The Cluster/MercerCluster.com is the leading news source for Mercer University and surrounding communities. It is named after a book of songs penned by University founder Jesse Mercer in 1810. The Cluster has been published as a bi-weekly since 1920. The paper currently has a print circulation of around 1,500 copies, which are distributed freely throughout Mercer’s campus and downtown Macon businesses.
While The Cluster is subsidized by Mercer’s Board of Appropriations, it retains strict editorial autonomy as a student publication under the University’s bylaws. Its newsroom is located on the top floor of the Connell Student Center on Mercer’s Macon campus.
The newspaper has won numerous student journalism awards over the years, most recently taking home four first place awards from the Georgia College Press Association, including the award for Best Layout and Design and Best College Newspaper Site. Its former writers include notables such as longtime publisher Jack Tarver, attorney and author Robert Steed, former U.S. Attorney General Griffin B. Bell and Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor J. Reginald “Reg” Murphy.
The Cluster’s current editor-in-chief is Katherine Manson, and its online editor is Jessica Walker. The newspaper’s digital edition – MercerCluster.com – was officially launched in February 2011.