The Catholic Courier and El Mensajero Católico recently received a total of 15 awards from the Catholic Press Association for work published during 2012.
The CPA, which represents more than 600 Catholic publications in the United States and Canada, presented the awards during its annual convention in Denver June 19-21.
Catholic Courier awards
* Best Freestanding Online/Multi-Media Presentation of Photo Gallery or Slide Show: First place went to Photo Editor Mike Crupi for his slideshow "Local Catholics reflect on the March For Life." Crupi also won third place for his slideshow "Breakfast with Santa."
* Individual Excellence — Photographer/Artist: First place went to Staff Photographer Tamara Tirado for a body of work from 2012.
"Impressive use of great photographs in a multimedia format — from paper to web," the judges said.
Crupi received an honorable mention in this category.
"Breath-taking photographs!" the judges remarked.
* Best News Writing Originating With the Paper on a Local or Regional Event: Staff Writer Mike Latona received an honorable mention for his June 2012 story about how the Diocese of Rochester has responded to the clergy sexual-abuse crisis during the past decade.
* Best Multiple Picture Package Originating With the Newspaper — News: Crupi won second place for a package of photos on the March for Life that appeared in the February 2012 edition.
"Story is told nicely via photos. Nice variety of shapes, subjects and sizes," the judges said.
* Best Coverage of Religious Liberty Issues — Print: Third place went to Staff Writer Amy Kotlarz for a series of articles from throughout the year.
"Great art always helps great editorial and the Catholic (Courier) trumpets this. Showing its people in action such as in the new ‘Task Force’ helped show the many faces of religion and liberty," the judges remarked.
* Best Local Treatment of the Olympics: Third place went to Latona and Staff Writer Jennifer Burke for a series of stories. Latona’s piece was a roundup of how local Olympians fared in their events, while Burke’s article featured Naples native Meghan Musnicki, who spoke to students at a Geneva Catholic school.
"Great story of Olympian sharing her life with students," the judges said.
El Mensajero awards
* Best Freestanding Online/Multi-Media Presentation of Photo Gallery or Slide Show: Tirado received an honorable mention for her slideshow of students dancing with Rochester Police officers during a Hispanic Heritage Month event.
* Best Personality Profile: Staff Writer Annette Jiménez won third place for her profile of Edwin Rivera, the first Hispanic elected to public office in Rochester.
* Best In-Depth Analysis: Jiménez won first place for her series of stories, "Programa alienta soluciones tranquilas" ("Program encourages peaceful solutions"), about Partners in Restorative Initiatives and Project HOPE.
"A very in-depth piece on how the community can reduce violence. This is the exact definition of analysis in reporting," the judges said.
* Best Lead Article: Jiménez received a third-place award for her article on the Rochester City School District’s program to inform and guide parents on how to be actively engaged in their children’s education.
"A good example of a policy issue that can be reviewed from a religious point of view," the judges said.
* Best Coverage of Immigration: Jiménez won second place for a body of work on the subject.
"Reporter Annette Jimenez integrated gut-wrenching personal anecdotes with thorough, balanced coverage of law enforcement, diplomacy, federal policy, and ministry responses," the judges said. "Four photographers vividly told their own stories. Superb, comprehensive coverage."
* Individual Excellence — Writer: Jiménez won third place for a body of work from 2012.
"Annette Jiménez knows her community well and works hard to provide meaningful coverage," the judges said. "Her article about the Dream Act of May 2012 is impressive because she was able to find people directly affected by the federal proposal regarding undocumented immigrants. She is an efficient and versatile reporter."
* General Excellence Publication: El Mensajero received an honorable mention in this category.
"Informative. This newspaper makes the effort to connect with parishioners in Rochester. This is a newspaper for them, about them and appears to be written by them."
The New York Press Association, a trade organization for the state’s nondaily community newspapers, honored El Mensajero with three awards for work published during 2012.
The awards were presented during the NYPA’s spring convention April 5-6 in Saratoga Springs. The contest was judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association.
El Mensajero won the following awards:
* In-Depth Reporting (Division 3, circulation over 13,000): Jiménez won second place for her stories on immigration issues and the DREAM Act, which granted conditional legal status to law-abiding undocumented teens who would then not be subject to deportation. The stories told of teen Jonathan Cruz, who was picked up for speeding and was at risk of being deported.
Judges said, "A new perspective on an old issue of naturalization, this in-depth report provided not only new insight but also realistic answers to questions about an often misunderstood topic. Intelligently reported and engagingly written. Bien hecho!"
* Feature Photo(s) (Division 3, circulation over 13,000): Crupi won third place for a Halloween photo of students from Rochester School No. 29’s G.E.M. program.
"This spread earns kudos for its enthusiastic and skilled reporting of an average assignment," judges said. "Each photo evokes emotion with spontaneity."
* Best Newspaper Web Site (all circulation divisions): The newspaper’s website, ElMensajeroRochester.com, received third place among all competing nondaily newspapers in the state.
Judges said, "Bold navigation bar makes it easy to find stories by section. Practical contemporary design."