Diocesan communication efforts honored in Catholic Press Awards

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Father John Hammond, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Nashville, ascends the parish staircase that leads to the old St. Patrick School above the church. The photo was recognized twice in the 2022 Catholic Press Awards, winning second place in the General News Photo category and an honorable mention in the Spot News Photo category. Photo by Katie Peterson

The communication efforts of the Diocese of Nashville garnered multiple honors at the Catholic Media Conference July 4-7 in Portland, Oregon.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see the diocese’s communication professionals recognized by their peers for their excellent work,” said Gia Riney, the diocese’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Their efforts are an important part of fulfilling the diocese’s mission of living and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, welcoming all.”

The Tennessee Register and its staff received 12 prizes in a variety of categories, including first place finishes in news writing, editorials, photography and sports writing and an honorable mention in the category of Best Newspaper for non-weekly publications with six or more full-time staff members.

“The Register and its staff have long been recognized as one of the Catholic press’ best,” said Register Editor in Chief Rick Musacchio. “I’m proud to see that our colleagues around the country see that we are continuing to meet the high standard we have set for telling the story of the diocese and its people.”

In the Catholic Press Awards, which were announced on July 7, the Register and its staff also received:

  • Best Coverage — Immigration, first place, Katie Peterson for her article “Case managers help arrivals from Afghanistan prosper in new home.” The judges said: “The entry contains a gripping, detailed story of a refugee’s escape from Afghanistan that brings to life the complexities of the situation during the U.S. withdrawal from the country.”
  • Best Editorial on a National or International Issue in a non-weekly publication with six or more full-time staff members, first place, Rick Musacchio and Andy Telli for their editorial, “With vaccines, nuance gets lost in the headlines.” The judges said: “Four columns; in one very timely collection. Vaccines and abortion lines was hardly an editorial. It was that informative. It is so persuasive it feels like truth. Supreme Court religious liberties was the same. The writing is so smooth it doesn’t feel like an editorial.”
  • Best Sports Journalism – Sports News, first place, Andy Telli for his story “SCA grad competes at U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials.” The judges said: “Bold and dramatic imagery capturing the power of competition. Excellent work!”
  • Best Photograph – Immigration/Migration, second place for Katie Peterson, for her photo, “Afghan family welcomed to Nashville.”
  • Best Editorial on a Local Issue – Non-Weekly, 6 -Plus Full-Time Staff Members, second place, Rick Musacchio and Andy Telli for their editorial “Getting vaccinated against COVID virus is an act of love.” The judges said, “Solid, fact-based piece, written with clarity.”
  • Best Photograph – General News Photo, second place, Katie Peterson for her photo “First wave of churches kicks off diocese’s Legacy Campaign.” The judges said, “Atmospheric color and light straight out of an oil painting. Great storytelling. It really sets a scene and has strong sense of place.”
  • Best Photograph – Feature Photo, third place, Katie Peterson for her photo “Christmas at the Cathedral returns.” The judges said, “This is a beautiful photograph with a very creative perspective. It sort of doubles down on the idea of the newspaper reader being a viewer of the scene by making it seem as if the reader is peering through the window.”
  • Best Sports Journalism – Sports News, honorable mention, for Jacob Telli for his article “JPII grad Jake Rucker selected in MLB draft.”
  • Best Photograph – Spot News, honorable mention, Katie Peterson for her photo “Father John Hammond ascends steps at St. Patrick Church.”
  • Photographer of the Year, honorable mention, Katie Peterson.
  • Writer of the Year (English), honorable mention, Katie Peterson.

The diocese also was honored for its social media communications.

“In a short time, the diocese has made a mark with its social media, and these awards are more proof that we are succeeding in the use of this important evangelization and communication tool,” said Bill Staley, the diocesan director of new media evangelization. “We have a talented team and I appreciate that all their hard work has been recognized.”

The awards included:

  • Best Use of Video on Social Media – Diocesan Communications, first place, Jerilyn Rost, producer of the video “Diocese of Nashville: Back to Mass.” The judges said, “Terrific video. Terrific concept. Thoughtful, artistic and inspirational. And the length was perfect.”
  • Best Freestanding Presentation of Online Video-Feature, second place, Bill Staley for “Steeple Raising at Assumption.” The judges said, “New steeple and cross for the parish. The story has been done many times — but I’m not sure it can be done any better than this. It was also one of the shortest entries in the competition — but again just managed to turn that into a strength. The more I watched it, the more I loved it. The videography is pure art. There are many fantastic collected visual details, coming from many angles. The editing is very sharp. It leaves nothing on the table. Very simple, very effective, very touching, very inspiring, very sharp, very poetic, very well done. Lift high the cross.”
  • Best Use of Graphics in Social Media, third place, Jerilyn Rost, assistant director of the Office of Vocations, and Haleigh Ryan, intern, for the piece “Justin Farr.” The judges said, “Each post is a unique and balanced composition of color, layers, font types, inspirational quotes and a dominant image that work very well together.”
  • Best Video — Hot Topic – The COVID -19 Pandemic, honorable mention, Bill Staley, for “COVID-19 Update Diocese of Nashville.”
  • Best Use of Photos in Social Media, honorable mention, Jerilyn Rost, assistant director of the Office of Vocations, and Haleigh Ryan, intern, for “Knights of Columbus supporting our Seminarians.”
  • Best Use of Photos in Social Media, honorable mention, Jovita Hernandez and Tammy Lee of Nashville Catholic Radio and Catholic Media Productions for “ADVENT…preparing for CHRISTmas, What are we waiting for?”
  • Best Freestanding Presentation of Online Video – The Clergy, honorable mention, Bill Staley for “Bishop’s Vocation Story.”

The Gabriel Awards, which recognize the best works in film, broadcasting and cross-platform media that support themes of dignity, compassion and community, also were presented during the Catholic Media Conference. “The Mountaintop,” a program of Nashville Catholic Radio and Catholic Media Productions, won two first place awards:

  • Documentary – Local Release: Radio – English Language, Jim Crowe, host, producer and editor.
  • Best Use of Sound Design: Radio – English Language, Jim Crowe, host, producer, editor and sound design.
  • Glenmary Father Don Tranel, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Carthage, won first place in the Catholic Press Awards in the category “Best Essay — Mission Magazines (Overseas and Home) for his article “A Day in the Life of a Country Priest” in the magazine Glenmary Challenge. The judges said, “This is terrific. A really moving, clearly written piece on missionary work. I tend to think of missionary work as service, but this is truly a modern journey into a community to expand the Church.”
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