Published June 23, 2016
ST. LOUIS—The Georgia Bulletin staff earned seven awards at the 2016 Catholic Media Conference for its coverage of the archdiocesan Catholic community, with one additional award for multimedia specialist and videographer Allen Kinzly, of the archdiocesan Communications Department.
Awards for writing, graphics
From the Georgia Bulletin staff, reporters Nichole Golden and Andrew Nelson earned a second-place award apiece.
Golden won second place in the category of best coverage of a sacramental event by diocesan newspapers with a circulation over 25,000. Her article, “Deaf child receives first Communion after first full ASL preparation,” appeared in the Sept. 4, 2015, issue of the Georgia Bulletin. She told the story of Alex Mullican and how his faith community at St. Gerard Majella Church, Fort Oglethorpe, embraced him by sharing the faith in American Sign Language. Alex, a third-grader at the Georgia School for the Deaf, in Cave Spring, celebrated his first Communion in the spring of 2015. He is the first child to be assisted throughout the entire sacramental preparation for first Communion by the archdiocesan Office of Deaf Services. The parishioners have included Alex in the life of the church with the pastor, Father Bill Williams, making sure Alex takes his place among the altar servers.
The judges said of the story, “A well-written article that explores not only a family’s story but also weaves in details about deaf services in the Church. Excellent job conveying both messages in an interesting narrative that was easy to read.”
The story about a Holocaust survivor speaking at St. Ann Church, Marietta, written by Andrew Nelson, tied for the second-place award in the category of best news writing on a local or regional event for diocesan newspapers with a circulation over 25,000.
“Marietta parish, synagogue come together for Holocaust remembrance service,” published April 30, 2015, was one in a series of stories by the Georgia Bulletin on the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Council document “Nostra Aetate,” which reset the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish community.
Believers of the Catholic faith and the Jewish faith crowded the church to hear from Hershel Greenblat, as he shared his family’s story, from the Jewish ghettos of Poland and his birthplace in a network of caves called “Priest’s grotto” in western Ukraine to a photo of his college-age grandchildren smiling on a couch.
The judges said, “Well-written story with background on both the event itself and the historical foundations that led to it.”
David King, Ph.D., writes a monthly column for the Georgia Bulletin on Catholic books, movies, art and music of the 20th century. His insights earned him a third place in the category of best regular column on culture, the arts, and leisure. The category was open to columnists both in national and diocesan publications. One of the judges noted, “Enjoyed this package because it was unexpected and not recent releases. Learned a lot about ‘Rear Window’ and it made me want to see it again, for instance.”
Another third place earned for the best chart or information graphic was a collaboration between Georgia Bulletin photographer Michael Alexander and staff designer Tom Schulte. The two created a “Lent by the Numbers” graphic. “Eye-catching infographic and interesting /creative use of fonts and graphic elements,” said the judge’s report.
In the category of best seasonal issue, the staff coverage of the 20th annual Eucharistic Congress received an honorable mention.
Three honorable mentions were awarded to individuals for their work all year: Golden for individual excellence as a writer; Alexander for individual excellence as a photographer; and Kinzly for individual excellence as a videographer.
The St. Louis conference, held June 1-3, for members of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada offered workshops, speakers and networking for the several hundred who attended. Among the speakers was Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington, Vermont, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Communications. He told attendees that every news story, video, blog post, tweet, email or response to an online comment can “become an opportunity to manifest God’s love.”
He also reminded the group that the world they are writing in is constantly changing and is shifting to one that is largely non-religious and secular.
“We are now missionaries,” he said, which should influence writing, podcasts, videos and blog posts because these forms of communication might be bringing people the Gospel message for the first time.
“And here is something more to consider,” he said. “One cannot give what one does not have.” In order to help others know Jesus, he said, “We must first know him ourselves.”