Show Awards:

  • Best Website (first place)

  • Best Print Weekly Newspaper (first place)

  • Best Multimedia Package (first place)

  • Best Broadcast Program (third place)

  • Best In-depth News Special Section (sixth place)  

CMBAM Media Company of the Year:

  • Media Company of the Year (second place)

2018-19 CMBAM Awards:

  • Best Audience Engagement Strategy (first place)

  • Best Sales Strategy of a Special Section (first place)

  • Best Training Program (second place)

  • Best Self-promotional and Marketing Strategy (second place)

  • Best College Media PR/Marketing program (second place)

  • Best Special Event (second place)

  • Best Radio Underwriting (second place)

  • Best Self-promotional Audio Ad (second place)

  • Best Self-promotional Audio Ad (third place)

  • Best College Media Sales Program (third place)

  • Best Digital Sales Strategy (honorable mention)

2018-19 CMBAM Individual Awards:

  • Best Sales Manager, Bianka Pantoja (Arvin, CA) (first place)

  • Best Designer, Shea Irwin (San Diego, CA) (second place)

  • Best PR/Marketing Manager, Claire Blachowski (Orange, CA) (third place)


    2018-19 CCMA Awards:

  • Best Newspaper Website - Large School (first place)

  • Best Online Online Ad Campaign (first place)

  • Best Mobile Site/App (first place)

  • Best Feature Story (first place)

  • Best Multimedia Presentation (first place)

  • Best Photo Illustration (first place)

  • Best Illustration/Cartoon (first place)

  • Best Social Media for Single Event (first place)

  • Best Ad Campaign (first place)

  • Best Newspaper Inside Page/Spread Design (first place)

  • Best Sports Story (second place)

  • Best Online Ad (second place)

  • Best Arts and Entertainment Story (second place)

  • Best Podcast (second place)

  • Best News Video (second place)

  • Best Overall Newspaper Design (second place)

  • Best Advertising Special (second place)

  • Best Color Ad (third place)

  • Best News Photograph (third place)  

  • Best Non-breaking News Story (third place)

  • Best Newspaper (third place)

  • Best Black & White Ad (third place)

  • Best Interactive Graphic (third place)

  • Best Use of Social Media for Single Story (third place)

  • Best Online Infographic (honorable mention)

  • Best Headline Portfolio (honorable mention)    

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

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, Ky, due to California’s travel ban, but accepted the awards at the March 2 presentation in La Jolla, CA.

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.  

About Mustang Media Group

Mustang Media Group is the fully integrated student-run media organization at Cal Poly. When formed in 2013, it became the first program of its kind in the California State University system, bringing the student newspaper, TV studio, radio station, public relations agency, and business operations under one umbrella and providing students with the type of environment that has become standard in today’s media industry.


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