Register named best religious newspaper

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  • May 12, 2019

WINNIPEG, Man. - For the second consecutive year, The Catholic Register has been named Canada’s best religious newspaper at an awards ceremony to recognize excellence in Christian journalism.

The top prize was just one of 14 awards, including five first-place honours, presented to The Register May 2 at the annual convention of the Canadian Church Press held at Canadian Mennonite University.

“The Catholic Register is a well-presented, newsy journal that tackles relevant issues in the Church in a comprehensive way, with both solid reporting and incisive commentary,” said the judges.

The Register received particular praise for its “unflinching” reporting of the clerical sex-abuse scandal.

“Controversies are explored, not avoided,” said a judge, applauding The Register for presenting “conflicting views in detail, in the best journalistic tradition.”

“The newspaper bears witness to what is happening, providing a complete set of facts and opinions for readers to consider as they sort out the world in their own minds.”

The Register was also commended for its “consistently high” quality of writing, for a layout that “is clean and easy to follow” and for presenting a variety of topics, including “uplifting feature” articles and “some great regular features, especially Youth Speak News.”

The Register also received first place honours in the category of in-depth news reporting for its extensive its coverage of last fall’s assault scandal involving high school students at St. Michael’s College School.

The entry consisted of news articles, a column by Fr. Raymond de Souza and an editorial that, collectively, were praised for being “neither accusatory nor defensive” and for placing the scandal in a “societal and cultural context.”

Associate Editor Michael Swan, who received a total of four awards, took first place in the photo essay category for coverage of a vigil that followed a gunman’s rampage in Toronto that left two innocent people dead. It was called a “beautiful and emotional entry.”

In the category of humour writing, Gerry Turcotte placed first for a column about a common penchant to hear what we want to hear.

The judge said Turcotte did “an excellent job” of combining some “very funny” misunderstandings to point out truths that are “serious and thought provoking.”

The Register’s final first-place award was in the category of editorial writing for an editorial on the sex-abuse scandal that was called “a well-argued piece on a very important issue” that contained a “very persuasive call to action.”

In addition to his first-place award,  Swan earned second-place honours in three categories: news photo, feature photo and news reporting.

Youth editor Jean Ko Din won second-place awards in two categories, feature writing and best regular “department” for The Register’s Youth Speak News page.

Second-place awards also went to Art Director Lucy Barco for front-cover design and Deacon Robert Kinghorn for general column writing.

The Register earned a pair of third-place awards, for best layout and design of an entire issue, shared by Barco, Mike Simpson and Mickey Conlon, and in the category of opinion writing for an editorial on the clerical sex-abuse scandal.

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