Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
ST. PETERSBURG | The Miami edition of the Florida Catholic and its sister newspaper, La Voz Católica, received a total of 18 awards from the Catholic Press Association for work done in 2018, including a third place as Spanish Publication of the Year.
The awards were announced June 21, at the end of the 2019 Catholic Media Conference which was hosted by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida.
In the general excellence category, the judges liked La Voz’s “timely and diverse” coverage, “all powerful” cover images, and “good mix” of local, international and national news.
“They balanced specifically Catholic news stories with general news stories that they believe the Catholic community would care about, given their values. I liked that the names of the articles were displayed on the cover page because that gives readers a reason to want to take a copy/open it up,” one judge wrote.
Both newspapers won for their team coverage of the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. The Florida Catholic won first place for its coverage in three categories: Coverage of Violence in Our Communities, Online Content Not Published in Print, and Web and Print Package. La Voz’s Parkland coverage won second place among Spanish language publications for Coverage of Violence in our Communities.
The newspapers’ coverage included reports by freelancers Cynthia Thuma, Jim Davis, Tom Tracy, and Cristina Cabrera Jarro as well as Miami editor Ana Rodriguez-Soto; a column by Archbishop Thomas Wenski; and first-person reflections by Msgr. Michael Souckar, pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Coral Springs, and Parkland resident Natalie Pereira.
The judges called the coverage a “thoughtful, complete, warmly written, yet biting collection of reactions” from people who knew some of the 17 victims, live in their neighborhoods or went to church with them. “We sing, we weep and pray with them. And we listen to Church leaders. We get a primer on control of guns. And a graduate of Parkland laments that what she felt was a ‘foundation of peace’ had become a site of brutality.”
The judges added: “A remarkably well put together tribute to those killed and a reminder that we must remember the victims, but just as important that we have an obligation to limit future victims.”
La Voz staff writer Rocío Granados won a number of awards for her stories, in both English and Spanish. Her coverage of the violent protests in Nicaragua in April 2018 won her an honorable mention in English for Best News Writing on a National or International Event. The story was titled, “Amid repression, Nicaragua’s Church walks with its people,” and appeared in the Florida Catholic’s August 2018 edition.
In Spanish, that same story, titled “La Iglesia de Nicaragua acompaña a su pueblo,” earned her a third place for Best In-Depth Analysis. The judges said the article “allows (readers) to have a clear perspective on the causes that led to what is happening in Nicaragua, a frequently forgotten country. In terms of analysis, the article presents, in a practical way, the social problems and the stance of the civil society and the Church...” The story was published in La Voz’s August 2018 edition.
Granados won first place in Spanish for Best Reporting on Cultural Heritage for her coverage of the annual Good Friday procession at Corpus Christi Church, entitled “20 años llevando la tradición a las calles de Allapattah y Wynwood” (20 years of taking tradition to the streets of Allapattah and Wynwood). The judges called it “a beautiful story that shows a community coming together in the name of faith.” Freelancer Roberto Aguirre contributed to the story with his pictures.
Granados also won second place for Best Reporting on Family for her story on the Camino marriage preparation movement, entitled “Una historia de amor” (A love story). The judges said the story, which appeared in La Voz’s May 2018 edition, “provides a needed social service by explaining the significance of the pre-marital talks, as well as including quotes from the volunteers.”
She won third place for Best Reporting on Latin America for another Nicaragua story, “En Nicaragua: ‘El miedo se ha quitado’” (In Nicaragua: ‘The fear is gone.’), published in La Voz’s May 2018 edition. The judges wrote: “The story succeeds in establishing an emotional connection with readers, while providing information about the state of affairs in Nicaragua.”
CHILDREN AT THE BORDER
La Voz editor Emilio de Armas won a third place for Best Editorial for his article, “Los niños no son negociables” (Children are non-negotiable), which appeared in the July 2018 edition. The judges said “among many other articles this year regarding immigration, this one still stood out for its call to action, compelling narrative, and strong writing style. It is very important that in this political climate people remember that children are not negotiating tools and cannot be used as pawns in a political game. The arguments he makes about the rights of children are very convincing and powerful.”
Miami editor Ana Rodriguez-Soto, who also serves as executive editor of La Voz, won honorable mention in English for Best Reporting on Vocations for her obituary, “Father Oscar Sarmiento: dedicated mentor to young adults,” which appeared in the January 2018 edition. That same story earned her a second place in Spanish in the category of Best Personality Profile.
Rogelio Zelada, associate director for Hispanic formation in the archdiocesan Office of Lay Ministry, continued his winning streak for his monthly columns in La Voz. His three-part series on Mary, entitled “María: Madre, presencia y símbolo” (Mary: mother, presence and symbol), won third place for Best Regular Column on Scripture and Spiritual Life. The series listed the Marian patronesses for every country in South America and the Caribbean, plus some history and background on how those devotions came to be.
A judge said the columns “demonstrated a high degree of research/knowledge. This is the type of niche expertise that I doubt many people have but that readers would be interested in learning about in a concise, pre-packaged way (as this column does). The article was an interesting mix of art history, religious studies and Latin American history.”
Zelada’s La Voz columns also appear each month as part of the archdiocese’s Let’s Talk blog. It also won a third place for Best Blog by Religious/Clergy for articles written by Christian Brother Richard DeMaria, former archdiocesan superintendent of schools. The blogs chronicle his “journey to death” after being diagnosed with ALS, a neurodegenerative ailment popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ASH WEDNESDAY PHOTOS
Freelancer Davis won a second place for La Voz for his photograph of a mother and daughter at a prayer service in Parkland, which ran on La Voz’s front page in March. The judges wrote: “The pain felt by all those who witnessed the Parkland school shooting — and by the nation as a whole — is skillfully reflected in this mother-daughter portrait. It’s not difficult to see beyond the mother’s stoic face and imagine the images going through her head. Beautiful picture.”
Freelancers Tracy and Marlene Quaroni won third place for Best Online Content Not Published in Print for their photographs of Ash Wednesday Masses in the archdiocese.
Freelancer Anne DiBernardo also won an honorable mention for Best Personality Profile for her story, “Joan Crown, ‘face of respect life,’ retires,” which ran in the December 2018 edition of the Florida Catholic.
The Florida Catholic’s Orlando, Palm Beach and Venice editions also were honored with:
- First place for Best Print Circulation Promotion Campaign (Venice).
- First place for Best Example of Effective Advertising Promotion (Orlando) for the state advertising staff: Valerie Casko, Michael Carlock, Michael Jimenez and Tim Shea.
- Second place for Best Promotional House Ad (Palm Beach) for graphic designer Jimenez of the state office.
- Second place for Best Reporting on a Celebration of the Sacraments, by Orlando staff writer Glenda Meekins.
- Third place for Best Reporting on a Celebration of the Sacraments, by Palm Beach’s now retired editor, Linda Reeves.
Finally, Pat Spencer of the Florida Catholic’s state office, who recently retired, won second place as Advertising/Business/Marketing Professional of the Year for her “portfolio of accomplishments,” including social outreach campaigns, subscription marketing and efforts to archive past issues, all of which “seem to go above and beyond her line of duties.”
The Catholic Press Association represents more than 200 national and diocesan newspapers, magazines and newsletters with a combined circulation of over 9 million in the U.S. and Canada. Nearly 500 journalists working in Catholic publications, diocesan communications directors, digital media specialists and business and advertising staff attended the conference in St. Petersburg.
Correction: Freelancer Roberto Aguirre was inadvertently omitted from the original story. He also received first place honors for contributing pictures to the story on cultural heritage, the Good Friday procession at Corpus Christi Church in Wynwood. Also added: the number of Catholic Press Association members who gathered in St. Petersburg for the conference.