A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Quake reports win plaudits at Press Awards

Peter Grace

Peter Grace accepts awards

At the Annual Conference of the Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) in Adelaide at the beginning of September, several Awards  were given to NZ Catholic Publications for coverage of the Christchurch Earthquake. NZ Catholic newspaper edited by Peter Grace  won two awards including a Front Page, and in-depth reporting of the disaster. Tui Motu Interislandsgot recognition for Cover artwork, after scooping the pool of major awards last year.

Fr Brian O'Connell accepts award

Fr Brian O'Connell accepts award

The Marist Messenger won the Award for the Best Devotional Article applying Faith to Life  with a Stations of the Cross based on images and people in Christchurch (MM April 2011). This was the work of Rotorua writer Liz Pearce, and was published in time for celebrations during Lent all over the country.  Mark Brolly  writes on Australasian matters for the London Tablet and won an award for the Melbourne Anglican.

The major Bishop Kennedy awards went to two young journalists with established journals, Fiona Basile (Kairos) and Damian Griffin(Sandpiper).

In the parallel ecumenical Conference of the Australasian Religious Press Association ((ARPA), 14 NZ writers attended and  also figured in the Awards. NZ Catholic picked up the Gold Award for Best News Item “Help for Quake-hit parishes”; The Marist Messenger won the Gold Award for Best Social Justice story. It was Fr Jim Consedine’s Account of the Waihopai verdicts “With Joy-filled Hearts”.(MM June 2010) This drama is still being played out in the courts while the Government ponders how to recover $1.1 million despite the not-guilty verdicts for wilful damage.

Other New Zealand publications to catch the eye were Warcry (5 citations), Touchstone, LinkWELL, and NZBaptist.

The major Gutenberg Award for overall excellence went to Australian Linda McQueen of the Lutheran magazine – circulation 8,500. She started from scratch, 13 years ago. In her acceptance speech she gave all the credit to her trust in God.

Given that the 2012 Conferences are to be held in Wellington NZ, there have been changes in leadership in both Associations. Wellington-based Errol Pike has taken the presidency of ARPA for a one year term, and Brian O’Connell is now NZ Vice President of ACPA.

Every year at ACPA there has grown the practice of inviting someone from the Pacific rim area. This year it was Fr Michael Puthankandam, a priest from Kerala who is ministering in East Timor. He was well received, and in an exchange of gifts presented some cultural gifts to the ACPA president Kerry Meyers pictured below.

Fr Michael Puthankandam

Fr Michael Puthankandam exchanges gifts

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