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Catholic San Francisco wins 4 national journalism awards

July 10, 2015
Catholic San Francisco

Two Catholic San Francisco journalists received first- and second-place awards for investigative and feature writing from the 2015 Catholic Press Association newspaper journalism competition. The awards, honoring work published by member publications in the United States and Canada in 2014, were announced June 23 at the CPA convention in Buffalo, New York.

Assistant editor Valerie Schmalz won first place in the national catetory “Best Coverage of Religious Liberty Issues” for a three-part series examining the role of special interest money and organizations in pressuring and influencing religious denonminations. The investigative series was sparked by the role of the group Faithful America, which led an attack on Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone for his appearance at the marriage rally in Washington, D.C., in 2014. Two national publications, Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly and the National Catholic Register, were awarded second and third place respectively in the category.

The “Faithful America” series was additionally awarded second place in the national category of “Best Investigative/Analysis News Writing: Investigative News Writing,” behind the National Catholic Reporter’s first-place award for a series by Melinda Henneberger “The stolen children” about a priest’s role in the theft of newborns in Chile.

Catholic San Francisco reporter Christina Gray’s feature on a homeless man who entered the Catholic Church at Easter, and a subsequent story about how Gray’s story led another Catholic to offer him a place to live for a year, captured first place for “Best Personality Profile” in a diocesan paper with circulation of 40,001 and above.

Gray also was awarded second place for “Best Feature Writing” in the 40,001-plus diocesan newspaper category for the story “Curbside Catholics evangelize on streets of San Francisco.”

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