The Catholic Courier received a total of 17 awards from national and state press associations this spring for work published during 2004.
The Catholic Press Association presented the Courier with 11 awards May 27 during its annual convention in Orlando, Fla. CPA represents more than 600 newspapers, magazines and newsletters throughout the United States and Canada, with total readership of more than 26 million.
The Courier received six awards — including three first-place honors — during the annual convention of the New York Press Association in Albany April 8-9.
The Courier also ranked fifth among all of New York state’s “single-flag newspapers” (those not owned by publishing chains) for total points earned in the NYPA awards competition. NYPA represents primarily secular, non-daily newspapers throughout the state.
The awards received were as follows:
Catholic Press Association Awards:
Best Photo Story: First place went to Staff Photographer Mike Crupi’s layout “Family past told in glass” in the April monthly edition. The layout told the story of Pike Stained Glass Studios, a family-run business that restored the windows of the renovated Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester and many other area churches.
The judges wrote: “This package of artful photography captures the spirit of the story — the stained glass windows are both works of art and works in progress,” judges observed. “The photographer has a good eye for detail, from the dominant photo of the worker to the close-up look at the bits of glass … Crupi exhibits technical mastery and an innate sense of lighting.”
Best Web Site — Newspaper: Second place. “This site has a clean, basic layout and navigation structure,” judges remarked. “It’s well organized, with news briefs that jump (continue) to secondary pages. Lots of good content in the Features section; we especially liked the Kids’ Chronicle and Parenting sections.”
Best Feature Photo: Second place. Judges described the image accompanying the story “Heritage residents enjoy the Mass” in the April monthly as “an emotion-laden photo.”
“The power of this image stays with you and evokes a strong response,” judges wrote. “Good use of wide-angle lens, tight cropping. The photographer got close enough to the subject to let us see the determination of the faithful developmentally disabled parishioners and captured a photo deserving of recognition.”
Best Local Retail Campaign: Second place for a series of advertisements created by staff designer Linda Jeanne Rivers on behalf of Stella Maris Retreat Center.
“Colorful, seasonal themes, along with precise copy go a long way to promoting a retreat and renewal center,” judges said.
Individual Excellence — Photographer/Artist: Third place for Crupi. “Crupi captures the moment,” judges observed. “His photographic eye comes alive in illustrating the story.”
Best Headline: Third place for “Blanket ministry hopes to spread,” (Southern Tier weekly edition, June 19/20) by Staff Writer Mike Latona. Judges called it “a sweet, simple headline that highlights a beautiful service to those in need.”
Best Example of Effective Advertising Promotion: Third place for the Courier’s efforts to promote the newspaper’s April relaunch as a hybrid monthly-weekly-Web publication with nearly tripled circulation. Judges cited this “comprehensive promotional campaign” for its use of new media kits, direct-mail programs and house ads, and for the resulting 75-percent increase in advertising sales.
Best Reporting on Teenagers: Honorable mention for Latona’s story “Holocaust horrors strike teen deeply” (April monthly edition), the story of a Bishop Kearney High School student whose grandparents survived the death camps while other Jewish relatives perished.
Best Portrait: Honorable mention to Crupi for a photo of Franciscan Father Austin Budnick wading through high grass along the Padua Ridge in Watkins Glen. The image appeared in the Southern Tier weekly edition on June 12/13.
Best Use of Syndicated or Wire-Service Art or Graphics: Honorable mention for the Advent graphic Rivers created for the Courier’s December monthly issue.
Best Sports Photo: Honorable mention for Crupi’s March 11 photo of DeSales guard Matt Higgins lunging for a loose ball at the feet of Whitesville forward Drew Heisey during the March 6 Section 5 Class D boys’ basketball final at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.
New York Press Association Awards:
Best Coverage of Religion — Division 1: First place. “Phenomenal publication for a single denomination to produce,” judges remarked. “Several fascinating stories that appeal to non-Catholics as well. Residents of this Diocese should be proud of this paper’s courage in reporting on celibacy, sex abuse and the perspectives of other faiths. A national standout!”
Best Special Holiday Edition: First place. Judges cited the Courier’s Easter edition for “crisp, clear, easily read layout that’s not cluttered. Interesting articles, great corresponding photos. This section is informative enough that even a non-Catholic is interested. Caught myself reading several stories. VERY nice ads and beautiful color.”
Best Newspaper Image Promotion: First place. Judges cited the “very thorough program for the re-launch (of the monthly, weekly and Web editions). I liked multiple promo pieces in concept and design. It appears a lot of planning went into project.”
Best Use of Color: Second place. Judges said the Courier had “far and away the most and best inside color — very close to first place overall — strong photos — good use of color in ads — good spot color. Excellent job.”
Overall Design Excellence — Division 2 (Tabloid): Third place. “Very nice layout,” judges observed. “Pictures taken by your staff were very good and used well. Nice use of color. Overall layout of editions very nice.”
Best Large-space Ad — Division 4: Third place. Judges said the full-page ad for St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry “jumped into third place probably based on excellent use of white space. Photos also added to the attractiveness. Good blend of type styles.”