The prospect of winning awards isn’t what motivates us Catholic Spirit staff members to produce the best newspaper and website that we can. We’re driven instead by the call to spread the Good News, to keep area Catholics informed about important issues in the church and to inspire them to live their faith to the fullest.
But it is nice when our work earns kudos from peers and fellow professionals. That happened last week at the Catholic Media Convention in Pittsburgh, where The Catholic Spirit garnered several Catholic press awards.
Two awards deserve special mention:
• Associate publisher Bob Zyskowski was honored with the 2011 St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association. It is the CPA’s highest award, recognizing an individual’s “outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism.”
• The Catholic Spirit won second place in the “general excellence” category for large-circulation newspapers. The award takes into account all aspects of a publication — from the writing and photography, to the design and editing. The judges called it a “clean, well-organized, well-edited paper” with “good local content.”
Other awards TCS received from the CPA were:
• 1st place — best editorial section for “This Catholic Life.”
• 1st place — best editorial on a national or international issue for “Woody, Buzz and the meaning of life” by editor Joe Towalski.
• 2nd place — best news writing for the TCS news team series “7 Principles for Planning,” which examined the challenges facing the archdiocese as it prepared its strategic plan for parishes and schools.
• 2nd place — best regular arts and leisure column for “The Outdoors,” by photographer/writer Dave Hrbacek.
• 2nd place — best coverage of the Year for Priests for a special section titled “Celebrating Our Priests.”
• 2nd place — best editorial on a local issue for “Health care policy: Whose side is God on? by Joe Towalski.
Other Catholic organizations also presented awards recently, and The Catholic Spirit was recognized by two of them:
• Dave Hrbacek was awarded the National Right to Life’s 14th Annual Excellence in Journalism Award for his story, “Electrician sparks life commitment by turning down abortion clinic job.” NRLC President Carol Tobias said, “We are proud to recognize Dave Hrbacek for his outstanding work and extend our deepest gratitude for his outstanding journalism on behalf of life.”
And from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, TCS received three awards:
• Bob Zyskowski garnered first place honors in the “Visits to the Missions” category for his story package, “Venezuelans, priests celebrate 40-year gift exchange.”
• Staff writer Julie Carroll and Dave Hrbacek took first place in the “Mission News” category for their story “Situation in Haiti still critical.”
• Deacon Mickey Friesen, director of the archdiocese’s Center for Mission, received an honorable mention for TCS’ World Mission Sunday 2010 supplement.
Have an idea for a possible award-winning story? Contact us and give us the details. We always enjoy working on a good story!