If you were following our Twitter feed over the weekend, you may have seen that we were positively gushing about the number of awards we took in the Catholic Press Association‘s annual journalism contest. By my count, we had 23 first-, second-, or third-place winners, in everything from news writing to photos and graphics, and both from our staff and from freelancers who make the CNS news report even better.
It serves as a nice reminder to readers that our professionalism is second to none in the Catholic world. And since our primary service is for our publishing clients around the English-speaking world, we’d like to think that we help keep the Catholic press strong when multiple media compete for readers’ attention.
I can’t list everything here — I’d be up all night — but here are a few of the awards won by our staff:
For best news writing on a national event, we took both first and second places. Our first was for our coverage of last year’s U.S. papal trip, and our second was for a collection of stories on the economy (examples here, here and here). Judges said our economy stories amounted to “broad, thoughtful coverage of this issue when it was clearly important but had not yet reached the crisis it has become.”
We had similar success in best news writing on an international event. We took first place for our coverage of the release of a widely anticipated Vatican document on bioethics (examples here, here, here, and here), and third place for stories by stringer Anto Akkara on the horrific violence against Christians in India’s Orissa state (examples here and here).
Our Rome bureau chief, John Thavis, won first place for best personality profile (national newspaper) for his sketch of Pope Benedict XVI in advance of last year’s U.S. papal visit. Judges said the story “proves a strong personality profile doesn’t necessarily require face time with the subject.”
And our Latin America correspondent, Barbara J. Fraser (not to be confused with CNS international editor Barb Fraze), won third place in best feature writing (national) for her story, “In remote corner of Bolivia, a Jesuit legacy of music.”
In a separate category for associate and freelance members of the association, Eastern European correspondent Victor Gaetan won several individual awards for stories he wrote for us. Here is his personality-profile award winner.
Judging was coordinated by the American Press Institute, which promotes excellence in journalism through seminars, fellowships and other programs. Dozens of judges, all professionals in their fields, took part.
Links to some of our award-winning stories: