Catholic New York received third-place honors in general excellence, one of eight awards it won last week in the 2012 Catholic Press Awards competition.
It was the second time in three years that CNY was cited in the general excellence category. Two years ago, the newspaper was ranked first in its circulation category, 40,001 and above, the largest in the competition.
This year, the judges credited Catholic New York for “the writing strength of its staff” and the prominence of the events, participants and institutions it features. Also mentioned were the paper’s “strong editorial page” and its coverage of Cardinal Dolan.
The honors included three first-place citations for best 9/11 anniversary coverage, best editorial and best column by a bishop or an archbishop, which Cardinal Dolan won for his “Lord, To Whom Shall We Go” column.
Of the cardinal’s column, the judges said, “Whether writing in the conversational tone of a storyteller or the more direct, logically formatted argument of a master teacher, Cardinal Dolan’s columns are easy to read and thought-provoking.”
The editorial, in the category of national or international issues, was praised for its analysis of the troubles of actor Charlie Sheen. The judges called the word choice “superb” and praised the editorial for recognizing “that Sheen is a human being in need of prayers.”
The staff of Catholic New York received first-place honors for best coverage of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 for its two-issue treatment of the subject. The judges cited both the quality and breadth of coverage in their critique. “The memories by Cardinal Egan, who tended the flock then, to the new shepherd Cardinal Dolan (quoting) Father Kevin Madigan saying, ‘We also celebrate September 12th,’ is journalism at its finest,” they wrote.
Coverage of 9/11 also factored in the second-place honor CNY received for best one-time special issue, which went to the wrap-around section “9/11: Our Shared Journey,” which was praised for its writing and overall structure.
CNY’s coverage of World Youth Day, highlighted by the reporting and writing of staff reporter Julie DosSantos in both the newspaper and online, was recognized with a second-place citation. The judges said the work employed “excellent use of anecdote and detail to tell the story of World Youth Day.”
Catholic New York’s sports coverage earned two awards.
A second-place honor, in the best sports feature category, went to staff reporter Ron Lajoie for his touching article about the effort to dedicate a headstone at the formerly unmarked grave of boxer Michael J. Hogan in St. Joseph’s parish cemetery in Yonkers. The judges called the feature a “great story, well told.”
Photographer Maria R. Bastone’s front-page picture of the football action on the new turf field at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains scored a third-place finish in the best sports photo category.
The honors were presented June 22 at an awards banquet at the Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis. The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada sponsors the annual competition.