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Best in Class: Christian Chronicle named top newspaper by Associated Church Press

In all, international newspaper for Churches of Christ receives nine awards in 'Best of the Christian Press' national contest.

The Christian Chronicle earned top honors in the annual “Best of the Christian Press” contest sponsored by the Associated Church Press.

The May 2014 front page of The Christian Chronicle’s print edition.

The international newspaper for Churches of Christ captured the first-place Award of Excellence in the prestigious “Best in Class” category for national/international newspaper. The Mennonite World Review received the second-place Award of Merit, and the Anglican Journal claimed honorable mention.

Winners were announced May 1 at the ACP’s annual convention in Toronto.

The Christian Chronicle is consistently well-written,” judges said, “with compelling stories that range from feeding the homeless in Tulsa to girls abducted in Africa for human-trafficking to the racial strife in Ferguson.” 

The Chronicle received nine awards for content published in 2014. In all, the newspaper has won 65 national ACP awards since 2007 and been recognized in the Best in Class contest for nine consecutive years. This is the third time the Chronicle received first-place honors in the category, winning previously in 2009 and 2013.

Following is a list of awards for 2014 content, followed by comments from judges:

Award of Excellence (1st Place)

BEST IN CLASS/PRINT: National/International Newspaper — The Christian Chronicle:  Lynn McMillon, president/CEO; Erik Tryggestad, editor; Bobby Ross Jr., chief correspondent; Tonya Patton, advertising manager; Kimberly Mauck, reviews editor; Lynda Sheehan, administrative assistant; Joy McMillon, administrative assistant; Laura Akins, editorial assistant; Kelcy Nash, advertising assistant

• • •

 



Duck Commander and church elder Phil Robertson, left, prays at the end of a Sunday morning Bible class that he teaches at the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)


FEATURE ARTICLE: “Inside the ‘Duck Dynasty’ Church” by Bobby Ross Jr. — “Excellent, compelling and well-crafted story about the church that’s been transformed by the Duck Dynasty celebrity of its members. The story is full of good detail including the four kids from Texas who attend a Sunday service wearing Duck Dynasty clothing they bought at the nearby Duck Dynasty store.” 
• • •

Davy Dansberry leads a prayer at the Ferguson Heights Church of Christ in Ferguson, Mo. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)



NEWS STORY: “Worship Is Our Protest” by Bobby Ross Jr. — “The writer does a good job of quoting different people with different opinions and points of view regarding the protests and includes the voices of experts on the history of Church of Christ congregations avoiding involvement in civil rights protests.”
• • •

America Ferrera, star of ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” plays games with children from Latin America at a Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. (PHOTO BY LYNN McMILLON)


THEME ISSUE, SECTION, OR SERIES: “One Nación Under God” by Erik Tryggestad, Bobby Ross Jr., Lynn McMillon and Amanda Jordan — “Great special report, takes readers into the background and significance of the subject. Can be very useful for your intended audience, for newcomers and for posterity.”
• • •

During a visit to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2011 — one year after the devastating earthquake — Harry Hames walks with a group of children at an orphanage. (PHOTO BY ERIK TRYGGESTAD)


PHOTO SPREAD WITH ARTICLE OR CUTLINE: “I’m Getting More Than I Give,” profile of Healing Hands International’s Haiti coordinator Harry Hames, photos by Erik Tryggestad — “There are no wasted images. The spread has all the photographs to quickly tell the story, a lead photograph and a series of images that build the story from beginning to end. The lead photograph has emotion and really almost tells the story in one photograph.” 

Award of Merit (2nd Place)

Elders Elton “Tex” Blenden, left, and Bob Martin, right, join the Somerset Church of Christ in prayer. The southwestern Pennsylvania congregation enacted a new child protection policy after John Hinton’s arrest. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)


FEATURE ARTICLE: “A Child Molester’s Son Shines a Light” by Bobby Ross Jr. — “This is an incredible story of a son who turned in his minister father for being a child molester. It’s a complicated, conflicted story of a father and a son and the fathers of children who were molested by a pedophile minister. The story is compelling, and the writing is excellent.”
• • •

In his office in Mbale, Uganda, Dennis Okoth talks about the trials of his past. (PHOTO BY ERIK TRYGGESTAD)



IN-DEPTH COVERAGE: “Persecution and the Church” by Erik Tryggestad — “This is an exceptional package from start to finish. Right from the top, the reader is given a compelling character in (Dennis) Okoth, and then the story skillfully zooms out to tell the story of persecution in Uganda and the wider world. That piece truly sets the stage with strong reporting, great sources and astute biblical and historical parallels that provide a different perspective on modern persecution.”
• • •

Ekpli Lord Lugard, after his baptism in Togo. (PHOTO BY ERIK TRYGGESTAD)


COLUMN: Three “Inside Story” columns by Erik Tryggestad: “I was sick and you visited me,” “In Africa, an expensive soul gets new life” and “On a Christmas Eve layover, ‘Lord, give me your eyes” — “These columns are incredible. The storytelling ability of the writer puts the reader at ease, yet also causes the reader to anxiously await what is to come. The line in the Africa column about a royal name being added to a royal priesthood shows the creative strength of the writer.” 

Honorable Mention


Quaylon Hughes and his grandfather, Bob Hughes, wade into a pool of rainwater for baptism. (PHOTO BY MARK ADAMS)


SINGLE PHOTO WITH ARTICLE OR CUTLINE: “God Will Make a Way – and a baptistery” by Mark Adams​ — “(The photo) has that sense of place so important in this type of story. There are layers of information in the images, like the houses in the background, that help get the point across.”

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