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Archdiocesan newspapers, archbishop win 18 awards

Stories on Dorian in the Bahamas, Latin America and social justice honored by Catholic press

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Images of some of the stories that earned La Voz Católica 13 awards in the Catholic Press Association's 2020 contest.

Photographer:

Images of some of the stories that earned La Voz Católica 13 awards in the Catholic Press Association's 2020 contest.

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.

"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.

Photographer: FILE

"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.

Tom Tracy won Writer of the Year for his months-long coverage of Dorian's destruction and the Church's efforts at reconstruction in the Bahamas.

Photographer:

Tom Tracy won Writer of the Year for his months-long coverage of Dorian's destruction and the Church's efforts at reconstruction in the Bahamas.

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:

Photographer: Via Twitter @thomaswenski

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:

Winning entries for La Voz Catolica by freelancer Cristina Cabrera Jarro.

Photographer:

Winning entries for La Voz Catolica by freelancer Cristina Cabrera Jarro.

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:

Best Reporting on the Celebration of a Sacrament: Second place, Florida Catholic Miami, Linda Reeves:

Best Coverage - Disaster or Crises: Second place, Florida Catholic Miami, Tom Tracy, Linda Reeves, Ana Rodriguez-Soto, Jim Davis:

Newly ordained Father Elkin Sierra kisses his mom in this second-place winning picture featured on the cover of La Voz Catolica.

Photographer:

Newly ordained Father Elkin Sierra kisses his mom in this second-place winning picture featured on the cover of La Voz Catolica.



Best Reporting - on Latin America: Second place, La Voz Católica, Rocío Granados, Ana Rodriguez-Soto:

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."

This profile of Sts. Peter and Paul's retired principal, Carlota Morales, earned freelancer Priscilla Greear an honorable mention in the 2020 Catholic Press Awards.

Photographer:

This profile of Sts. Peter and Paul's retired principal, Carlota Morales, earned freelancer Priscilla Greear an honorable mention in the 2020 Catholic Press Awards.

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:

Best Editorial: Third place, La Voz Católica, Emilio de Armas:

This profile of a Muslim family who converted to Catholicism earned freelancer Linda Reeves a second place for Reporting on the Celebration of a Sacrament n in the 2020 Catholic Press Awards.

Photographer:

This profile of a Muslim family who converted to Catholicism earned freelancer Linda Reeves a second place for Reporting on the Celebration of a Sacrament n in the 2020 Catholic Press Awards.

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:

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.

Tom Tracy's coverage of Dorian in the Bahamas, augmented by articles from Linda Reeves, Ana Rodriguez-Soto and Jim Davis also earned a second place for disaster coverage.

Photographer:

Tom Tracy's coverage of Dorian in the Bahamas, augmented by articles from Linda Reeves, Ana Rodriguez-Soto and Jim Davis also earned a second place for disaster coverage.


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