MEDIA experts have recognised The Catholic Leader newspaper as a benchmark for quality Catholic journalism at the 2018 Australasian Catholic Press Association Awards.
Journalist Mark Bowling received the award for Best News Story for his story on the disturbing teen “sexting” culture raised by a Catholic school principal in Bundaberg.
Mr Bowling also received highly-commended awards for his stories on Brisbane teacher Ora Duffley’s voluntary work in Iraq, and the emotional journey of hero taxi driver Aguek Nyok and his search for his mother whom he had not seen since he was six years old.
The Catholic Leader team jointly received the award for Best Front Cover, with the judges saying the design was of a standard “we have come to expect from The Catholic Leader”.
The Brisbane-based newspaper also received highly-commended awards for Best Layout and Design and Best Advertising Feature.
The Australasian Catholic Press Association represents Catholic journalists and communications professionals from more than 140 Catholic publications from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Managing editor Matt Emerick said The Catholic Leader news and advertising teams strived to produce a newspaper that was a voice for the Church.
“We are proud to continue our reputation for producing quality Catholic journalism highlighting the human face of the Church,” Mr Emerick said.
“There is no other avenue for people to receive Catholic news that is faithful to the teachings of the Church than in a Catholic newspaper, and our team works hard to ensure that our newspaper stands out as having a national influence and importance.”
The Catholic Leader is published weekly in Brisbane and distributed to more than 50,000 people across Queensland and Australia, earning the reputation of being one of Australia’s most prolific Catholic newspapers.
Catholic News Service director and editor-in-chief Greg Erlandson encouraged the ACPA members at the awards night to continue their hard and often undervalued vocation as journalists and writers.
He said Catholic press was often the only Catholic voice in a world desperate for hope.
The team also won a gold award for the Best Social Media Campaign for the AskOne Challenge, at the Australasian Religious Press Association awards presented in Brisbane last weekend.
“This was a positive and engaging campaign equipping Catholic church-goers with a simple evangelical tool,” the awards booklet said.
“One comment captured the creative power of this campaign: ‘Thank you (The Catholic Leader) for reminding us all that we can transform our Church and society one person at a time’.”