The Catholic Courier and its Spanish-language sister publication, El Mensajero Catolico, recently earned 12 awards from the Catholic Press Association for work published during 2008.
The newspapers’ general manager, Karen Franz, also received the association’s highest individual honor, the St. Francis deSales Award.
The CPA, which represents more than 600 Catholic publications in the United States and Canada, presented the awards May 30 during its annual convention in Anaheim, Calif. Judging was conducted by the American Press Institute.
* General Excellence — 40,000+: Second place. The General Excellence award is judged on the basis of three consecutive issues which are rated on a number of criteria including news content, story range and writing quality, photography and graphic design. Due to its large subscriber base, the Courier — which submitted its July, August and September issues — competes in the association’s largest circulation bracket against the Catholic newspapers of several major metropolitan areas.
“The Catholic Courier is journalistically very sound with obvious dedication to examining important topics in-depth,” the judges stated. “Sections on health, schools and family were thorough and compelling. Excellent photography; some of the best I’ve seen in any newspaper. A strong second place.”
* Sports Photo: First place went to Staff Photographer Tamara Tirado for her photo of Bishop Kearney High School cheerleaders taking part in the Greater Rochester Cheerleading and Dance Championship. The photo was published in the March edition.
“Judges felt this was a nice moment, with clean composition. Also has a sense of humor about it with the repeated smiling faces and open mouths. Clearly the best shot in the competition,” the judges wrote.
* Best Multiple-Picture Package — Feature: Photo Editor Mike Crupi won first place for a photo package of saint statues that appeared in the January issue along with a story about the prominence of saints in the Catholic Church.
“This series of photos takes something extremely familiar and renders it unusual, arresting and evocative,” judges wrote. “The content everyday nature of the subject — statues of saints — is transformed through the photographer’s choice of viewpoint and framing.”
* Best One-Shot Special Issue: The Courier staff won second place for a special Faith & Family section from September that was dedicated to volunteering.
“Catholic Courier’s Faith & Family edition provides a crisp and clean presentation of the people who exercise their faith by volunteering,” the judges wrote. “The stories and photos help readers get to know the subjects in each article in the section.”
* Best Portrait: Second place went to Crupi for his portrait of local artist Stanley Gordon that appeared in the April edition.
“Good colors and composition, but try more creative approaches when working with a creative subject. Don’t just place them with their art,” the judges wrote.
* Individual Excellence — Photographer: Crupi was awarded third place in this category.
* Best Seasonal Issue: The Courier staff garnered third place for its March Lent/Spirit Alive! issue.
“An excellent look at what it takes to keep faith alive and well in these troubling times, nicely told through real people examples,” the judges wrote.
* Best Scenic, Still Life or Weather Photo: Honorable mention went to Crupi for a photo from the January edition depicting statutes at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
El Mensajero awards
El Mensajero awards
* Best Newswriting — Local or Regional: First place went to Staff Writer Annette Jim√©nez for “Grupo de vigilancia buscal justicia para los trabajadores migrantes” (“Church Watch group seeks justice for migrants”), which was published in October.
“The article succeeds in analyzing the thorny issue of illegal immigration without resorting to blanket statements, and carefully considering various points of view,” the judges wrote. “The quotes from John Ghertner are very powerful, focusing mostly on legality and rights. The piece ends with a poignant call to action.”
* Best In-Depth Analysis: Jim√©nez was awarded first place for “Familia considera tratamiento para el Parkinson una bendici√≥n” (“Family views Parkinson’s treatment as a blessing), which was published in May.
“The article insightfully combines elements of both faith and science to create a compelling portrait. The result is a piece that both inspires and informs, maintaining the reader connected to the rousing story of the featured individual and the latest breakthroughs in medical treatment,” the judges said.
* Individual Excellence — Writer/Editor: Jim√©nez won first place in this category.
“This reporter showed excellent enterprise reporting skills in her body of work,” the judges wrote. “She tacked Parkinson’s disease, writing clear explanatory paragraphs in a heart-felt story about a musician stricken at a young age. She also thoroughly reported on immigration and border patrol agents intimidating parishioners from attending church services. Her stories were multifaceted, good reads.”
* Best Multiple-Picture Package — Feature: Honorable mention went to Crupi for “Festival celebra la cultura puertorrique√±a” (Festival celebrates Puerto Rican culture), which was published in June.
Courier wins four awards from NYPA
In April, the Catholic Courier won four awards from the New York Press Association for work published during 2008.
The NYPA, a trade organization representing the state’s nondaily community newspapers, presented the awards April 3-4 during its annual convention in Saratoga Springs.
The Courier won the following awards:
* The Richard L. Stein Award for Overall Design Excellence (Division II, 9,001-plus circulation): First place. The award is judged on two complete editions — one from a month the NYPA specifies, and one from any other month — which are rated on a number of criteria including page and advertising design, typography, and photography and graphics. The Courier‘s April (required) and August editions were submitted.
“Nice stock (paper), clean design, great color reproduction, good use of color, easy to read, creative side folios — this paper has it all!” the judges wrote.
* Best Front Page (Division II, 9,001-plus circulation): Second place. The award is judged on the front pages from three editions — including one from a month that NYPA specifies — which are rated on such criteria as makeup design, typography, effective use of photography, story placement and writing, and headline quality. The front pages of the Courier‘s March (required), January and July editions were submitted.
“One prominent story on the front page along with a colorful picture. The left side table of contents gives an indication of what to expect inside,” the judges wrote.
* Best Use of Color: Second place. The award is judged on two full editions — one from a month that NYPA specifies — which are rated on criteria that involves a blend of editorial, advertising and/or promotional color use. The Courier‘s December (required) and July editions were submitted.
“Inside photos are vibrant and full of color. Great use of color in promotional ads as well. Many advertisers also incorporated color into their ads making them more powerful visually,” the judges wrote.
*Best Coverage of Education (Division IV, over 8,000 circulation): Third place. Judging was based on two full editions; the Courier submitted its February and August issues.
“Copious updates on school programs and staff. Lots of good features and enterprise reporting as well,” the judges wrote.
This story was updated on June 19, 2009.