Sunday, July 5, 2020
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
MIAMI | The archdiocesan newspapers — La Voz Católica and the Florida Catholic Miami edition — received a combined 17 awards for excellence in journalism in the 2020 contest sponsored by the Catholic Press Association, with Archbishop Thomas Wenski adding one more with a first-place win for his Twitter account.
Among the top awards garnered by the monthly newspapers were English language Writer of the Year and three first place awards for Spanish-language reporting on social justice, local issues and the Synod on the Amazon. La Voz also won four second places, four third places and two honorable mentions for a variety of stories on local, national and international topics.
Tom Tracy, a freelance writer and photographer for the Florida Catholic, received the top honor as Writer of the Year for his reporting, from September through December 2019, of the ravages wrought by Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas.
"I think Tom was the only reporter in the entire country covering this story for the Catholic Church," wrote Ana Rodriguez-Soto, editor of the Miami edition, in her nomination letter.
"The Bahamas is less than 100 miles away from South Florida’s coast, and we were fortunate to be spared the horrible impact of Dorian. So, when we breathed that sigh of relief, it was easy to forget about our neighbors and their suffering. Tom’s single-handed, single-minded reporting and writing did not let us forget," Rodriguez-Soto wrote. "His work in this instance is a shining example of excellence in Catholic journalism, which aims to inform and inspire. Tom informed Catholics in the U.S. about the suffering of their neighbors in the Bahamas. He inspired us to help our neighbors."
La Voz reporter Rocío Granados won a first place, three second places and two honorable mentions for her reporting on a "quinceañera" event at St. Ann Mission in Homestead; the situations in Venezuela and Nicaragua; how Catholics can care for God's creation; the plight of immigrants in South Florida and at the U.S.-Mexico border; the David awards for Catholic musicians; and the cultural significance of Cuba's patroness, Our Lady of Charity.
Florida Catholic and La Voz freelancer Cristina Cabrera Jarro won in a number of Spanish categories: a first place for a story on Camp Erin, a Catholic Hospice-sponsored camp for children grieving the loss of a relative; and two third places for stories on a young woman battling cancer and a local high school student whose achievements earned her a full scholarship at the college of her dreams.
La Voz freelancer Jose Antonio Varela Vidal, who writes from Peru, won a first place for his analysis of the Synod on the Amazon. And La Voz editor Emilio de Armas won a third place for an editorial on the senseless killing of children.
Florida Catholic freelancer Linda Reeves won a second place in English for her story on a Muslim family who became Catholics during the Easter Vigil at Blessed Sacrament Church in Fort Lauderdale.
Tracy's coverage of Dorian in the Bahamas, augmented by articles from Reeves, Rodriguez-Soto and freelancer Jim Davis, also earned a second place for disaster coverage.
Freelancer Priscilla Greear won an honorable mention for her profile of longtime Sts. Peter and Paul School principal Carlota Morales, who retired last year.
Following is a list of the award categories, writers, and judges' comments:
Best Twitter Account – Diocesan Bishop: First place, Archbishop Thomas Wenski:
- "Creative and extensive use of social media to deliver vital messages and other information. Excellent use of visual media and additional media links to engage target audiences and increase overall community and media outreach. Impressive and very professional submission!"
Best Reporting on Social Justice Issues – Solidarity: First place, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados:
- Celebrar a la quinceañera “es celebrar el don de la vida y del amor”: "A first-rate account of the importance of this milestone. The story comes alive with quotes and reminders of the importance of faith as adolescence continues."
Best Reporting - on a Local Issue: First place, La Voz Católica, Cristina Cabrera Jarro:
- En Camp Erin se comparte la tristeza: "This is a well-written and researched piece that discusses a controversial topic. The inclusion of a call to action is also particularly successful. The final quote is extraordinary. 'Why can’t we talk about death and how it affects us instead of pretending that we do not want to bother each other?'"
Best Writing – Analysis: First place, La Voz Católica, José Antonio Varela Vidal:
- El Sínodo Amazónico: Un nuevo “lío” del Papa Francisco: "An excellent and enlightening analysis of the importance of the Amazon, the role the Catholic Church has played, and the projects launched by the pope to renew the work in the region."
Best Reporting on the Celebration of a Sacrament: Second place, Florida Catholic Miami, Linda Reeves:
- A Muslim father brings his children home: "This story is unique and intriguing. It is told with descriptive language and a lovely photograph of the family."
Best Coverage - Disaster or Crises: Second place, Florida Catholic Miami, Tom Tracy, Linda Reeves, Ana Rodriguez-Soto, Jim Davis:
- Nassau archbishop assesses post-hurricane challenges in Bahamas; Attorney fears Dorian’s impact on undocumented Haitians; Knights quickly put faith into action following Dorian; Give, yes, but not clothes:
- "This coverage does a great job of touching many bases in a cohesive presentation. I really like the calls to action (and inaction — 'don’t send clothes'). The pictures are compelling and complement the narrative very well. I learned a lot from the article. Thank you! Great job."
Best Reporting - on Latin America: Second place, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados, Ana Rodriguez-Soto:
- Nicaragua es “un país secuestrado”; El pastor que ha acompañado a su pueblo sale al exilio: "The series provides a smart, in-depth look at the political situation in Nicaragua from the point of view of Managua’s auxiliary bishop and, complementary, from the point of view of a young woman who participated in the anti-government protests of 2018. A useful box with details of the government’s crackdown adds an extra dimension to the coverage."
Best In-Depth Analysis: Second place, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados:
- Vivir en Venezuela es muy difícil: "The writer does a great job balancing the quotes from the interviewees with political context about the situation in Venezuela and the difficulties to seek asylum in the United States."
Reporting on Social Justice Issues - Care for God’s Creation: Second place, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados:
- Cuidar la naturaleza, el regalo que Dios nos da: "The article was well written and easy to follow. I liked how it began by explaining the problem and its gravity then moved to 'what can we do to help' so that it did not leave readers feeling upset and helpless. The call to action portion was well done. This piece had a great connection to the theme of Care for God’s Creation."
Best Photograph - General News: Second place, La Voz Católica, Ana Rodriguez-Soto:
- El Padre Elkin Sierra besa a su madre: "The photo eloquently captures a tender, private moment between mother and son at a singular, public moment in their lives."
Best Coverage – Immigration: Third place, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados, Ana Rodriguez-Soto, Priscilla Greear, Marlene Quaroni:
- Niños que acompañan a sus padres a sus citas migratorias reciben juguetes por el día de los Reyes Magos; “Aquí está Dios”; Dos imágenes, una historia de inmigración; No podemos dar la espalda a los “Lázaros de hoy”; Orando por el futuro de 700 mil “Soñadores”:
- "This is a genuinely nice collection of news and feature articles that highlight the various problems immigrants face in the United States. The story that tells the story of an immigrant family using two photographs is a particularly fresh and affecting way to bring home the story."
Best Editorial: Third place, La Voz Católica, Emilio de Armas:
- ¡Basta Ya De Matar A Inocentes!: "An eloquent cry against the epidemic of mass shootings in the United States and its impact on the immigrant community."
Best Reporting on a Special Age Group: Third place, La Voz Católica, Cristina Cabrera Jarro:
- Nada pudo detener sus sueños: "This is such an inspirational story about a young girl who created a club, Women in STEM, and overcame obstacles despite what others told her. Very relevant for today."
Best Reporting on Social Justice Issues – Life and Dignity of the Human Person: Third place, La Voz Católica, Cristina Cabrera Jarro:
- Cáncer, fe, amor y esperanza: "A compelling story of faith and acceptance."
Best Personality Profile: Honorable mention, Florida Catholic Miami, Priscilla Greear:
Best Reporting - On Cultural Heritage: Honorable mention, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados:
Best News Writing - Local/Regional Event: Honorable mention, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados:
The awards were announced in an online video July 2, 2020, and cover work done from January to December 2019. The video marked the conclusion of this year's Catholic Media Conference, which took place June 30-July 2 online rather than in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. The in-person convention was set to take place the same week in Portland, Oregon.
The Catholic Press Association represents 199 member publications in the U.S., Canada and Ireland, including newsletters, magazines, diocesan, national and international newspapers. They submitted around 3,100 entries for this year's contest.