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Aleteia takes top award at Catholic Media Convention


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Magnús Sannleikur - published on 06/14/21 - updated on 06/17/21

Fourth time in six years in which the website receives honor.

Aleteia won first place for Best Website in the Catholic Media Association’s annual awards competition. It was the fourth time in six years Aleteia has taken the top honor.

The English edition of Aleteia scored the prize in the General Publisher category for websites. It also received first place in the category of Best Regular Column on the Spiritual Life, for the Sunday Lifestyle column of Fr. Michael Rennier.

Judges for the competition said they found Aleteia’s content all “very accessible and very well done.

“The coverage is incredibly broad; nothing is out of reach,” they said. “There are virtual visits to famous places; stories from different continents; hard news & soft features; art & architecture; daily meditations.”

Of Fr. Rennier’s writing, the judges said, “The personal narratives and reflection in these columns made this entry a winner. The strong writing of interesting subject matter makes this column a pleasure to read.”

The website also took home a third place award in Best Coverage of Pro-life Issues. Specifically, the organization recognized articles by John Burger about the healing of an unborn baby due to the miraculous intervention of Blessed Michael McGivney; Jeffrey Bruno on the work of a crisis pregnancy center in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and Theresa Civantos Barber’s personal account of lessons learned from giving birth.

The judges found the coverage included “several pro-life issues from the lens of heartwarming yet socially relevant and timely stories.”

“What sets the series apart is the descriptive narrative and exploring the different layers of the story,” they said. “The writers put a human face on key issues within the pro-life movement, from five-year-old Michael Schachle’s inspirational story to an examination of the pregnancy crisis during covid to a first-person account on the joys and challenges of motherhood.”

Aleteia was also acknowledged with two honorary mentions. One was for Best In Depth News/Special Reporting for Burger’s article about the crisis among maritime workers during the pandemic and another by him about hospital chaplains struggling to minister to COVID-19 patients.

The other honorary mention was in the Best Personality Profile category, citing a photo essay by Bruno, “The Story of a Millennial Nun.”

The awards were announced Thursday at the annual Catholic Media Convention, which was to be held in Baltimore this year but was conducted “virtually” out of precaution during the ongoing pandemic.

Earlier in the week, members of the Catholic Media Association heard from three Vatican officials: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, and Natasa Govekar, Theological-Pastoral Director of the Dicastery for Communication.

Other conference speakers included Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, and Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori. Workshops were conducted in topics such as navigating negative comments on social media, producing a podcast, and finding stories on slow news days. 

The organization also recognized Cindy Wooden, Rome bureau chief of Catholic News Service, with its highest honor, the St. Francis de Sales Award. The award, named for the patron saint of writers and journalists, recognizes “outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism.” 

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