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Issue Date:  June 17, 2005

NCR receives top Catholic press honor for sixth year in a row


For the sixth consecutive year, the National Catholic Reporter received the Catholic Press Association’s top award, first place in general excellence for a national newspaper, while NCR’s 2004 series on Latin America was honored by Catholic Relief Services’ Eileen Egan Journalism Awards.

Tied for second place in general excellence were Our Sunday Visitor and the National Catholic Register, and the Canadian Catholic Register took third. The awards were announced May 27 at the Catholic Media Convocation in Orlando, Fla.

The judges called NCR “a clear first-place winner among solidly first-class competitors,” praising its “consistently thought-provoking covers and exceptional writing” and “innovative” editorials and essays.

“The cutting-edge pieces challenge the status quo and ask the question, ‘What is my role as a Catholic in world events, in health issues, in seeking the truth, and in bringing peace on a local and national level?’ ” the judges wrote.

The Washington-based newspaper El Pregonero took the general excellence award for Spanish-language Catholic periodicals.

Writers Barbara Fraser and Paul Jeffrey received an Eileen Egan Journalism Award for their 10-part series, “Latin America: Search for a Future,” which ran in NCR between May and November 2004. One judge cited the series for its “amazing depth and sweep”; another called it “an exhaustive, enlightening, extraordinarily detailed and knowledgeable series.” The award is named for the late Eileen Egan, Catholic Relief Services’ first lay employee and cofounder of Pax Christi USA.

“Latin America: Search for a Future” also won the Catholic Press Association’s Gerald E. Sherry Award for best analysis/background/round-up writing.

Among NCR’s 22 awards and honorable mentions, first place awards were given for NCR’s editorial page, and to staff writer Jeff Severns Guntzel for best personality profile, for his July 30, 2004, article, “The bones don’t lie,” about forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow.

Two frequent NCR contributors received first place awards in book categories: Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister for Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir (Sheed & Ward) and In the Heart of the Temple (Blue Bridge); and Deborah Halter for The Papal “No” (Crossroad Publishing Company).

National Catholic Reporter, June 17, 2005

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