BLOOMFIELD – The Catholic Transcript took first place in general excellence, the top award, for biweekly and monthly newspapers in the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.
Transcript reporter Mary Chalupsky won second place for a general news story in a biweekly or monthly newspaper.
It is the third time that the Transcript has come in first in the general excellence category. It also earned the award in 2006 and 2007. Judges of this category are asked to consider news and feature content; editorial and column writing; overall appearance and reader interest; and advertising layout, attractiveness and effectiveness.
Nearly 3,000 entries from New England daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly newspapers were submitted to the Better Newspaper Contest. Results were announced at the annual convention of the NENPA, formerly the New England Press Association, held at the Park Plaza Hotel & Towers in Boston.
The judges said of The Catholic Transcript: "This is a solid newspaper covering the topics that Catholics (and non-Catholics) are talking about. Emphasis on Church and social issues. Excellent color use. Quotable Quotes on Page 2 provide reader interest to o deep into the paper. Appears to have a solid advertising (support) base in the community."
Ms. Chalupsky captured a second-place award in the General News Story category among biweekly and monthly publications for a story about local response to the earthquake in Haiti. She recounted the story of Deacon Charles Dietsch of Sacred Heart Parish in Southbury, who was buried in rubble during the first hours of the earthquake but later rescued.
"A compelling account of what it was like being trapped under rubble in the Haitian earthquake. I was captivated, and I’m sure readers were as well," say the judges’ comments.
The NENPA comprises more than 75 daily and 432 weekly newspapers, as well as 45 members who publish biweekly or monthly.
In a statement of congratulations for the personnel of the Transcript, Msgr. David Q. Liptak, executive editor, took special note of the work and dedication evidenced by managing editor Roberta Tuttle and graphic designers Leslie DiVenere and Joe Brown, as well as the entire reportorial and support staff, including advertising representative Jeff Guerrette.
Despite a relatively small staff, he said, Transcript personnel labor with an obvious sense of commitment to the newspaper’s mission, whose journalistic excellence has been recognized many times over the last several years by highly professional evaluators within Connecticut and New England.
"We are especially indebted to [publisher] Archbishop Henry J. Mansell," Msgr. Liptak added, "for his continuing, strong commitment to print journalism in service to truth."
Over the years, the Transcript has garnered other awards from the NEPA as well as from the Catholic Press Association and Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.