The Visitor won six awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, including an honorable mention for “general excellence” in the large-circulation diocesan newspaper category. The awards were announced June 3 at the 2016 Catholic Media Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
General excellence is considered the most prestigious diocesan newspaper award.
In their comments about newspaper, the judges said: “The Visitor successfully employs traditional community journalism skills to allow diocesan members to meet each other and their leadership.
Activities and individuals involving various parishes and diocesan activities are reported in well-written stories and illustrated with yearbook quality photos of participants. Readers are enticed into stories by good photos, strong headlines and creative leads.”
The award recognizes the body of work produced by the entire staff, including news and feature stories, photos, columns and overall design.
The five other awards were:
• Dianne Towalski earned first place for best photo story for “Becoming Catholic,” which followed the Meyer family of St. Paul Parish in St. Cloud through their experience of the Easter Vigil.
• The Visitor’s series of profiles of local religious communities written by Kristi Anderson earned first place for best coverage of the Year of Consecrated Life.
• Winning first place in the best news writing category was “New Habitat Home will Honor Pope Francis,” a series of stories by Dianne Towalski about the building of a Habitat for Humanity home in St. Cloud.
• Visitor freelancer Paul Middlestaedt earned a second-place award for best feature photograph for his coverage of “Journey with Jesus to Calvary,” a Holy Week performance at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in St. Francis.
• Editor Joe Towalski earned a second place award for best editorial on a national/international Issue for his editorial, “Decline in pope’s popularity rating isn’t all bad news.”