Catholic Messenger wins first place in national contest


By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
CM 11-5-15 Page01 pixJudges awarded The Catholic Messenger first place for best explanation of the church’s position on marriage in the 2016 Catholic Press Awards contest. The Messenger also received third place for best editorial on a local issue and an honorable mention for best front page (broadsheet).
The awards were announced June 3, during the “Tweet me in St. Louis Catholic Media Con­ference” in St. Louis. The Catholic Press Association (CPA) of the United States and Canada conducts the press awards banquet and presentation. Membership consists of 137 newspapers (4,597,391 circulation); 69 magazines (4,558,251 circulation); and 19 newsletters (811,942 circulation).
The Messenger’s award-winning series on Marriage and Family in the summer and fall of 2015 sought to report on the lived experiences of Catholic families today. The articles were intended to serve as lead-in and follow-up to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (Sept. 22-25) and the Synod of Bishops on the Family (Oct. 4-25). Topics ranged from Catholic dating and marriage preparation to long-distance marriage and divorce support ministry. Judges said of the entries: “Stories of love and tolerance, helping people when they are hurting and need it the most.” The series was a collaborative effort of Messenger staffers Barb Arland-Fye, Anne Marie Amacher and Lindsay Steele.
“Patients in crisis need access to psychiatric care” by Arland-Fye received third-place honors in the best editorial on a local issue for weekly diocesan newspapers (circulation 25,000 or less). Judges commented: “This locally-focused editorial on the lack of availability for psychiatric care for those who most need it could be replicated in nearly every Catholic newspaper in the United States. The truth of the matter is clear and the writer states it well within the context of a poignant story that captures the reader.”
Catholic newspapers come in different sizes, but two general categories: broadsheet (17 x 22’’) and tabloid (11 by 17”). The Catholic Messenger earned an honorable mention for the broadsheet division. Judging was based on submission of three consecutive issues. Judges said of the Messenger’s submissions: “Good use of photos. There needs to be more variety in sizes and weights of type.… ” The judges also critiqued use of and placement of italics in headlines.
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