NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Baptist Press and other Southern Baptist communicators were among those recognized this year by various professional organizations for their achievements in writing, photography, design and other forms of Christian media as part of several contests.
BAPTIST COMMUNICATORS ASSOCIATION
Seven grand prize winners were announced in April for the Baptist Communicators Association’s Wilmer C. Fields Awards Competition. Sue Sprenkle and Erich Bridges of the International Mission Board received the Frank Burkhalter Award for significant achievement in religious news writing.
Judy Bates and the communications department at GuideStone Financial Resources won the Arthur S. Davenport Award for exceptional achievement in public relations and development. Don Graham of the International Mission Board won the Leonard Holloway Award for exceptional achievement in feature writing.
Also receiving BCA grand prize awards were the communications team at the North American Mission Board, which won the M.E. Dodd Award for significant achievement in radio, television, film and video; and the office of marketing communications at Baylor University, which won the Albert McClellan Award for significant achievement in print media and design.
Matt Jones of the International Mission Board won the Fon H. Scofield Award for significant achievement in photography, and Mary Beth Meilstrup of the International Mission Board won the Diane Reasoner Award for exceptional achievement in interactive communications, rounding out the seven grand prize awards.
Baptist Press won six BCA awards. Erin Roach, a Baptist Press staff writer, won first place in the news writing division for the column “It’s about Jesus, not Frosty.” Mark Kelly, an assistant editor of Baptist Press, won second place for a single article in the news writing division for “Hamas leader’s son declares faith in Christ.”
David Roach, a correspondent for Baptist Press, won second place for a series in the news writing division for his coverage of the 2008 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship meeting. Norm Miller, also a Baptist Press correspondent, won second place for a single article in the feature writing division for “Gospel shared in black and white to reach Philly inner city.”
Tim Ellsworth, another BP correspondent, won honorable mention in the single article, feature writing category for “Now saved boxing manager helps others.” Ellsworth also won second place for a series in the feature writing division for his coverage of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
The Baptist Communicators Association, which is more than 55 years old and has about 300 members, has posted a complete list of award winners at www.baptistcommunicators.org/awards.
In addition to the recognition among Southern Baptists, other communications workers employed by SBC entities and state convention newspapers were honored by broader religious organizations.
EVANGELICAL PRESS ASSOCIATION
The Evangelical Press Association gave its award of excellence for Most Improved Publication to the Louisiana Baptist Message, noting the staff had improved the publication “light-years in every way possible.” In the category of missions, the North American Mission Board’s On Mission magazine won an award of merit.
Also in the EPA contest, The Alabama Baptist newspaper’s article about nursing homes by Carrie Brown won first place in Cause of the Year: Aging.
A summary of the Evangelical Press Association award winners can be viewed at www.epassoc.org/index.php/2009Awards.html.
RELIGION COMMUNICATORS COUNCIL
The Religion Communicators Council, a national interfaith association of about 500 professional communicators, honored Will Hall, executive editor of Baptist Press, with an award of excellence in the editorial category for his column “In China, some things never change but some things cannot stay the same.” Hall also received a certificate of merit in the Web-based category for his article, “Jewish folk singer to Christian matriarch.”
Baptist Press received four RCC awards of excellence, garnering the top prize for website design, as well as in the miscellaneous category for periodicals (based on the quality of three submitted editions), periodicals — single issue (Nov. 11, 2008 edition) and multimedia (for a videotaped interview with gospel hip hop artist William “Duce” Branch).
RCC also recognized The Alabama Baptist with an award of excellence in the category of local or regional newspaper. In the single issue category, The Alabama Baptist won an award of excellence for the Oct. 2, 2008 edition. In the newspaper writing category, Grace Thornton received an award of excellence for “Felt like a death” and managing editor Jennifer Davis Rash received a certificate of merit for “Going for it all,” both for The Alabama Baptist.
Thornton also received a certificate of merit in the single story newspaper feature category for “‘Heartbreak’ shift a daily reality for gambling facilities nationwide; people are suffering.”
Polly House, a corporate communications specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources, won an RCC certificate of merit for the article “LifeBoxes give our military heroes a positive sign that churches care.” House also received an award of excellence in the magazine article series category for “VBS Outrigger Island: Waves of success in reaching people for Christ.”
Katie Shull of LifeWay received an RCC award of merit in the publication cover design category for the May/June 2008 issue of Facts and Trends.
Terry Barone, communications group leader for the California Southern Baptist Convention won an award of excellence in the miscellaneous category for graphic design, art and photography for his work relating to the 2008 California Mission Video, “Bright hope for dark days.”
A link to the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Award competitions can be found at www.religioncommunicators.org.
ASSOCIATED CHURCH PRESS
The Associated Church Press, a professional organization founded in 1916, gave its award of excellence to Baptist Press for the best in class news service. Baptist Press also won an award of merit for coverage of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention in the category of convention or meeting coverage. Will Hall of Baptist Press won an award of excellence in the editorial category for “Some things never change.”
The Alabama Baptist received an ACP award for the best in class regional newspaper. The newspaper won an award of merit in the news story category for “Vital legislation” by Jennifer Davis Rash. In the category of convention or meeting coverage for newspapers, The Alabama Baptist won an award of excellence for its coverage of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.
In the category of theme issue, The Alabama Baptist won an ACP honorable mention for “How the Bible came to be” by John B. Pohill. In the personal experience category, The Alabama Baptist won honorable mention for “Spanning the globe” by designer Lauren Chow. In the category of personally useful article, The Alabama Baptist won honorable mention for “Which Bible translation is right for me?” by Polhill.
The Alabama Baptist also won honorable mention in the newspaper design category for the Oct. 2 issue. And the newspaper won an award of merit for photography with an article or cutline for “He taught me everything I know” by Steve Gross.
See www.theacp.org to view all of ACP’s Best of the Christian Press award winners.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff.