For third time in five years, The Monitor is recognized as top-of-its-class
Compiled by Patrick T. Brown, Associate Editor
For the third time since 2012, The Monitor, newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton, was presented with the first place General Excellence award in its newspaper category by the Catholic Press Association. The Monitor was recognized in a total of six categories in the annual CPA Awards competition, the winners of which were announced at the closing banquet of the Catholic Media Conference held in St. Louis June 3.
The Monitor received the first place award in the category of non-weekly diocesan newspapers with circulations up to 25,000. The Monitor had also received the first place award in its circulation category for General Excellence in 2014 and 2012, was given second place in 2015 and received the third place award in 2010.
The award for General Excellence is given by a panel of national judges who consider, according to the Catholic Press Association website, “selection of stories; originality; quality of writing and headlines; columns; editorials and letters to the editor; quality and appropriateness of art and graphics; and overall graphic design.”
The judges offered the following assessment of The Monitor’s body of work, as reported in the CPA’s trade newspaper, The Catholic Journalist:
The Monitor is an excellent publication that had a variety of stories, including an extensive section dedicated to schools, a feature about sex and teens, and a special section about seniors. The newspaper’s design and variety of section topics was impressive. Great writing and just a pleasure to read.
Powerful front pages which take full advantage of large 4-color photos illustrating a major story serve as a harbinger for inside layouts which feature an abundance of 4-color photos accompanying a wide variety of stories about the Church in the diocese of Trenton. Readable and intensely local, The Monitor gives fair play to national and international stories as well. Refreshing layouts add to the overall sense of highly professional work.”
Range of Awards, Categories
In other areas of recognition, The Monitor’s team of Mary Stadnyk, EmmaLee Italia, Dubravka Cortese, and Lois Rogers received second place in the category of Best Coverage of Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life or Diaconate with their series “Lives of Faith,” which ran in a special supplement July 30, 2015.
The panel of reviewers called the series “very nicely done” and said it was a “richly illustrated and written tribute to four priests with a combined total of 175 years of service [that] reminds readers of not only the value of individual spirituality but of extending that devotion to others . . . We also glimpse the importance of family, friends and other priests in the lives of these four, reminding readers how interconnected we all are.”
Associate Publisher Rayanne Bennett also received a second place award for Best Editorial on a National/International Issue in The Monitor’s circulation category for the Jan. 9, 2015, editorial “What can be done for the children?”
“The author references a photo of a toddler girl about to be murdered to address the carnage especially on families in the Middle East and other parts of the world,” the reviewing panel stated. “With strong, descriptive writing, she paints a word picture that is hard to erase from the reader’s mind. Pairing the description with prayers and pleas from Pope Francis, the editorial challenges attention, prayer and action from its readers.”
The Monitor’s online and multimedia efforts were recognized with a third place award in the Best Web and Print Combination Package for comprehensive coverage of last October’s Catholic Schools Mass.
Reviewers noted the package’s “Very good content and subject coverage. Very good use of both photographic and video content to correspond with textual and visual context. Good overall conceptualization and execution of print and, in particular, web content utilization.”
Lois Rogers, Monitor correspondent, received an honorable mention in the Best Feature Writing category for a paper in The Monitor’s size bracket for her April 15, 2015, story “For Francis: From depths of grief, Duddy family embraces faith and forgiveness.”
The Monitor also received an honorable mention for its series of profiles in the category of Best Coverage of the Year of Consecrated Life.
The judging panel for the Catholic Press Awards was made up of journalism faculty from universities such as Marquette University, Spring Hill College, DePaul University, and others, as well as journalists from mainstream media outlets and the world of Catholic communications.
Monitor staff writer Christina Leslie also received a first-place award from the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States in the category of Mission Animation News for her article “Missionaries reach out to inspire, encourage faithful of all ages.”
Additionally, “Cristo Para Todos – Christ for All,” the Diocese of Trenton’s Spanish-language television show, received a Gabriel Award.
The Gabriel Awards, sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Communications Professionals, honor excellence in film, video, audio and internet, recognizing “outstanding artistic achievement in media that entertains and enriches with a true vision of humanity,” according to its mission statement.
Cristo Para Todos was acknowledged as one of the “best of the best” for its episode, “Inmigración: Visión Cristiana” (“Immigration: Christian Vision”), in the category of “Religious, National or Local Release.” It was the program’s second Gabriel Award in as many years.[[In-content Ad]]