'The Catholic Register' received a stunning 31 awards at a pair of gala celebrations held at Laval University in Quebec June 21-22. Register file photos

Catholic Register honoured with 31 awards

  • June 27, 2017

The reporting and photography of veteran journalist Michael Swan was honoured 16 times as Catholic Register staff received a stunning 31 awards at a pair of gala celebrations held at Laval University.

At the awards ceremony of the Catholic Press Association (CPA) on June 22, Swan won 11 prizes, including three first-place honours, in various news and feature writing categories. The awards honour excellence in Catholic journalism, with entries coming from Catholic newspapers across North America.

The previous night, Swan took five awards of merit for writing and photography at the annual convention of the Canadian Church Press, an ecumenical association of Christian publications based in Canada.

Overall, the CPA judges called The Register “an extremely well-written paper with a commendable wealth of stories covered.”

The CPA awarded The Register seven first-place awards, eight seconds, two thirds and four honourable mentions.

“To be honoured in 21 different categories is a remarkable achievement,” said Jim O’Leary, The Register’s Publisher and Editor. “It’s a testament to a lot of hard work by all those on staff who work together to produce a quality newspaper week after week. But we like to think the real winners are our readers.”

In addition to Swan’s three first-place prizes, Register art director Lucy Barco and Youth Speak News editor Jean Ko Din each received two first-place awards. Barco won in the categories of photo illustration and graphics, while Ko Din was recognized for her “strong writing” and “great” coverage of World Youth Day in Poland, as well as for a feature article that took the top prize in the category of reporting on religious life.

The judges called Ko Din’s story on Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe “a wonderful story about a wonderful person — a winning combination.”

A front-page design related to euthanasia by Barco was called “very effective” and a “powerful and compelling illustration that forces the reader to consider the moral dilemma.”

Swan’s first-place CPA awards came in the categories of feature writing, for a profile of Mother Teresa, and in two separate social-justice categories, one related to the environment and the other to solidarity. He also took two second-places prizes in other social-justice writing categories.

His feature written to coincide with the canonization of Mother Teresa was lauded by the judges for its “wonderful insights” and “outstanding writing.” His social justice reporting was praised for its “substantive and nuanced analysis.”

Swan also took a pair of second-place prizes in news categories for his “excellent reporting” and “poignant” writing.

Deacon Robert Kinghorn’s column, The Church on the Street, was awarded second place in the columnist category for what the judges cited as “well written and interesting stories” that are “compelling columns that will stick with readers.”

The Register was named the CPA’s second best overall newspaper, behind the National Catholic Register based in Denver, and also won a second-place award for its special Christmas paper. The paper’s other second-place award went to Barco for layout and design.

At the Canadian Church Press awards on June 21, The Register took home five first-place and five second-place awards.

Swan earned first-place honours in the categories of in-depth treatment of a news event for a story on the war in Ukraine, and for news photography for a front-page picture of refugees arriving in Toronto, praised by judges as “sound technical execution” and “heart warming.”

He also won three second-place awards in the categories of news and feature writing.

The Register took first place in the category of editorial writing. Additionally, Ko Din took a top award for the “well intentioned and well executed” Youth Speak News section, while Barco won another first-place and two second-place prizes for layout and design.

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