The Catholic Anchor earned seven awards for excellence in journalism at the annual national competition sponsored by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada (CPA). The awards, for work published in 2014, were announced June 26 at the Catholic Media Convention in Buffalo, NY.
The Anchor, now in its 16th year of operation, consistently wins in secular and religious journalism competitions. This year’s seven awards are in addition to the three awards received earlier this year from the Alaska Press Association.
At the Catholic Press Association, the Anchor won awards in several classes, both in the open category against all publications and in the category of diocesan newspapers from around the nation and Canada. Judges of this year’s competition included veteran editors and journalists with experience editing and writing for outlets such as the New York Times, People Magazine, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, America, Better Homes & Garden, the Associated Press, and others. Judges also include professors of journalism from around the country.
Competing against all classes, including the largest national newspapers, the Catholic Anchor took second place for “Best Editorial Page or Section.” Judges noted the “well-written editorials” on “timeless” topics “tied to specific events.” Judges also praised the respectful “give and take” exchanges in the letters to the editor section.
The Catholic Anchor won first place for overall general excellence among all diocesan newspapers with a circulation of up to 17,000. Judges noted: “The Catholic Anchor is a very robust paper for such a small area. The stories were well reported and timely.”
Judges also praised the overall look of the paper.
“From a graphic design perspective, this paper looks more like a large circulation paper and the use of color on several pages and large photos really makes the paper stand out.”
In terms of content, they noted that the paper “covers a vast territory and a broad Catholic community with skilled writing, clean graphics, and a joyful sense of the community there. Unabashedly pro-life in its coverage, the Anchor is a delight to read.”
FEATURE WRITING WINS
Writer Tiffany Borges took first place for “Best Personality Profile” for newspapers with a circulation of up to 17,000 for her article “Pro-life on the streets,” a story that looked at how one pro-life advocate takes to the streets of Anchorage to counsel women who are considering an abortion.
Judges said the writing was “profoundly descriptive, giving a wonderful sense of the subject.”
Among newspapers with circulations of up to 17,000, editor Joel Davidson took first place for “Best Editorial” on a national or international issue for a piece that looked at the importance of open dialogue and honest conversation when presenting the Catholic faith to those who might question or disagree with the church.
Judges noted that the writing was “graced with poetic and parallel imagery focused on the dual concepts of freedom and love.” They added that “the message is powerful and one to be reprinted and shared, especially for those who have stepped into the margins of this great grace-filled institution.”
LOCAL REPORTING WINS
The Catholic Anchor won three awards for news writing on local issues.
The paper took first place in “Best Coverage of Local Politics” for three articles by Joel Davidson that examined the debates over medically necessary abortions, school choice and religious freedom.
Judges noted that “although the paper obviously makes a stand, the articles are remarkable in their effort to give adequate space to those with differing opinions. Journalism at its best.”
In the category of “Best News Writing” on a local issue, Mary Lochner took second place for her article on a parish outreach at St. Andrew Church in Eagle River that serves parishioners with developmental disabilities. Judges praised the “good writing and reporting.” In the same category Mindy Goorchenko took third place for her article titled, “Former lesbian shares advice on reaching LGBTQ community,” a question and answer format that judges said “allowed the subject of the presentation plenty of comments which provided good perspectives on a challenging topic.”