The Catholic Anchor was recognized nine times for excellence in journalism at the national competition sponsored by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. The contest winners, for works published in 2016, were announced in June at the Catholic Media Convention in Quebec City, Canada.
The Anchor, now in its 18th year of operation, has won more than 100 awards in secular and national religious journalism competitions. At the Catholic Press Association, the Anchor won awards both in the open category against all publications and in the category of diocesan newspapers from around the U.S. and Canada.
Judges included journalism professors, award winning editors and reporters who have worked for the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, Better Homes & Gardens, The Miami Herald, CNN, Fox and NBC.
Competing against all classes, including many of the largest Catholic newspapers in the nation, the Catholic Anchor won four awards.
The Anchor took first place for Best Coverage of Local Politics. Contributions in this category included pieces by Anchor Editor Joel Davidson and Assistant Editor Patricia Coll Freeman.
Judges noted, “Catholics interested in social issues need go no further than the Catholic Anchor.” Judges praised the “superb effort,” saying that the “strength of the coverage is not just detailed information, but also the church position. Very well done and a community service.”
Competing against all diocesan newspapers in the country, the Anchor took second place for “Best Editorial Page or Section.” Judges noted the “strong editorials that provide insight and guidance for Catholics.”
Again competing against all Catholic newspapers, the Anchor took third place for “Best Reporting of Social Justice Issue,” in the category of rights and responsibilities. The winning entry came from Patricia Coll Freeman for her article that dealt with Alaska parents who see faith benefits in home schooling. Judges praised the “tightly focused” article that “makes a compelling argument for these parents’ close supervision of their children’s education.”
In photography the Anchor took third place competing against all newspapers in the “Best Multiple Picture Package” for photos by Joel Davidson during a blessing of the animals gathering at St. Michael Church in Palmer.
Competing against all non-weekly diocesan newspapers with circulations up to 25,000, the Anchor took first place for “Best Coverage of Pro-life Issues.” Contributions from Patricia Coll Freeman and Anchor freelance writers Mindy Goorchenko and Tiffany Borges were praised by judges as “poignant well-told stories” that are “chockfull of information, process, and ways to support women at various stages of pregnancy, birth, adoption, or post-abortion. They reflect a powerful pro-life ‘put your money where your mouth is’ approach.”
Competing against all non-weekly diocesan newspapers with circulations up to 25,000, Anchor Editor Joel Davidson took top honors for Best Editorial on a National/International issue for writing about the need for churches to welcome women with out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Judges noted that the editorial “takes a courageous stance on supporting women who are pregnant outside of marriage. Drawing from national data about women, pregnancy, abortion and churches, the author segues to the local organization providing hope for women struggling to remain whole.”
Davidson also took two honorable mentions for Best Editorial on a Local Issue. These pieces dealt with the Kenai Assembly prayer policy and the transgender policy for Alaska’s student athletes.
Davidson also took honorable mention for Best Reporting on Vocations to Priesthood, Religious Life or Diaconate.