Beliefs RNS Press Release Service

Religion News Association names winners of 2017 Awards for Excellence in Religion Reporting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Religion reporters from around the world won top honors Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Religion News Association’s 68th Annual Awards Banquet.

Jeffrey Weiss of The Dallas Morning News, The Miami Herald, Real Clear Religion and the  Religion News Service, was presented the William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional long-term commitment and service to the field of religion reporting.

Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post won first place for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Large Newspapers and Wire Services. Julie Zauzmer of The Washington Post won second place. Third place resulted in a tie and was awarded to Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times and Lauren Markoe of Religion News Service, with Kimberly Winston of Religion News Service receiving an honorable mention.

First place for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Metropolitan Newspapers went to Mark MuellerBrian DonohueEnrique Lavin and Vinessa Erminio of The Star-Ledger.

Peggy Fletcher Stack of The Salt Lake Tribune won the Cornell Award for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Mid-sized Newspapers. Steve Rabey, for work done at the Colorado Springs Gazette, placed second, and Douglas Todd of The Vancouver Sun placed third.

In the Cassels Award for Excellence in Religion Reporting—Small Newspapers, first place was awarded to Marshall Weiss of The Dayton Jewish Observer. Catherine Godbey of The Decatur Daily came in second place. Third place went to Britta Lokting of The Forward.

First place in the Supple Award for Excellence in Religion Feature Writing went to The Boston Globe’s Lisa WangsnessEmma Green of The Atlantic placed second, and Rachel Zoll of The Associated Press received third place.

Elizabeth Dias of TIME received first place in the Gerald A. Renner Award for Excellence in Enterprise Religion Reporting for her work covering the strength of the religious right and its tipping-point influence on the election of Donald TrumpEmma GreenYoni AppelbaumChris BodennerMatt ThompsonSacha ZimmermanFrances JohnsonJaweed Kaleem and Menachem Wecker of The Atlantic won second place. Third place was awarded to The Atlantic’s Ariel Sabar with an honorable mention being awarded to David Gibson of Religion News Service.

First place for Excellence in Religion Commentary went to Douglas Todd of The Vancouver Sun. Second place was awarded to Sandi Villarreal of Sojourners. Gershom Gorenberg of Moment Magazine placed third, with Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post receiving honorable mention.

The Schachern Award for Excellence in Online Religion Sections was awarded to CNN, edited by Daniel Burke.

First place for Excellence in Religion News Analysis was awarded to Emma Green of The Atlantic. Second place went to Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post. Katherine Ozment of Talking Points Memo placed third, and Mohamad Bazzi of Reuters received honorable mention.

Jeremy Weber of Christianity Today placed first in the award for Excellence in Magazine News Religion Reporting. Emma Green of The Atlantic placed second, and TIME’s Elizabeth Dias took third place.

The award for Excellence in Magazine Overall Religion Coverage went to Jeremy WeberKatelyn BeatyAlecia SharpSarah Gordon of Christianity Today

First place for Excellence in Radio or Podcast Religion Reporting went to Judy Silber of The Spiritual Edge and Jen ChienBen Trefny and Chris Hoff of KALW Public Radio. Maureen FiedlerLaura KwerelRuth Morris and Abigail Holtzman of Interfaith Voices placed second. Third place was awarded to Kristian Foden-Vencil of Oregon Public Broadcasting. Honorable mention was awarded to Dan Pashman of The Sporkful.

For the Excellence in Short Religion Video Award, first place was awarded to JP Keenan of Sojourners.

Jane PauleyDustin StephensLauren Barnello, and Carol A. Ross of CBS Sunday Morning received first place in Excellence in Television News Magazine Religion Reporting for “The Harmony Project.” Lucky Severson and Noelle Serper of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly received second place for “One Extraordinary Church.” Third place was awarded to David Tereshchuk of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly for “The Amish Grace,” and Liz KinekeNatalie Baxter and Elyse Kaftan, CBS Religion & Culture received an honorable mention for “Religion, Art, Cultural Heritage.”

The award for Excellence in National Network/Cable News Religion Reporting went to Anna WernerWendy Krantz and Dina Zingaro of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

Jeff AbellCory Sellgren and Christine Lien of WBFF-TV received first place for Excellence in Television Local News Religion Reporting.

The winner of the award for Excellence in Religion Documentary was Debra Gonsher Vinik of Diva Communications, Inc. for “Beauty of Their Dreams.”

The award for first place in Photography: Single Image went to Nathaniel Guidry of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Second place went to Dina Rudick of The Boston Globe and third place went to KC McGinnis, for work done at Reading the Pictures & Medium Vantage.

In the Photo Gallery category, Alexandra Radu received first place for work done at Religion News Service. The Boston Globe’s Dina Rudick was awarded second place.

The first place award for Excellence in Nonfiction Religion Book was presented to Katherine Ozment for “Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age.” Second place went to Thomas Krattenmaker for “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don’t Believe” and third place was awarded to Julie Byrne for “The Other Catholics.”

In the Chandler Award for Excellence in Student Religion Reporting, Blake Nelson of the University of Missouri-Columbia won first place. In second place was Lauren Jackson of the University of Virginia. Aysha Khan of the University of Maryland won third place, with Jemar Tisby of the University of Mississippi receiving honorable mention. Russell and M.L. Chandler generously fund the Chandler Award, a student journalism contest.


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