NZ Catholic has been named Publication of the Year at the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) 2020 Awards.
Bronze awards in the Best New Writer and Best Review categories also went to NZ Catholic for articles by Mina Amso and Dr Dan Stollenwerk, respectively.
The awards were released online on October 30, after the ARPA conference scheduled for Perth in September was not held because of Covid-19 restrictions.
The comment by the judge in the Publication of the Year category praised NZ Catholic for being “current and adaptable”, and also noted the paper’s “courage to report honestly and accurately on sensitive issues affecting the community of faith”.
“. . . It is extremely pleasing to see the paper consistently, and effectively, managing difficult issues, such as those surrounding institutional responses to child abuse,” the judge noted.
NZ Catholic’s coverage of Church reaction to the mosque shootings in Christchurch last year was described as “outstanding”. The paper’s design was praised – it was described as “easy to read”. The “the good use of colourful photographs” to balance out the text was also noted.
The judge’s comment went on to state that, in difficult circumstances in New Zealand in recent times, NZ Catholic has supported people of faith “exceptionally well”.
Mina Amso’s article on the religious profession of Carmelite Sr Catherine of Christ last year was described in the awards booklet as “an interesting and inspiring story”.
Dr Dan Stollenwerk’s review of a book on Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue was praised for its “crisp sentences and placement in context”.
Commenting on the Publication of the Year Award, NZ Catholic editor Dr Michael Otto said he was delighted at the awards success. He paid tribute to NZ Catholic’s staff.
“Our staff are committed, hard-working – and talented,” he said, adding that the judge had noted how well NZ Catholic does “ . . . because church publications, whatever denomination, are usually thinly-resourced”.
Dr Otto also praised NZ Catholic’s contributors, all of whom help make the paper what it is.
‘This was especially shown in the other two awards for Mina Amso and Dr Dan Stollenwerk,” he said.
“I think we put out a strong all-round product, and it is good to see that acknowledged.”
Dr Otto thanked ARPA for its acknowledgement of the paper, and also noted the support of Bishop Patrick Dunn, NZ Catholic’s publisher since its inception in 1996.
“We are grateful for the opportunity given to us by our publisher,” he said.