NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Catholic Herald, official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison, won four awards in the 2010 Catholic Press Awards competition sponsored by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.
The awards were announced at an awards program during the annual Catholic Media Convention held in New Orleans June 2 to 4. Pam Payne, associate editor of the Catholic Herald in Madison, was one of two emcees for the awards program.
Catholic Herald Editor Mary C. Uhler won two awards for editorials. She earned a first place award for Best Editorial on a Local Issue for an editorial entitled "Church is committed to helping the poor" published in the issue of June 11, 2009. The editorial discussed the closing and reopening of the Catholic Multicultural Center and emphasized the Church's commitment to serving the poor.
Judges' commented on this editorial, "Conversational style delivers a clear explication. The author achieves resonance and relevance to readers' personal economic stresses. Commentary provided good context."
Uhler also won a third place award for Best Editorial on a National or International Issue for the editorial, "Draw an ethical line in regulating research." This editorial, published in the issue of March 12, 2009, criticizes President Barack Obama's executive order reversing the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
The judges said, "By blending personal experience, presidential action, and the views of a religious organization leader, this commentary by Mary C. Uhler pulls together important threads to make the writer's case against President Obama's executive order regarding federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. The point is not all shrill, but unequivocal just the same."
Best News Writing
The Catholic Herald also won second place for Best Local/Regional News Writing for its coverage of the Madison Surgery Center controversy. Articles were written by reporter Kat Wagner and Uhler.
The judges said, "Solid coverage of an issue, that issue being whether the Madison Surgery Center Board should allow abortions to be performed. The articles covered the various groups who opposed abortion, reporting well on doctors who spoke out on the issue, and pro-life groups who braved the cold to protest on several occasions. Good writing on a controversial topic."
Grand Mom column
The Catholic Herald won a third place award for Best Regular Column-Family Life for the "Grand Mom" column by Audrey Mettel Fixmer, a freelance writer from Fort Atkinson.
The judges said of her column, "This writer uses her many life experiences and observations to relate to readers. The column about her spouse was poignant and the column about miraculous changes was amusing and on target. The 'Grand Mom' moniker truly fits!"
Other state awards
The Catholic Herald in Milwaukee won two awards: first place for Best One Time Special Issue for its farewell supplement on Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and second place for General Excellence among diocesan newspapers under 17,000 circulation.
The Compass of the Diocese of Green Bay won first place for General Excellence in the 17,001 to 40,000 circulation category, two writing awards, and awards for circulation promotion and media kit.
The winning Catholic Herald articles are posted on the Web site:
Mary Uhler editorials
Madison Surgery Center Controversy
- "Surgery center board approves abortion plan," published Feb. 6, 2009
- "Board approves abortion proposal in Madison," published Feb. 5, 2009
- "Marchers oppose abortions in Madison," published Feb. 5, 2009
- "Pro-lifers submit 20,000-plus petitions," published Feb. 5, 2009
- "Madison clinic considers performing midterm abortions," published Jan. 15, 2009
Grand Mom: past columns