The ACP Announces Top Student Newspapers:

On October 14, 2021, the ACP named 18 student newspapers from across the nation as “the best of the best.” The ACP’s Pacemaker award—considered the collegiate student-media equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize—is the association’s preeminent award. The Corsair won a second place Newspaper Pacemaker 2021 award for two-year college newspapers, and also won third place in the design/visual print or digital category for Covid-19 coverage.

In addition, Corsair photojournalist Jon Putman won a top individual ACP award: Photo slide show, 1st Place for his visual exposé, “BLM and WLM Face-Off in Huntington Beach.”  

Corsair staff also won honorable mentions for News/Breaking News photo (Jon Putman), Sports Game/Action Photo (Maxim Elramsisy), and Environmental Portrait (Maxim Elramsisy).

2021 Pinnacle Awards from the College Media Association:

The Corsair’s excellence was also recognized by the following 2021 Pinnacle Awards, announced on Friday, Oct. 15 by the College Media Association, “the voice of collegiate media and its advisers” which has more than 700 members nationwide.

Best Newspaper Nameplate: Third Place

Best Breaking News Photo: Second Place (Jon Putman)

Best General News Photo: Third Place (Michael Goldsmith)

LA Press Club’s SoCal Journalism Awards:

On Saturday, Oct. 16, the LA Press Club’s SoCal Journalism Awards saw the Corsair winning second place for Best College Newspaper. The Corsair and its staffers also won the following:

Best News Photo, Third Place (The Corsair staff): “Thousands in LA Protest the Death of George Floyd” (This was an entire body of work submitted).

Best Feature Photo, Second Place (The Corsair staff): “2020 in Review”

“The student journalists at The Corsair saw the pandemic and the shift to an online environment as a challenge they readily accepted,” said Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SMC journalism professor and Corsair adviser. “Their hard work, dedication and commitment to keeping the Santa Monica College community informed was unwavering. The ACP Pacemaker award is well deserved—as are all these other awards—and we couldn’t be prouder of our student journalists and the SMC journalism program. We are building the future of the industry and it looks pretty bright from here!”

The Corsair publishes news of interest to the SMC campus and community, with print editions available on campus every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters, and electronic editions available 24 hours a day at All content for The Corsair is selected and produced by SMC students, with guidance from Burkhart and Blaize-Hopkins.

SMC offers an Associate in Arts for Transfer degree in journalism and an Associate in Arts degree in journalism-multimedia storytelling. Details are available at

Submitted by: Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer