Visitor wins 2nd place for ‘general excellence’

Categories: Around the Diocese

For the second consecutive year, The Visitor won second place for general excellence in the large-circulation diocesan newspaper category from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

visitorThe award was announced June 26 at the 2015 Catholic Media Conference in Buffalo, N.Y.

General excellence is considered the most prestigious diocesan newspaper award. Catholic New York finished first.

In their comments about The Visitor, the judges said: “Because of its aggressive coverage of every nook and cranny of this rural diocese in central Minnesota, this newspaper deserves an award of excellence. The number of news stories from diverse communities, well written and intelligently edited into a readable format demonstrates there are news stories to present from beyond the chancery and its staff. This is a model of news coverage of an entire diocese. The Visitor is a place where the diocese can meet itself.”

The award recognizes the body of work produced by the entire staff, including news and feature stories, photos, columns and overall design.

The Visitor also won four other CPA awards:

  • Editor Joe Towalski took first place for best editorial on a national or international issue for “Brittany Maynard’s death stirs thoughts about the gift of life,” a reflection on the sacredness of life in light of the suicide death of the 29-year-old brain cancer victim.
  • Staff writer Nikki Rajala garnered second place for best news writing on an international event for “Minnesotan helps rescuers of massive collection of ancient Islamic texts.” Her story examined the efforts of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University in Collegeville to preserve ancient Islamic texts threatened by armed conflict in Africa.
  • Freelancer Jennifer Janikula won an honorable mention for best news writing on a national event for “Human trafficking in Minnesota,” which highlighted the work of local organizations to prevent such crimes, help victims and educate others about the issue
  • Benedictine Father Michael Kwatera of St. John’s Abbey won an honorable mention for best regular column-spiritual life for “Ask Father Michael.” The column addresses liturgy-related topics using a question-and-answer format.
  • Additionally, staff writer Kristi Anderson also won a separate honorable mention award for mission news coverage from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

Her story, “Visiting Kenyans celebrate 15 years of friendship,” reported on a delegation visit from Homa Bay, Kenya, a partner diocese of the Diocese of St. Cloud.