NEW ORLEANS – The Catholic Review earned 10 Catholic Press Awards, including multiple first-place honors for an Independent Living special section and a third-place for Senior Writer George P. Matysek Jr. in the Individual Excellence category.
Sponsored by the Catholic Press Association of The United States & Canada, the awards recognize work done in 2009. They were announced June 4 at the New Orleans Marriott, during the CPA convention.
“Our archdiocese has been blessed for many years to be served by the finest diocesan newspaper in the country,” said Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, Publisher of The Catholic Review. “It is an affirmation of their professionalism and their valuable ministry to our local Church for them to be so recognized by their peers.”
Independent Living, a 16-page pullout section in the Nov. 19 issue, won first place in two categories, Newspaper’s Best Special Supplement/Special Issue with Advertising Emphasis and, among all membership classes, Advertising Volume Builder.
“Hands down,” the judges noted in the former category, “a stunning publication that was smartly designed and packaged. Everything – from the handsome cover to pages of full-color advertising – ties into the content and theme of the issue: independent living. Of special note: the photography used to illustrate the stories and ads depict a diverse community, which welcome all who see it. The total package is so engaging that readers will want to spend quality time perusing the section.”
In the Advertising Volume Builder category, Production Manager Robert Thompson, Design Artist April Hornbeck and Account Manager Nina Schuler were recognized with the following comments:
“It is nice to bring like-minded non-advertisers together! Great use of color! Enjoyed the light-hearted approach – content wasn’t too elderly or stodgy. Ads were designed with great flair! Good selection of art, photos and people! No old people homes here! But fresh, snazzy apartments or beautifully decorated, ‘just-like-being-at’ home apartments. Active people living active lives. Very good!”
Matysek was the only newspaper writer honored in the Individual Excellence Writer/Editor category, earning third place for a body of work that included “Path to the Priesthood,” a three-part series on seminarians; reporting on Anglican sisters coming into communion with the Catholic Church; ongoing analysis of a Baltimore City bill that targeted pregnancy centers; and a feature on the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll.
“The writer shows a breadth of ability in presenting styles which would appeal to a diversity of audiences,” the judges remarked. “The pregnancy counseling series is particularly compelling for being informative and for presenting the Catholic stand on an important public policy conflict.”
Also in the All Membership Classes division, Hornbeck, Advertising Sales Manger Jo Simmons and Account Manager Joann Washington won first place for Local Retail Campaign, for “Memories, Friendship, Prearrange.”
“Wow! Great graphics, Great color! Consistent message. Sometimes simple is the best! Easily a series of ads that your sales staff can continue to put in front of the advertiser.”
In the Newspaper category, The Review staff won first place in Regular Special Supplement, “Celebrating Service: Catholic Schools Week 2009.”
“Compelling well-cropped photos on the cover and throughout the special section make this regular special supplement stand out. The diverse mix of topics, combined with well-executed photography and on-point content make this section head of the class.”
The Review took second place in three of the four illustration categories for newspapers.
Photographer Owen Sweeney III was honored for “Homeless Find Hope in a Basket,” regarding a Catholic Charities program. Hornbeck was recognized for Original Illustration for her design of the Christmas Eve cover, which employed a work commissioned from artist Christian Slade. Hornbeck and Sweeney were honored for Chart or Information Graphic, for the center spread in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition.
That section earned another second place, for One Time Special Issue.
Staff writer Matt Palmer earned second place for Online Blog, “A Life-Giving Gift,” for a post about reconnecting some family ties.
“A touching story, the initial link to the Thanksgiving tale,” the judges noted. “I read several of the posts and all were well-written, the site clean and clear. I enjoyed the writer’s voice here, the small stories with greater meaning.”