IRONDALE, Ala. — The National Catholic Register, which will mark its 90th anniversary in November, was named “Newspaper of the Year” at the Catholic Press Association’s annual Catholic Media Conference June 20-23 in Quebec City, Canada.
In citing the Register for journalistic excellence, the judges said, “A beautifully designed and impressive publication. The majority of the stories were written by their own correspondents, thus their reliance on the Catholic News Service was minimal. The ‘Culture of Life’ section was particularly well done and full of engaging stories and photos. This is a newspaper with gravitas. It looks extremely credible. The writing is excellent.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of the Register’s team. Each and every member of our staff and all of our correspondents work so hard at the journalistic craft, and what drives all of their effort is love of the Church. This is a very well-deserved recognition!” said Jeanette De Melo, the Register’s editor in chief.
The Register also won first place for “Best Front Page-Broadsheet” for its covers that featured “Orlando’s Aftermath,” “Benedict's Priestly Anniversary” and “Healing a Nation’s Racial Wounds.” The judges pointed out, “Excellent typography. Enjoyed the use of whitespace to separate the stories vertically. Very elegant. Easy to navigate.”
It was the fourth consecutive year the Register has won that award.
For the second consecutive year, Deacon Steven D. Greydanus, film critic for the Register, won first place for “Best Regular Column: Culture, Arts and Leisure” for “Back to the Jungle,” “Innocence and the Sins of the World,” “Queen of Katwe Celebrates Faith and Family.” The judges remarked, “His reviews are easy to follow and engaging, even for a film you might not be particularly interested in viewing. He offers context, and a firm anchor in the publication it appears in, and the context that readers expect to find.”
Staff Writer Peter Jesserer Smith won first place for “Best News Writing on a National or International Event” for his story, “Life Amid War: Peace Comes in the Form of South Sudan’s Churches.”
The CPA judges call Smith’s account, “A gripping report with plenty of context, details and interviews. Learned a lot about this under-reported conflict and the role the Church is playing in attempting to mitigate it. Strong reporting about brave and committed people.”
In all, the Register won 10 CPA awards at the conference, which was attended by Managing Editor Tom Wehner and Jesserer Smith.
“In the tense cultural and political climate we face today, we too often see journalism at its worst. But these awards show that the Register rises above all of that, with content that matters and writing and art that are clear, accurate and engaging. I’m truly grateful for the entire team, from editors to writers and our graphic artists and others behind the scenes,” De Melo said.
The National Catholic Register, which is a service of EWTN Global Catholic Network, won a second-place award for “Best Supplement or Special Issue” for its memorial issue dedicated to EWTN foundress Mother Mary Angelica, who died on Easter Sunday 2016.
Regarding the special issue, “Mother Angelica 1923-2016,” by Register staff and contributors, the judges remarked, “This special issue illuminated Mother Angelica for who she was and how she will be remembered. Each story provided a new perspective on Mother Angelica.”
Longtime Register contributor Senior Correspondent Victor Gaetan won second place for “Best In-Depth News/Special Reporting” for his story “Pan-Orthodox Meltdown Ahead of Great Council?” of which the judges said, “Story sheds light on a complex issue and shows that there are no easy answers behind this long-simmering conflict. Presented all sides fairly.”
The Register took third place for “Best News Writing on a National or International Event” for “Death of a Dictator: Fidel Castro (1926-2016),” also by Gaetan. The judges said, “In a sweeping analysis of people, places and things, the author has gathered years of background to help the reader understand the complexity of responses to Fidel Castro's death.”
The Register’s coverage of Mother Angelica’s death also won third place for “Best Reporting on Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life or Diaconate.” “Catholics and others who watched EWTN lost a bit of their viewing lives with the passing of Mother Angelica,” the judges said, “but this remarkable tribute gives those admirers a eulogy worth saving. This outstanding package offers broad strokes (a life of prayer) and fine details (hungry as a child). That’s the mark of a well-crafted presentation.”
Register stories by longtime Register contributors Anto Akkara, Father Raymond J. de Souza and Gaetan took third place for “Best Coverage of Mother Teresa’s Canonization.” The judges called their content “an intimate look at Mother Teresa’s legacy in India, where she mattered most.”
The Register also received an honorable mention for “Best Coverage of Pro-Life Issues,” principally the work of Jesserer Smith, Senior Editor Joan Frawley Desmond and correspondent Filip Mazurczak.
The National Catholic Register (NCRegister.com) provides its readers with timely news reporting from across the United States, the Vatican and around the world. As the newspaper of record for the Catholic Church in America, the Register and its online presence, NCRegister.com, have become America’s most complete and faithful Catholic news source. It is published biweekly, 26 issues per year. The National Catholic Register also produces Register Radio, a weekly program that airs on EWTN’s radio network.
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 36th year, is the largest religious media network in the world. EWTN’s 11 TV channels are broadcast in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week to more than 265 million television households in more than 145 countries and territories. EWTN services also include radio services transmitted through SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 500 domestic and international AM & FM radio affiliates; a worldwide shortwave radio service; the largest Catholic website in the U.S.; electronic and print news services, including the National Catholic Register newspaper, and two global wire services; as well as a publishing arm.