Catholic Press Association names NCR first in general excellence

New Orleans, La. -- National Catholic Reporter was honored with the Catholic Press Association’s award for “general excellence” June 4. It is the 11th consecutive year NCR has won the Press Association’s highest award for a national Catholic newspaper.

The contest judges – from the American Press Institute – said, "The National Catholic Reporter combines vibrant layouts with sharp writing and analysis, both by its own staff and also contributors."

The awards were announced during the Catholic Media Convention in New Orleans.

The judges' statement continued:

Particularly noteworthy is the reporting of Heidi Schlumpf, who covered Notre Dame's commencement with President Obama. I was on campus that day. Ms. Schlumpf does an outstanding job of giving readers an eyewitness report not only of the speech, but of all the activity on campus that day, including reactions from noteworthy as well as man-in-the-street voices. NCR gave the event further context by asking four prominent U.S. Catholic commentators, representing differing viewpoints with the church to evaluate the proceedings. NCR's coverage of the Notre Dame commencement isn't the only example of in-depth, balanced reporting. Another is John Allen's article and interview with Miguel Diaz, new US ambassador to the Vatican, with an analysis of Diaz by the past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians. Others are NCR's coverage of the Vatican's examination of agricultural genetically-modified organisms and their effect on world food supply and its emerging church series focusing on how the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, is dealing with demographic change.

No newspapers were named for second place and third place in this category. Honorable mentions were given to Catholic Health World, of St. Louis, Mo., and to The Catholic Register of Toronto, Canada.

Other awards earned by NCR are:

First Place – Best Editorial National or International Issue, National Newspaper. "Pastor's Effort Merits Support," by National Catholic Reporter Editors.

First Place – Best regular column general commentary: Jamie Manson for the columns "The grace of living on the margins," "Why I still call myself Catholic," and "Wisdom hidden from the wise."

First Place – Best Analysis/Background. The Emerging Church Series by Tom Roberts, NCR editor at large.

Second Place -- best use of art or graphics: "10 things the church should know about seniors" by Toni-Ann Ortiz, NCR's layout chief and design artist.

Second Place – Best Editorial Page or Section -- Opinion and Arts Section. Contributors were Pat Marrin, Jeanette Cooperman, Thomas J. Reese, Michael Lerner, Nicholas Cafardi and Jamie Manson.

Third Place – Best editorial National or International Issue, National Newspaper. The right to health care, by National Catholic Reporter Editors

Third Place – Best regular column: Culture, arts and leisure by Sr. Rose Pacatte

Also to note:

  1. NCR contributor Heidi Schlmupf won honorable mention in the Family Life Books category for her book While We Were Waiting.

  2. Second Place in the category Spirituality – Books – soft cover, was "The Essential Writings of Daniel Berrigan," edited by Fr. John Dear, an NCR online columnist.

  3. Sr. Rose Pacatte, NCR media critic, won a Second Place Award for Best Review Section for her column "Eye on Entertainment" in St. Anthony Messenger.

The Catholic Media Convention is for members of the Catholic Press Association and the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals. They met in New Orleans June 2-4.

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