Faith & Values team takes home honors at 64th Religion Newswriters Association Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence

Austin, Texas — Two Faith & Values (FAVS) websites were honored Saturday, Sept. 29 at the 2013 Religion Newswriters Association Awards banquet. The contest honors religion reporting excellence in the mainstream media.

Spokane Faith & Values ( won third place in the Schachern Award for Online Section of the Year, and Wilmington Faith & Values ( won an honorable mention in the RNA Radio or Podcast Religion Report of the Year Award. Editors Tracy Simmons and Amanda Greene oversee the Spokane and Wilmington sites respectively.

Columbia Faith & Values ( former writer Catherine (Newhouse) Knarr was also recognized with a second-place finish in the Chandler Award for Student Religion Reporter of the Year. Knarr’s entry included stories that appeared on while she was a student at the University of Missouri. Kellie Kotraba serves as editor of

In the Schachern Award honoring online religion sections, finished behind first-place winner Reuters and second-place winner CNN.

“The site had a simple yet compelling layout that featured excellent pieces on Buddhists and Sikhs, especially after the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin,” judges said about Spokane Faith & Values. This is Editor Tracy Simmons’ second honor in the Schachern Award category. In 2011 she won first place for her Connecticut-based website at the time, (now called

First place in the Radio or Podcast Religion Report of the Year contest went to Taki Telonidis of Western Folklife Center. Second place went to Tony Ganzer of World Radio Switzerland, and third place was awarded to Sarah Richards.

Judges complimented honorable mention recipient and Wilmington Faith & Values Editor Amanda Greene on a “Job well done” for her submission of a radio series called “Amendment One: Examining Marriage,” done in partnership with local NPR affiliate WHQR 91.3 FM. The judges said she “did a good job of telling a complex story in a short amount of time. She chose good characters and knew what to include in the story and what to leave out.”

A complete list of RNA Award winners and their stories is available at (MP3 of RNA Awards Banquet)

About Faith & Values and are part of a network of five Faith & Values (FAVS) community news websites across the country. The sites, which launched in 2012, are part of a three-year initiative from Religion News LLC, made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. Their national partner is the award-winning Religion News Service.