Any student-produced college/university newspaper, yearbook, magazine, online publication or broadcast staff can join ACP. Membership is good for one year from the date the membership is received and includes the following benefits:
The Pacemaker Competition
College journalism’s most prestigious and oldest prize for general excellence, first given in 1927, honors those who set the pace, surpassing all others. Entering the Pacemaker (and all of our other contests) is a free and exclusive benefit of ACP membership.
Individual staff members at ACP member publications can compete for national honors in these prestigious contests: Reporter of the Year, Story of the Year, Design of the Year, Photo Excellence, Cartooning and Advertising awards. Some contests include cash or other prizes provided by their co-sponsors.
Reduced Fees for Conventions, Critiques, Contests
Members pay lower registration fees for all ACP conventions and workshops including the fall National College Media Convention. If you send enough students, you can recoup most or all of the membership cost in registration savings.
Best of Show
At all ACP conventions and workshops, members can enter the event’s Best of Show general excellence contest at no cost (nonmembers pay a fee). The Best of Show contest has recently expanded to include online and interactive categories.
Five reasons to join ACP
Learn for less
One membership in ACP allows all of the students on your staff to pay reduced fees at all of our conventions and workshops. By the time you send us a handful of registrations for one event, your membership has already paid for itself.
Prove you’re the best
Submit your newspaper, yearbook, magazine or website in one of our many contests. For general excellence, there’s the Pacemaker, setting the standard since 1927. Individuals can enter stories, photos, cartoons, ads and much more in individual contests. And every convention and workshop has an on-site Best of Show contest. ACP members can participate in all of these contests at no additional cost.
Get the info you need to succeed
Through publications like the Pacemaker book and Model Code of Ethics, your ACP membership brings you the kind of information you need to excel in the world of student media.
Network with pros and peers
At ACP conventions and other meetings, you can meet some of the leading journalists and media professionals from across the country. You can meet your peers from colleges and universities, big and small, public and private. You can also network with them online at ACP’s website. These connections help you solve problems and build for the future.
Build your résumé
Winning an individual award or being on the staff of an award-winning publication looks great on your résumé. Participation in an ACP convention or other meeting can also be listed as a part of your professional training. Add ACP membership and honors to your résumé and get noticed.
The Pacemaker Book
This annual 125-plus-page book has full-color reproductions of pages from all of ACP’s major award winners from the past year. It’s an indispensable guide to what’s recognized as the best work published in the college press, with hundreds of design, coverage, photo and artwork examples.
ACP publishes useful guides for student journalists such as the Model Code of Ethics. Copies are included in your membership packet.
Our website, acp.studentpress.org, is continually updated with news and content useful to our members, including the College Media Matters blog, now sponsored by ACP. Information about activities and deadlines will regularly arrive in member staffs’ email inboxes to avoid missed opportunities. Be sure to list a permanent newsroom email address on the membership form.
Job and Internship Information
Through our new guide to freelancing, our online job board and a career fair at our annual fall convention, members get many opportunities to find out about and compete for jobs and internships.
Press Credentials, Logo, Certificate
Show your pride in membership by using and displaying these items, sent with your membership packet: press credentials in a custom badge holder printed with the ACP logo, a copy of our logo for reprinting in your masthead, and a Certificate of Membership.
Reduced Fees for
ACP offers written critiques for newspapers, yearbooks and feature magazines: a qualified judge will provide in-depth feedback on your published work and rate your publication (All-American through Third Class) according to established standards for college media. Members get reduced rates.
Student networking and participation opportunities
We’re looking at ways for student staffers to take a greater role in participating in the ACP community, particularly via studentpress.org. Through features such as ACP View on Flickr.com, our Facebook fan page and our @acpress Twitter feed, we want to give students the opportunity to share their unique experiences and expertise with their fellow students around the country.
ACP Hall of Fame
Consistent award winners can qualify for induction into the ACP Hall of Fame. Inductees receive a commemorative plaque and are added to a composite plaques on display at ACP’s national headquarters. More details at our website.
ACP Critique Service
ACP offers written critiques for newspapers, yearbooks and feature magazines: a qualified judge will provide in-depth feedback on your published work and rate your publication (All-American through Third Class) according to established standards for college media. Members get reduced rates. To request an ACP critique, download the entry form and submit it with your publications as specified on the form.
A critique entry consists of, for newspapers, 6 issues; for yearbooks, 1 yearbook, and for literary or feature or news-feature magazines, 1 or 2 issues.
The cost of a written critique is $99 for ACP members and $199 for non-members. Critiques may be requested at any time of the year.