By CAROL ZIMMERMANN, Catholic News Service | Published July 9, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS)—The Georgia Bulletin, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, was the recipient of 10 Catholic Press Association awards at the 2015 Catholic Media Conference held in June.
The conference, sponsored by the CPA and the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals, was held June 24-26 in Buffalo, New York; some 300 people attended the event, which is held yearly for Catholic media worldwide.
Greg Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor and recipient of the 2015 St. Francis de Sales Award, said members of the Catholic media play a key role in adult faith formation.
“Everyone gives lip service to adult faith formation, but everyone here in the room, we’re the ones actually doing it,” he said at a June 26 luncheon at the Catholic Media Conference where he was presented with the highest award the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada presents to an individual for “outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism.”
Erlandson had high praise for the attendees, noting that in his time talking with many of them during the conference, he realized they wear many hats in their multiple roles of editors, communication directors, webmasters and chief blog writers.
“I’m honored and grateful to be with you and numbered in your tribe,” he told the group.
Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who died April 28 in Albany, was also presented with the CPA’s St. Francis de Sales Award at the Sisters of Mercy motherhouse in Albany March 12.
Sister Walsh, who was the U.S. church correspondent for America magazine, stepped down last summer as director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
At a June 24 dinner at the Buffalo conference, the late Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago was named this year’s winner of the CPA’s Bishop John England Award. The cardinal, who died April 17, was publisher of the Catholic New World, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The England award is named for the Irish-born bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, who founded The Catholic Miscellany in 1822. As publisher of the newspaper, Bishop England defended separation of church and state, saying it was good for both entities. He also espoused freedom of religion. Presented annually, the award recognizes publishers in the Catholic press for the defense of First Amendment rights, such as freedom of the press and freedom of religion.
Georgia Bulletin staff honored with multiple awards
Among the awards received by Bulletin staff were two first-place awards, two second-place awards, three third-place awards and three honorable mentions, presented for work done in 2014. The Georgia Bulletin, with its circulation of about 70,000, competes in the largest category, 40,000 circulation and above.
The entire staff received a first-place award for best seasonal issue with its coverage of the 2014 Eucharistic Congress ((June 27, 2014). Judges said, “The 19th Eucharistic Congress of the Archdiocese of Atlanta seems to have had something for everyone and the Georgia Bulletin made certain it was all covered. Parade, opening Mass, Hispanic dancers and Spanish track, Vietnamese choir and Vietnamese speakers, children, teens, young adults, French speakers in all dialects, speakers who used sign language to get across their message, and even Mother Dolores Hart who became well known for two major accomplishments: kissing Elvis Presley in a movie and then years later renouncing stage and screen by entering a monastery.”
They added, “Writing was excellent and conveyed messages from many speakers. This issue should be a keepsake for those who attended and for those who wished they attended.”
The newspaper’s website, newly redesigned in 2013, received a third-place award for best newspaper website.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory received an honorable mention for best regular column by a bishop or archbishop. Judges noted, “In a straightforward writing style, Archbishop Gregory addresses the issues of gun legislation, violence against women and gays in the church without hesitancy. Headlines clearly indicate each column’s topic. Translation of each column into Spanish is admirable.”
Columnist Lorraine V. Murray earned a third-place award for best regular column—family life. The judges commented, “Murray invites us into her world and helps evoke memories of our own everyday lives and encounters. Everyone who spends time in the kitchen should read her columns, turning the everyday tasks of cooking, baking and cleaning up into times of prayer. The columns are enhanced by the accompanying artwork.”
Staff photographer Michael Alexander received a first-place CPA award for best general news photo for his photo of a man weeping during Communion at the 2014 Eucharistic Congress. He also was honored with a second-place award for best portrait for a March 6, 2014, image of Hannah Foy of Smyrna, then 7 years old and the first child with an intellectual disability to participate in a local basketball program.
Alexander’s work in 2014 was commended with a third-place general excellence award for photography.
Nichole Golden, staff reporter for the Bulletin, received an honorable mention, along with Alexander, for best coverage of a routine, sacramental event, with their May 29, 2014, story, “Women baptized confirmed during Mass celebrated in state prison” following the baptisms and confirmations of women prisoners at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Habersham County.
Andrew Nelson received an honorable mention for best reporting on young adults (age 18-40) with his story, “University of West Georgia students foster their faith at JFK Chapel.” This article, about a small piece of history on the Carrollton campus, appeared in the Dec. 11, 2014, issue.
He also earned a second-place award for best personality profile in the Dec. 23, 2014, issue, “Birthright leader stepping down after 45 years helping women in crisis,” illuminating the work of Terry Weaver. Judges commented, “This story takes you right to the heart of the person it profiles and offers a powerful lens into what motivates her and how she approached her work.”