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Catholic Press Association honors NCR with eight first-place awards

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National Catholic Reporter was honored with eight first-place awards during the 2013 Catholic Media Conference in Denver, hosted June 19-21 by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

NCR won second place for general excellence for national newspapers, breaking a 13-year streak of first-place awards in this category. First place went to The Catholic Register of Toronto, and third place to Our Sunday Visitor.

NCR’s “Opinion & Arts” section won first place for editorial section. The judges said it had “Clean layout. Great art. Slick topography. Careful ‘Less is more’ color. Best use of open space & ‘breathing room’ in the competition. Even the ads look good.”

NCR also took first, second and third places for Best Editorial for national newspapers. The editorials were, in order: “Evangelization requires bishops’ self-examination,” “Vigilance on sex abuse must continue,” and “NCR endorses call for a new sexual ethic,” which the judges said had “new angles on age-old issues.”

NCRonline.org, the newspaper’s website, won first place for best group blog, “NCR Today,” and first, second and third for the online columns written, respectively, by John L. Allen Jr., Jamie Manson and Michael Sean Winters.

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West Coast correspondent Dan Morris-Young won first place for Best Investigative Reporting for his two-part examination of the Cardinal Newman Society and its watchdog role for Catholic identity in higher education. Staff writer Brian Roewe won third place for reporting on the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, “Gay ministry group refuses to sign oath.”

First place for Best In-Depth News/Special Reporting, the Gerald E. Sherry Award, went to NCR contributor Melinda Henneberger for her exposé on sexual assault at the University of Notre Dame, “Sexual assault on campus: Lizzy’s ordeal.”

Film critic Sr. Rose Pacatte won first place for Best Column on Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Pat Marrin dominated the Best Use of Art or Graphics category, winning first and third places for his drawings “Getting young Catholic couples to a Catholic altar” and “We have the pillars, but the building is still unfinished,” which illustrated the closing essay of NCR’s special edition for the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

The full list of Catholic media awards, including books and magazines is available on the Catholic Press Association website: www.catholicpress.org

Below are the listings for NCR winners with judges' comments:

A08b BEST ONLINE BLOG - Publication

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "NCR Today” by Staff and Contributors
Wide variety of articles generate lively commentary. Helpful links encourage the reader to explore deeper into subjects of interest.
 

A08c BEST ONLINE BLOG - Individual

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "All Things Catholic” by John L. Allen Jr.
Careful consideration, goes deep raises level of conversation on topics of interest to Catholics and all thoughtful people.

Second Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Grace on the Margins” by Jamie Manson
In-depth reporting on topics that deserve our attention.

Third Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Distinctly Catholic” by Michael Sean Winters
Lively subjects and writing stimulates reader discussion.

N04a BEST INVESTIGATIVE NEWS WRITING

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Group takes on watchdog role for Catholic identity," "Society takes part of 'faithful families'"” by Dan Morris-Young
Very thorough examination of an important topic. Placed issue in context via use of specific examples and records. Well done.
 
Third Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Gay ministry group refuses to sign oath"” by Brian Roewe
Another solid job. Nice work.

N05 BEST IN-DEPTH NEWS/SPECIAL REPORTING

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Sexual assault on campus: Lizzy's ordeal," "A look at an intractable problem"” by Melinda Henneberger
Hands-down winner. Deeply reported, thoughtfully written piece about a sensitive topic and a powerful institution. Took on a tough task and was more than up to it.

Honorable Mention
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""The 'irresistable attractions' of drones," "Drones have decades-long history"” by Tom Roberts
Strong and clear writing on an important topic.

N07d  BEST EDITORIAL - NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL - National newspaper

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Evangelization requires bishops' self-examination” by NCR editors
A well-organized stack of clear pertinent points; relevant to all, indicting to none. Timely & important. A forward-thinking vantage; well-conceived, concise & eloquent. Smooth writing pushed it over the top.

Second Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Vigilance on sex abuse must continue” by NCR editors
Great sources & statistics. Strong narrative thread. A beautiful summation of decades of happenings; painted from a single, clear vantage.

Third Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "NCR endorses call for a new sexual ethic” by NCR editors
New angles on age-old issues. Good sources. Careful, thoughtful development & precise, clean, clear writing.

N08 BEST EDITORIAL PAGE OR EDITORIAL SECTION

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Opinion & Arts section” by Staff and Contributors
Clean layout. Great art. Slick topography. Careful 'Less is more' color. Best use of open space & 'breathing room' in the competition. Even the ads look good.

N09d  BEST FEATURE WRITING - National newspaper

Third Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""New priest discord floods island parish"” by Brian Roewe
An unflinching and well documented look at discord from all sides. Author gives everyone a chance to speak out in a readable and edgy way. Once all sides have spoken, readers can decide for themselves. That's the mark of a well rounded story.

Honorable Mention
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Deported wife's absence shadowed ordination"” by Eloisa Perez-Lozano
The immigration issue through one family reminds readers of the human side of what at times can be an inhumane debate. Family plight is nicely documented.

N10d  BEST PERSONALITY PROFILE - National newspaper

Second Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Gay senator remains rooted in faith"” by Julie Gunter
This article manages to report on a difficult negotiation between a gay man's identity and his desire to belong to the church in a non-judgmental way.

Third Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""A life of jumping in with both feet"” by Alice Popovici
This article showcases how a courageous woman's question about who she is led to a life of joy and fulfillment.

N11a BEST REGULAR COLUMN - Culture- the arts and leisure

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Bows, arrows and a sword: Girls rock this year on film," "Cinema's independent summer road trip," "The media's part in a culture of guns"” by Rose Pacatte
Nice mix of columns and commentary. The guns column made some very thoughtful and probably unpopular points in an effective way.

N11d BEST REGULAR COLUMN - General Commentary

Honorable Mention
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Advanced ways to cheat are still plain old wrong," "Former death row inmate seeks justice and an apology," "Post-election, we are still divided, in need of healing"” by Heidi Schlumpf
Death row piece is the very essence of good story telling. High-quality in-depth reporting. Very detailed & nuanced writing.

N11e  BEST REGULAR COLUMN - Family Life

Honorable Mention
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""At last, she is ready to go," "Around the deathbed and the birth bed," "The too-much-information age"” by Melissa Musick Nussbaum
Beautiful reflection on mothers and passing.

N16b BEST USE OF ART OR GRAPHICS - Best original illustration

First Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Getting young Catholic couples to a Catholic altar"” by Pat Marrin
Wonderful artwork giving a sense of the "hurdles" facing both couples and the church and a need for action.

Third Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "We have the pillars, but the building is still unfinished" by Pat Marrin
Artwork provides a great sense of the need for more work in order to reach completion/goals.

N18b -- BEST ONE-TIME SPECIAL ISSUE

Second Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965: A church reborn” by Staff and Contributors
A very thoughtful and thorough job. Very well put together piece of journalism.

N25 BEST COVERAGE OF THE ELECTION AND FORMING CONSCIENCE

Second Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, ""Retail politics not what they once were in NH," "Races for Congress feel super PAC influence," "Rise of a 'Catholic Billy Graham'?"” by Michael Sean Winters, Brian Roewe
This piece weaves in creative narratives to tell the story of the election season, complete with excellent photography.

N32d -- GENERAL EXCELLENCE - National newspaper

Second Place
National Catholic Reporter, Kansas City, MO, "National Catholic Reporter” by Staff and Contributors
Catchy headlines draw readers into insightful, sometimes provocative stories grounded in solid reporting. Open front page bring freshness and appeal with strong photo selection. Editorials take on the pressing and challenging issues facing the Church.
 

A version of this story appeared in the July 5-8, 2013 print issue under the headline: Catholic Press Association honors NCR with eight first-place awards .

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