GSR, NCR win multiple awards for 2019 reporting

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Home shared by three Sacred Heart sisters in La Chacra, on the outskirts of San Salvador: a photo by Chris Herlinger that appeared in his Nov. 21, 2019, article "Amid Salvadoran gang violence, sisters strive to shepherd at-risk youth"

Global Sisters Report's 2019 coverage of Catholic women religious around the world was recognized recently with seven awards by the Associated Church Press, which also recognized National Catholic Reporter with three awards.

The Religion Communicators Council also recently announced that Global Sisters Report international correspondent Chris Herlinger won an Award of Excellence and a Best in Class Award for a series of stories about sisters in El Salvador working to counter the influence of gangs and helping to heal lingering wounds from the country's civil war. He also received an Award of Excellence for a profile of theologian Jesuit Fr. Jon Sobrino and his work with his colleagues who were murdered in El Salvador. That profile appeared in NCR.

The awards for both organizations were supposed to be announced in person at the Religion Communication Congress in Washington, D.C., which was canceled because of the COVID-19 virus.

Instead, the Associated Church Press' Best of the Church Press Awards were announced during a March 19 livestream. Founded in 1916, the Associated Church Press is the oldest interdenominational religious press association in North America. An Award of Excellence is the highest honor, followed by an Award of Merit and then Honorable Mention.

Awards to Global Sisters Reports from the Associated Church Press were:

  • Award of Merit for overall excellence and best in class for an independent website: Global Sisters Report staff, contributors and columnists;
  • Award of Excellence for a theme issue, section or series by a news service or website: Doreen Ajiambo, Patrick Egwu, Soli Salgado, Chris Herlinger and Sr. Joyce Meyer for GSR's series on sisters against human trafficking, which culminated in coverage of the 10th anniversary gathering of Talitha Kum in Rome;
  • Award of Excellence for a theme issue, section or series by a newspaper or newsletter: Chris Herlinger for a series of stories about sisters working to counter gang violence and bring hope and healing to El Salvador;
  • Award of Merit for convention or meeting coverage by a news service, website or blog: Dan Stockman and Soli Salgado for coverage of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious' 2019 assembly;
  • Award of Merit for a theme issue, section or series by a news service or website: Soli Salgado for her Nuns and Nones series;
  • Award of Merit for in-depth coverage by a news service, website or blog: Dan Stockman for "Justice, canon law, restoration: How do sisters heal after transgressions?"; and
  • Honorable mention for a feature article by a news service, website or blog: Dawn Araujo-Hawkins for "Descendants of enslaved people find their roots in Sacred Heart records."

The National Catholic Reporter awards were:

The Religion Communicators Council, founded in 1929, gives its DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards annually to members who demonstrate excellence in religious communications and public relations. This year, the council received more than 250 entries.