Religion Communicators Council honors 17 for work during 2012

NEW YORK—CBS-TV has won three Wilbur Awards for 2012.

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) announced 17 Wilbur Awards on March 1. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media—print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures—in communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2012.

Two organizations, CNN and the Oprah Winfrey Networks, have earned two stained-glass Wilbur Awards. Other winners include the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post and Simon & Schuster Inc.

John P. “Jack” Blessington, executive producer of the CBS Religion and Culture series, is receiving a special Wilbur honor. It recognizes his contributions to public discussions on faith through the interfaith documentaries he has produced for more than 30 years.

The 2013 awards are to be presented April 6 in Indianapolis during the 84th annual RCC national convention.

CBS earned awards for a March 4, 2012, “60 Minutes” report on “The Archbishop of Dublin”; an April 15, 2012, broadcast titled “What They Believe: Hindus, Zoroastrians, Baha’is”; and a Dec. 21, 2012, report on “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.”

The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in eight categories. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime RCC executive director and former Presbyterian Church executive.

2013 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced during 2012):

Newspapers, national market

The Christian Science Monitor, “No child left alone,” G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

Newspapers, other markets

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., “Faith and Fear,” David Waters.

Magazines, online content

The Huffington Post, “Shalom Y’all: Why the South is looking for a few good Jews,” Jaweed Kaleem.

Books, fiction

Simon & Schuster Inc., A Winter Dream, Richard Paul Evans.

Books, non-fiction

Larson Publications, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, Jean Benedict Raffa.

Books, youth

Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Michael J. Martin.

Television and cable news (9 minutes or more)

Harpo Studios, Oprah Winfrey Network, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” episode title: “America’s Hidden Culture” Parts 1 and 2.

CBS News,“60 Minutes” segment, “The Archbishop of Dublin,” Jeff Fager, executive producer, and Bob Simon, correspondent.

Television and cable news (two to eight minutes)

“The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” segment, “Pay It Forward,” Steve Hartman, correspondent.

Television and cable local news

WTWO-TV Terre Haute, Ind., “Journey for Peace,” Patrick Fazio.

Television and cable documentary

CBS Religion and Culture, “What They Believe: Hindus, Zoroastrians, Baha’is,” John Blessington, executive producer and director; Elizabeth Kineke, writer and producer; Wendy Caplin, editor.

Television and cable interview

Harpo Studios, Oprah Winfrey Network, “Super Soul Sunday,” episode, “Oprah and Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel: Living With an Open Heart.”

Radio, single program

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “Tapestry,” “Autism and the divine,” Mary Hynes, host.

Radio, series

Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, Columbia University, “Rethinking Religion: The Harlem Renaissance—Music, Religion and the Politics of Race,” Norris J. Chumley, host.

Feature films

“Blue Like Jazz,” Ruckus Films, Steve Taylor, director; Donald Miller, Ben Pearson and Steve Taylor, writers; Marshall Allman, executive producer.

Web-based communications, blogs

CNN, Belief Blog, Dec. 31, 2012, Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, co-editors.

Online news stories, “Two Preaching Giants and the ‘betrayal’ that tore them apart.” John Blake.

Special Wilbur Award

John P. “Jack” Blessington, executive producer, CBS Religion and Culture series.

About the Religion Communicators Council:

Founded in 1929, the Religion Communicators Council is the oldest public relations professional association in the United States. The council has more than 450 members and seven regional chapters. Members represent Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish organizations and work in advertising, print and electronic communication, and public relations.

SOURCE: Religion Communicators Council


Shirley Struchen
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