Published June 4, 2009
The Georgia Bulletin received two national journalism awards at the 2009 Catholic Media Convention.
The newspaper was recognized with a first place and second place award for its reporting in 2008. A first-place award went to the staff at the archdiocesan newspaper for its special seasonal issue, “Eucharistic Congress 2008 – I am the Living Bread.” Staff writer Andrew Nelson received a second-place award for his writing on teenagers.
Some 2,500 entries were submitted for the awards at the annual convention, which brings together members of the Catholic Press Association and the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals—professionals in the fields of Catholic journalism, as well as Catholic communications/public relations directors. Judges from the American Press Institute reviewed the newspaper articles. The awards were given out at the Anaheim, Calif., convention on May 29.
The highest award given by the Catholic Press Association to an individual for “outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism,” called the St. Francis de Sales Award, was given to Karen Franz, editor and general manager of the Catholic Courier in the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y.
The General Excellence award for newspapers with over 40,000 in circulation was won by The Catholic Spirit, in St. Paul, Minn.
The Georgia Bulletin competes with other diocesan newspapers with circulations higher than 40,000.
The newspaper’s first-place entry in the category of best seasonal special issue, “Eucharistic Congress 2008 – I am the Living Bread,” was recognized by the judges for its broad scope.
“This is an exceedingly well done special presentation. Read well and interestingly written look at the 2008 Eucharistic Congress,” noted the judges.
The edition, published on July 3, covered the two-day event in 2008, from the rock concert-like scene with teens to the five bishops who spoke to the crowds. Over 20,000 people attend the celebration each year.
In his story, Nelson profiled Blessed Trinity High School students who visited the StandUp for Kids center before Christmas. The students were regular visitors at the center for homeless young people in southwest Atlanta.
The judges noted the story followed the journalistic dictum: show, not tell. The reporter “puts the readers on the scene and lets them experience the program. Sentences are carefully crafted and quotes well chosen to advance the story. An excellent mix of facts and emotions,” according to the judge.
The top prize of the category was won by the National Catholic Reporter. Titled “Jesus in Your Face,” the story focuses on Justin Fatica, founder of the national Hard as Nails movement and leader of the Syracuse, N.Y., diocese’s Mega Youth Ministry.