Compass wins top Catholic newspaper honors

By Editor

General Excellence among five CPA awards earned

GREEN BAY — Top honors went to The Compass at the 2009 Catholic Press Association convention held in Anaheim, Calif., May 27-29.

First place in the General Excellence category, for papers with 17,001-40,000 subscribers, went to The Compass for its work during the 2008 year. Second place went to The New Vision of Tucson, Ariz., and third place to The Catholic Universe of Cleveland.

“This newspaper is packed with interesting stories for Catholics as well as non-Catholics,” the judges said. “We found it to be especially strong on local content… This paper is highly relevant reading, appealing to a broad spectrum of ages.”

The awards were judged by members of the American Press Institute. More than 2,500 entries were made in 237 categories.

The Compass also received four other awards:

• Associate editor Patricia Kasten won a first place feature writing award for her article on Elizabeth Ministry International’s prenatal hospice program. “This is a great example,” the judge said, “of how traditional news reporting can employ basic elements, writing in scenes, using dialogue, foreshowing and anecdotes to tell a story as well as provide useful information.”

• Designer Katie Mann received the second place award for “Best Single Ad” for a back to school piece called “What are you taking to school this year?” for the Libertas AODA treatment program. “The message was straightforward and easily discernable, the headline and graphic both get your attention, and the message is important,” the judges said.

• Assistant editor Jeff Kurowski received the third place “sports news” award for a feature on Brett Favre, which the judges called a “topical, well-written piece.”

• Kasten also won a third place “personality profile” award for a feature about retired Bishop Robert Banks. “Great lead draws the reader right into this story that starts with a man’s life at age 60,” judges said. “Quotes seem to round out the picture of this profile.”

Additionally, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith gave an Honorable Mention Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Award for outstanding world mission news coverage in a diocesan newspaper to Compass news director Sam Lucero for a feature on Fr. John Reuter, a diocesan priest who serves as a missionary in Mexico.

This is the eighth General Excellence award (the third time for first place) that The Compass has received from the Catholic Press Association since 1980.

Additionally, Mario Macari, who also creates the monthly Kids’ Page feature for The Compass, won a third place illustration award for his Incredible Saints Kids Page in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald.