INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time, The Christian Chronicle
has won recognition as the top national or international newspaper in the Associated Church Press’ “Best of the Christian Press” awards.
The first-place award in the prestigious “Best in Class” category was presented May 7 at the religious press association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.
Editor Lynn McMillon and managing editor Bobby Ross Jr. were cited for their leadership of the international newspaper for Churches of Christ.
displays a high degree of professionalism throughout: smart, engaging writing; clean, crisp design that helps send a message; and compelling storytelling,” contest judge Pamela Hill Nettleton wrote. “Every lead, even of minor stories, is lively, fresh and polished.”
McMillon, the Chronicle’s
editor, president and CEO, said: “We at the Chronicle
are humbled at this professional affirmation of the paper we love bringing to readers each month. Our work is about quality Christian news reporting, and this award is a measure of that mission.”
The Mennonite Weekly Review
, based in Newton, Kan., and serving the Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Brethren, won second place in the Best in Class category. The United Church News
, the news source for the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, claimed third place.
In the past three years, the Chronicle
has won 18 national awards from the Associated Church Press and 22 awards from the Oklahoma professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
“We don’t do what we do to win awards,” said Ross, a former religion writer for The Associated Press. “We do it to fulfill our mission of informing, inspiring and uniting members of Churches of Christ.
“But it’s always nice to be recognized, and the Best in Class award recognizes the combined efforts of literally everyone who plays a role with the Chronicle
reaches an estimated 239,000 readers in all 50 states through its monthly print publication. The 66-year-old newspaper also serves thousands of Christians around the world through its Web site, christianchronicle.org
The nonprofit newspaper is published on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. A national board of trustees provides policy and governance oversight for the independent publication.
“We know that the Chronicle
is a great news vehicle, and having external confirmation is always gratifying,” board Chairman Deon Fair said. “I think this type of quality statement reinforces why we need to hold firm to our goals and continue to stay relevant and current in presentation style and techniques.”
Along with the Best in Class honors, the Chronicle
also won three other awards for work produced in the 2008 calendar year.
Assistant managing editor Erik Tryggestad won second place in newspaper design for his Currents feature
in December on Dry Bones, an inner-city ministry in Denver. Tryggestad received third place in convention coverage for his front-page story on the Africans Claiming Africa for Christ conference
Tryggestad and Bobby Ross claimed third place in front-page design for their treatment of online editor Tamie Ross’ November story and photos on Texas churches responding to Hurricane Ike
“Not too many people get do to what they love for a living,” said Tryggestad, a former daily newspaper reporter who earned his master’s in journalism from the University of Georgia. “I’m blessed to have a job that lets me meet devoted Christians around the globe — and to work with tremendously talented people. When Bobby and Tamie came on board four years ago, they really set the bar high for all of us. I think these awards recognize that.”