BLOOMFIELD – The Catholic Transcript has won six awards in the specialty newspapers category, including top prize for overall excellence and first place for general excellence in advertising, in the 2013 New England Better Newspaper Competition.
It was the second year in a row that the Transcript won first place in general excellence, and it prompted the judges to write, "Great leads and transitions. Very enticing, direct reporting. Striking images, beautiful layout, eye appealing ads and true community service."
The general excellence in advertising prize is the top award on the business side. The judges noted the paper’s good ad support and stated, "Excellent job of mining the specific advertiser categories that a specialty publication like this is most suited for."
M. Regina Cram took first place for editorial/opinion writing for three columns: "Build my Church" (November 2012); "Mental illness and whoopie pies" (June 2013) and "Mercy for the merciless" (February 2013). NENPA judges described her columns as "Insightful, honest and beautifully written."
For his human interest feature story "‘Midnight run’ brings daylight to many lives" (April 2013), Jack Sheedy earned first place. The judges said it was a "thoughtful, well described journey inside the angels at night who feed and help the homeless," delivered "with compassion and great storytelling."
Photographer Bob Mullen won second place for his feature photo in the April 2013 issue that showed Deacon Carlos Castrillón praying inside St. Joseph Cathedral.
The Transcript also took third place for a themed or sponsored ad page in the June 2013 issue that highlighted ordinations and religious anniversaries. "Community-driven content and targeted religious ads, features and profiles make this section thorough and engaging for targeted readers," the judges said.
The contest is held annually by the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA). More than 3,200 entries were submitted by daily, weekly and specialty publications. The awards were presented Feb. 7 and 8 in Boston.