Catholic Register honoured with 10 awards by Catholic Press Association

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  • June 22, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Catholic Register writers and editors were honoured with 10 awards, including three first-place prizes, at a gala banquet held June 20 to recognize excellence in Catholic journalism.

The three first-place awards all related to a special section The Register published in September 2013, titled "Syria in Crisis", that highlighted the suffering of tens of thousands of war refugees from the Syrian civil war. The awards of excellence are presented annually by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

Associate editor Michael Swan, who provided on site reporting and photography from the Middle East, took first place in two categories for his Syria report: best in-depth news reporting and best special supplement with an editorial emphasis.

The judges praised the report as "wonderfully ambitious and produced."

"The strength of the writing makes this stand out in a tough field," said the judges. "This brought the crisis to life with all its sadness and hope," they added, while lauding Swan for "exceptional writing and thorough, detailed reporting."

The Register also won first place in the category of best special supplement with an advertising emphasis. That award recognized the Register's collaborative effort under Managing Editor Mickey Conlon, Sales Manager Terry Halata and Art Director Lucy Barco to produce a section that told a compelling story while also providing advertising partners space to appeal for donor support of their relief efforts.

The judges said The Register succeeded in making "an impassioned plea to help families in Syria that appeals equally to the mind and heart."

In addition to the three first-place prizes, The Register also won three second-place prizes, two thirds and received two honourable mentions.

The three seconds were in the categories of best seasonal issue for its Christmas edition; best editorial for its response to a 2013 workplace tragedy in Bangladesh; and best reporting on young adults for a series of columns published in The Register's Youth Speak News section. The YSN columns, under the direction of editor Ruane Remy, were written by Beatriz Jereza, Suzanne Joanes and Enrique Olivo.

"Giving teenagers a voice is dangerous, but it also lets them share their lives and faith," the judges said. "A job well done in Youth Speak News."

Swan won two other awards. His report from Syria placed third for the Gerrard E. Sherry Award for best analysis/background reporting, and he received an honourable mention in the category of best feature story for a lengthy piece titled "Rethinking the parish concept."

The Register's other third-place prize was won by Fr. Raymond de Souza who demonstrated his versatility by being recognized for sports writing for a column titled "Musial, Mantle and manly virtue."

After taking first place last year in the category of overall general excellence, The Register received a honourable mention in that category this year as the top prize was awarded to the National Catholic Reporter of Kansas City.

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