Catholic Voice wins six awards in Nebraska newspaper contest

The Catholic Voice picked up six awards – including three firsts – April 22 when the winners of the 2017 Better Newspaper Contests were announced at the annual convention of the Nebraska Press Association in Lincoln.

First-place honors included best feature series, best black-and-white ad and best readership interaction. The Catholic Voice’s annual senior living emphasis issue earned second in specialty page, the newspaper took third in signature ad and third for best front page.

Senior writer Mike May and graphic designer John Bosco were part of the staff team taking first in feature series for a multi-issue look at people living mercy every day in the archdiocese: through jail ministry, mental health counseling, food pantries and other means.

The series helped mark Pope Francis’ Jubilee of Mercy and included stories, photos, a logo and columns by priests about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

"This is a very good series," one judge wrote. "I love the inclusion from the priests. Everything is well written and no words are wasted."

Another first-place award went to the entire staff in reader interaction/contest with the newspaper’s annual Colors of Christmas art competition for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Using a food sponsor, the newspaper matched each of the 2,443 entries with one can of food, dividing more than 100 cases among three food pantries in rural parts of the archdiocese.

"Good idea taking the traditional coloring contest and turning it into a positive community aid effort," a judge wrote. "This project captures the meaning of the season, and puts the paper in the position of being a positive force for the community."

Bosco also took first in single retail advertising idea for a black-and-white ad, with his advertisement for the National Black Catholic Congress titled: "It’s Not Black & White."

"Great heading with a strong message," one judge wrote. "Good balance and use of photo."

The second place senior living emphasis issue – another staff entry – showcased faith and business; making decisions with the elderly about living arrangements; retirement and finances; and senior volunteers taking a variety of roles in parishes across the archdiocese.

Catholic Voice staff members earned third-place honors for a two-page ad celebrating Catholic high school graduation and for best front page – the paper’s July 15 issue.

The Catholic Voice competes with the largest non-daily newspapers in the contest, which included more than 3,800 entries judged by members of the Kansas Press Association.

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