RNA honors top religion journalists at 66th annual awards banquet
Saturday, August 29, 2015
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 10 p.m. Aug. 29, 2015
RNA Executive Director
Religion Newswriters Association names winners of 2015 Awards for Excellence in Religion Reporting
PHILADELPHIA — Religion reporters from around the world won top honors Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Religion Newswriters Association’s 66th Annual Awards Banquet, for work published in 2014.
Richard Dujardin, former religion reporter for The Providence (R.I.) Journal, was presented the William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional long-term commitment and service to RNA and to the field of religion reporting. Dujardin’s involvement with the organization began with the 1977 RNA Conference. He later served as secretary, treasurer and first vice president before serving two years as president in the mid-1990s. He won numerous awards in his career, including several from RNA, the Religion Communicators Council and the Rhode Island Press Association.
Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times won first place for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Large Newspapers and Wire Services, and Lauren Markoe of Religion News Service won second place.
First place for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Metropolitan Newspapers went to Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Second place was awarded to Lilly Fowler of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Kelsey Dallas of Deseret News National won the Cornell Award for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Mid-sized Newspapers. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Peggy Fletcher Stack placed second, and Jennifer Berry Hawes of The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., placed third.
In the Cassels Award for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Small Newspapers, first place was awarded to Jennifer Preyss of the Victoria Advocate in Texas. Catherine Godbey of The Decatur (Ala.) Daily came in second place.
First place in the Supple Award for Excellence in Religion Feature Writing went to Ashley Powers for work at The California Sunday Magazine. Yair Rosenberg of Tablet magazine placed second, and Mark Oppenheimer received third place for work at The New York Times and Buzzfeed. Honorable mentions were awarded to Moment magazine’s Nadine Epstein and Michael Orbach.
Kevin Hardy of The Chattanooga Times Free Press received first place in the Gerald A. Renner Award for Excellence in Enterprise Religion Reporting. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Peter Smith won second place, and third place was awarded to CNN’s Moni Basu.
First place for Excellence in Religion Commentary went to Margery Eagan of Crux. Second place was awarded to Yair Rosenberg of Tablet magazine, and Jeffrey K. Salkin placed third for work at Religion News Service. An honorable mention was awarded to Joanna Brooks of Religion Dispatches.
The Schachern Award for Excellence in Online Religion Sections was awarded to CNN Belief.
First place for Excellence in Religion News Analysis was awarded to David Gibson of Religion News Service. Second place went to John L. Allen Jr. of Crux, and Patricia Miller from Religion Dispatches placed third. An honorable mention was awarded to the staff of The Advocate in Texas.
Eetta Prince-Gibson of Moment magazine placed first in the award for Excellence in Magazine News Religion Reporting. Ashley Powers placed second for work at The California Sunday Magazine, and Mark Oppenheimer took third for work at The New York Times Magazine. Bobby Ross Jr. of The Christian Chronicle received an honorable mention.
The award for Excellence in Magazine Overall Religion Coverage went to Tikkun magazine.
First place for Excellence in Radio or Podcast Religion Reporting went to Ryan Famuliner and Abigail Keel of KBIA-Columbia, Mo. Dina Weinstein placed second for her freelance work “Making Contact.” Third place was awarded to Laura Kwerel of Interfaith Voices. Ross Reynolds and Matthew Streib of KUOW-Seattle received an honorable mention.
For the Excellence in Short Religion Video Award, first place was awarded to Alex Ferreira of DOCFilms (Brazil). Sally Morrow of Religion News Service received second place.
Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly swept the awards for Excellence in Television News Magazine Religion Reporting. Fred de Sam Lazaro and Nikki See took first place, Lucky Severson and Trent Harris took second, and Kim Lawton & Patti Jette placed third. An honorable mention was awarded to Judy Valente and Gail Fendley.
The award for Excellence in National Network/Cable News Religion Reporting went to Mike O’Sullivan of Voice of America.
Jeff Abell and Luke Rollins of WBFF-TV Baltimore received the award for Excellence in Television Local News Religion Reporting.
The winner of the award for Excellence in Religion Documentary was WGBH & Maya Vision for “Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.”
The first place award for Excellence in Nonfiction Religion Book was presented to Molly Worthen for “Apostles of Reason.” Second place went to Tim Townsend for “Mission at Nuremberg,” and third place was awarded to Laura Silver for “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food.”
In the student contests, Jill Castellano of the University of Pennsylvania won first place in the Chandler Award for Excellence in Student Religion Reporting. In second place was Simran Jeet Singh of Columbia University, and Alfredo Garcia of Princeton University won third place. Honorable mention was awarded to Corey Stern of the University of Pennsylvania. Russell and M.L. Chandler generously fund the Chandler Award.