Published July 6, 2017
ATLANTA—The Georgia Bulletin and the archdiocesan Office of Communications were honored with 14 awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada at the 2017 Catholic Media Conference. The conference was held in Québec City June 20-23, in conjunction with the Signis World Congress. Signis met June 19-22, drawing members of the international association of Catholic communicators. The Catholic Media Conference convened June 20-23 for members of the Catholic Press Association.
Director Martin Scorsese was a featured speaker June 21 at the joint session between the two organizations. The director of “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Silence” told representatives of the Catholic media that faith and films have been lifelong obsessions, which he said have given him moments of peace amid turmoil, but also challenges and frustrations that, in hindsight, he will accept as lessons in humility.
The groups presented him with a lifetime achievement award for excellence in filmmaking.
Newspaper of the year award
At the June 23 awards banquet that closed the conference, the Georgia Bulletin and the Office of Communications received 14 awards, some for collaborative projects between the newspaper and the communications office.
The Georgia Bulletin was honored with a second-place award for newspaper of the year (non-weekly, circulation 25,001 or more), the first time the newspaper has placed in this category. In their comments accompanying the award, the judges said, “Full of stories written with passion. Oversized photos enhance each page and make the reader experience much stronger. Beautifully designed. Sections that appeal to a variety of readers.”
Allen Kinzly, videographer for the archdiocesan Office of Communications, received a first-place award for his news video, “UGA Action Plan in Response to Laudato Si,’” and a second-place award for his feature video, “Central Night Shelter – Living Out the Year of Mercy.” The judges commented on his Laudato Si’ project, “Great message, excellent content construction, competent video production in all respects.” He also received an honorable mention as videographer/video producer of the year.
Georgia Bulletin columnist Lorraine V. Murray received a first-place award for her regular columns on family life. Judges noted, “Excellent writing. Concise and compelling. A nice balance between spiritual topics with personal context.”
The Georgia Bulletin staff received a third-place award for best seasonal issue for their special issue, “Eucharistic Congress 2016: The Heart of Mercy.” Notes from the judges touched on the purpose of the issue, “Another all encompassing look at the Eucharistic Congress with broad overviews combined with messages by and for specific audiences like the Spanish speaking, Vietnamese, young adults, the deaf and children. Coverage refreshes the memory of those who attended and brings the events home to those who didn’t.”
Kinzly, Georgia Bulletin staff reporter Andrew Nelson and Georgia Bulletin staff photographer Michael Alexander earned a first-place award for best multimedia news package for their story, “Detainee families find comfort and support at El Refugio.”
The El Refugio story, which described the work of a Christian hospitality house near Fort Stewart for families of undocumented immigrants held at the nearby detention center, also brought an honorable mention to these three reporters and graphic designer Tom Schulte, for best in-depth news/special reporting.
Nelson also won a first-place award in best reporting of social justice issues, on the life and dignity of the human person, for the El Refugio article. This award, new this year, honored the writing. Judges said, “Families of undocumented immigrants who have been detained may drive hundreds of miles for a one-hour weekly visit. The volunteers of El Refugio, a Christian hospitality house in Georgia, give them a respite from their journey. With memorable description and moving anecdotes, this piece shares the stories of the families of the detained men and those who ease their burdens.”
Staff reporter Nichole Golden earned a first-place award for best investigative/analysis news writing: best analysis/background/round-up news writing: The Gerard E. Sherry Award for Diocesan Newspapers for a series of articles on refugees in the Atlanta Archdiocese. Articles included: “Deacons from archdiocese view refugee crisis in Greece”; “Plight of refugees touches hearts at Holy Trinity Church”; and “Many hands build support for Myanmar refugees.” Comments from the judges were: “The desperate journeys of refugees and the outreach of communities to help them make a new home is one of the most urgent news stories today. This series underscores the unique value of every person struggling to find safety.”
Golden also received a third-place award for her feature story on a St. Jude School teacher, “Teacher marries beau with second-graders in the front row.” The humorous comments from the judges touched on the lighthearted aspects of the story: “Sure, there was a bride and a groom and a best man, all that wedding stuff. But a bunch of second graders as front row guests? Yes, if that’s your teacher up there getting married. This enjoyable story shows how a school wedding can work wonders with maintaining interest past recess. Especially with cupcakes for everyone. Very nicely done. The wedding and the story.”
Golden and freelance photographer Thomas Spink received an honorable mention for best reporting on the celebration of a sacrament with their story, “Special needs youth ministry is ‘a gift from God’ for families.”
Nelson, Golden and Alexander earned an honorable mention for best coverage of the Year of Mercy for a series of three articles, including: “With dental drills, Mercy Care Clinic extends healing”; “Two women find friendship is their common language”; and “Once a week the people don’t have to worry about hunger.”
Alexander and Golden also received an honorable mention for best story and photo package with their work, “New Georgia priests hail from around the world.”