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Evangelical Press Association again recognizes Christian Chronicle as top newspaper

The Chronicle earned first-place awards for its print and digital publications.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the fifth time in the past six years, the Evangelical Press Association has recognized The Christian Chronicle with its first-place Award of Excellence for print newspapers.

The professional organization also honored the Chronicle’s website with its top prize for newspaper-online news.

In all, the Oklahoma City-based international newspaper for Churches of Christ earned nine awards from the EPA, which announced the winners at its annual convention in Kentucky this week.

The Evangelical Press Association honored The Christian Chronicle with its top award for print newspapers.

The Evangelical Press Association honored The Christian Chronicle with its top award for print newspapers.

The Christian Chronicle’s greatest strength is its quality of writing, which is uniformly strong, followed by the breadth of coverage,” judges said. “The paper searches for stories that represent diverse churches and outreaches and shows ordinary believers loving their neighbors well.

“We see church folks reaching out to Afghan refugees in San Antonio and immigrants in New York City,” the critique added.  “The Chronicle’s vivid writing and reporting bring us right into these places, and we hear from the hearts of the Church of Christ members moved to take part in these initiatives.”

Related: Religion News Association honors Bobby Ross Jr. with Supple Award for Feature Writing

Judges concluded: “Good mix of features and news reporting; Bobby Ross Jr.’s column is especially strong. Everything is done to a high standard of excellence.”

Despite winning in the print newspaper category, the Chronicle received low ratings for its typography and presentation — weaknesses that Erik Tryggestad, president and CEO, noted that the paper has worked hard to address.

A long-overdue redesign debuts in the May 2024 issue of the Chronicle, complete with new features and new fonts.

“I’m thrilled that the EPA judges acknowledged the outstanding journalism of my colleagues in spite of the dated typography and design,” Tryggestad said. “We produced the stories that the judges honored using an outdated version of our software, which increasingly was prone to crashing. I’m thrilled with our new look, and I think it will make us a stronger contender for these awards in the future.

“Of course, awards aren’t why we do this,” he emphasized. “Our wonderful staff does a tremendous job of delivering first-rate, faith-based content to our readers.”

The Evangelical Press Association honored The Christian Chronicle with its top award for online news.

The Evangelical Press Association honored The Christian Chronicle with its top award for online news.

On the online side, judges lauded the Chronicle’s “very good writing and reporting and … nice mix of stories.”

Judges, who reviewed the website in February, praised Ross’ coverage of Christians working to reduce violence in Kansas City, Mo., and Tryggestad’s column on the need to listen during a contentious political season.

The critique cited Cheryl Mann Bacon’s report on disputed roles for women as “showing respect for all views and documenting the variety of them.”

“I didn’t read a single story that didn’t seem well-crafted, well-edited and well-copy-edited,” one judge wrote. “I appreciate that the news coverage reflects diverse churches and locales. No problems navigating; site looks clean. Though most photos probably aren’t professionally produced, they’re effective nonetheless.”

Ross, the Chronicle’s editor-in-chief, said he was especially pleased to see the paper honored for a variety of strengths — from reporting to photography to its new podcast, which debuted just last year.

The other winning entries included:

Second place

Humorous article: Erik Tryggestad for “Words I had to look up at the Christian Scholars’ Conference.”

Photo feature: Audrey Jackson for “‘If they go into full-time ministry, they’ll go back to poverty.’”

A woman prays at the Tshiawelo Church of Christ, where Songezo Gwanya is a part-time minister.

A woman in South Africa prays in a picture from the photo feature by Audrey Jackson that won second place in the Evangelical Press Association conference.

Third place

Article series: Bobby Ross Jr., Audrey Jackson, Calvin Cockrell and Cheryl Mann Bacon for “Sacred Calling” project.

Reporting: Bobby Ross Jr. for “Sharing love — and Christ — with refugees.”

Single photo — candid: Audrey Jackson for “Kerusso Experience trains high schoolers to fill empty pulpits.”

Joel Storment looks up during a prayer circle after the evening keynote lecture.

The photo of teenage boys praying that placed third for “single photo – candid” in the Evangelical Press Association conference.

Cause of the Year (fostering and adopting): Bobby Ross Jr. for “In a Mexican resort city, Christians care for homeless ‘angels.’”

Fifth place

Podcast: B.T. Irwin and James Flanagan for “Astronaut Victor Glover on communion (in space), creation, discipleship and doubt.”

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Filed under: Christian journalism Christian publishing Christian writers Evangelical Press Association journalism journalism and churches of christ journalism awards National News The Christian Chronicle Top Stories

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