The Catholic Anchor was recognized six times for excellence in journalism by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. The awards came for work published in 2015 and were announced in June at the Catholic Media Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Anchor, now in its 17th year of operation, consistently wins in secular and religious journalism competitions. This year’s six awards from the Catholic press are in addition to an award received earlier this year from the Alaska Press Association.
At the Catholic Press Association, the Anchor won awards both in the open category against all publications and in the category of diocesan newspapers from around the nation and Canada.
Judges included journalism professors, Pulitzer Prize winning editors and journalists who have written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, People Magazine, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
Competing against all classes, including the largest national newspapers, the Catholic Anchor took second place for Best Explanation of the Church’s Position on Marriage. Contributions in this category included pieces by Anchor Assistant Editor Patricia Coll Freeman, writer Mindy Goorchenko and guest columnist Peter Knox.
Judges noted that the coverage included “useful and balanced perspectives on marriage, and a sweet account of a couple who has stuck together through thick and thin.”
Competing against all non-weekly diocesan newspapers with circulations up to 25,000, Anchor Editor Joel Davidson took top honors for Best Editorial on a National Issue for writing about the tragedy of death and the hope of life eternal. He also took honorable mention for Best Editorial on a Local Issue for a piece about how the University of Alaska’s ideological approach to so-called “safe sex” harms the very women it aims to protect.
In the Best Personality Profile category the Anchor won two awards. For the second straight year writer Tiffany Borges took the top honor for her article about a man who overcame homelessness and alcoholism on his way to newfound faith. Judges noted Borges’ “skillful narrative details” and “impactful quotes.”
Also in the Best Personality Profile category, writer Naomi Klouda took third place for an article on a priest who helped to recover and preserve the language of Alaska Natives.
Judges said, “The writer makes the subject come to life through details and provides a holistic perspective on his life.”
Freeman won third place in the Best Local News Writing category for her story on how Holy Family Cathedral grappled with how to respond to building security threats while remaining open and inviting to parishioners and visitors. Judges praised the “solid coverage of an all-too-common event and the struggles of the church community to understand and recover from it.”