BSM’s Knight Errant wins prestigious Pacemaker award

Pacemaker+plaques+decorate+the+wall+of+the+Knight+Errant+classroom.

Grace Hansen

Pacemaker plaques decorate the wall of the Knight Errant classroom.

Ava Krueger, Editor

On April 17, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) announced the winners of its highly sought-after Online Pacemaker Award. Benilde-St. Margaret’s own Knight Errant was among 13 news sites across the United States and United Kingdom to receive this honor. This year, a total of 43 sites were selected as finalists––15 more than last year. 

The Online Pacemaker Award recognizes excellence in student-run publications and to receive it is equated to winning journalism’s ‘state tournament.’ Judges select winners based on design, navigation, writing/editing, graphics, and interactivity.

2021 is the twelfth year The Knight Errant has finaled for this award, and the eighth year it’s won. 

This year’s editors-in-chief are seniors Jackie Bucaro and Connor Rahill, who switched out as head of the publication each quarter. Bucaro, who has been with the Knight Errant for three years, is this quarter’s EIC. “I’m super proud of [the award] because I only get to be EIC for one year…and it means a lot that the year I’m in charge is the year that we won it,” Bucaro said. 

Due to the quarter system, it was difficult to gather all the writers together as a full force; however, the staff’s organization skills ensured that the site stayed one of the best in the nation. “We had to split up the class very strangely this year, so we actually had a new group of writers coming in each quarter. Which is crazy to think that… we trained a new set of writers pretty much every two months. So the fact that we won a Pacemaker is pretty amazing,” journalism advisor Ms. Kari Koshiol said. 

There is a lot of incredible communication happening, a lot of good things [getting] published, [and] incredible organization with the editorial staff.”

— Jackie Bucaro

Despite unpredictable bumps in the road, the Knight Errant was able to overcome these obstacles thanks to teamwork and communication. “This year has been super weird; it’s been really hard to coordinate across platforms with a lot of the students at home on Zoom… [but] we still manage to work together really well, and there is a lot of incredible communication happening, a lot of good things [getting] published, [and] incredible organization with the editorial staff,” Bucaro said. 

This year the Knight Errant staff consists of 68 BSM students with various positions as editors, writers, designers, and photographers––each of whom contributed this year’s honor. “Even though we can’t really be the same team we’ve been in other years, the individual work that everyone puts in––even if it’s a little bit more disconnected––still has a big impact on the publication, and has carried us really far,” Bucaro said.