The 43 newspapers represent 21 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada. In all, 150 student newspapers entered the Pacemaker competition. Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging and studied every entry, discussing its strengths and weaknesses. When the process was finished, the 43 Pacemaker finalists were named. From that group, 23 will earn the Pacemaker award placing those newspapers in the top 15 percent.
Former editor, Caity Coyne said, "“It is great to be recognized for all the hard work we put in last year, and to see The DA named among the top student voices in the country. We tried a lot of new things with The DA last year as we began the process of redefining what it means to be WVU’s student news source. This wouldn’t have been possible without the entire staff and I am happy I got to work with such talented and dedicated people. I’m confident we all can’t wait to see what is next for The Daily Athenaeum.”