by PETER GRACE
ADELAIDE — Four New Zealand publications won awards in the Australasian Catholic Press Association 2011 awards dinner on September 8.

At the ceremony, at the University of Adelaide, NZ Catholic won the award for Best Front Page — Newspaper. The page was devoted to reporting on the earthquake in Christchurch. Marist Messenger won the award for Best Devotional Article Applying Faith to Life.
The other New Zealand winners were the Nathaniel Report (Best Editorial, by John Kleinsman) and Tui Motu Interislands (Best Front Cover — Magazine).

The judge commented on NZ Catholic‘s winning front page as follows: “While the horrendous earthquakes in Christchurch were dramatic worldwide news, the NZ Catholic front page immediately draws the reader’s attention to the appalling personal impact on the community. The headline, “Broken lives, broken hearts, broken buildings”, immediately expresses the personal impact of the tragedy and leads, via graphic pictures of the cathedral, to a very thoroughly researched and well written story focusing on the trauma and suffering of the Catholic community and the serious damage to the cathedral and other churches.”

NZ Catholic and Marist Messenger also won awards at the Australasian Religious Press Association 2011 awards dinner, at the Stamford Grand, two days later. NZ Catholic won a gold award for Best News Story. Marist Messenger won for Best Story on Social Justice.

The judge commented on NZ Catholic’s winning story as follows:
“In the year of Wiki Leaks, the Haiti earthquake, the Chile mine miracle, the international economic meltdown, North Korean attacks and Iran’s nuclear defiance, this page 1 story captured many facets of the trauma people encountered as a result of the New Zealand earthquake on September 4 — published just a week later. The death of their parish priest a few days before and the shattering of their parish church of St Paul in Dallington in the diocese of Christchurch made people ‘want to come together as a parish to share their grief’. Comments from the Bishop of Christchurch and members of other parishes and schools offer a broader aspect to the story.”

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