Detroit Catholic wins third place for 'best online content'; archdiocese's 'Open Door Policy' podcast honored
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In its first year of existence as the successor to the Archdiocese of Detroit's former award-winning newspaper, the archdiocese's new digital news platform, Detroit Catholic, has been recognized as one of the top Catholic publications in the nation in several competitive categories.
As Catholic journalists, media professionals, communications directors and digital media specialists gathered for the 2019 Catholic Media Conference from June 18-21 in St. Petersburg, Fla., Detroit Catholic and the Archdiocese of Detroit earned five awards from the Catholic Press Association, which sponsors the conference.
The awards spanned the gamut of media platforms, including awards for writing, podcasting, video production and social media.
Detroit Catholic staff reporter Dan Meloy earned first place in the “Best Reporting of Social Justice Issues” category for a November 2018 story chronicling the journey of faith and patience of two local families as they navigated the complex process of adopting children.
The piece, titled “God's plan all along: Adopting families share stories of life, love and happiness,” shared how the two families, the Allors and the Flickingers — each in different ways — welcomed adopted children into their lives with open arms.
As a publication, Detroit Catholic also earned the CPA's third-place award for “Best Online Content Not Published in Print” — a nod to the quality of the publication overall. The award was judged among all Catholic publications across the United States and Canada, including national magazines and newspapers.
Normally, diocesan newspapers are judged against their peers of similar circulation size and frequency, said Detroit Catholic editor Mike Stechschulte.
“Since, as an online publication, we don't have a print circulation, this award means the world to us,” Stechschulte said. “To be competing — and to win third place — against national publications speaks to the quality of journalism we strive to produce every day online with Detroit Catholic. We're immensely grateful to God and our readers.”
The publication also earned honorable mention for the CPA's “Best Multimedia Package” award. The winning entry, “Catholic Central students lift weights with the power of Mary,” highlighted the innovative, faith-filled morning “rosary workouts” at Novi Detroit Catholic Central High School, the brainchild of a school theology teacher and a local athletic trainer.
The multimedia package included a story written by Meloy and accompanied by a video report produced by Detroit Catholic freelancer John-Henry Keenan.
Apart from Detroit Catholic, the Archdiocese of Detroit's communications department also won two awards for its multimedia productions. The archdiocese won first place for “Best Use of Video on Social Media” for its Christmas 2018 video, “Part of the Family,” encouraging local Catholic families to attend Christmas Mass together.
The video was accompanied by the archdiocese's “Radically Mission-Oriented Christmas” initiative, which included a new website — MassFinder.org — to help Catholic families discover Mass times nearby.
Finally, the archdiocese won third place for the CPA's “Best Podcast Program” award for its hit “Open Door Policy” podcast, which debuted in fall 2018.
The podcast features banter and interviews with co-hosts Fr. Stephen Pullis and Danielle Center and guests from across the Archdiocese of Detroit about living as radical witnesses to the Gospel message. The podcast, which is produced by Ron Pangborn, follows the themes of Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron's Unleash the Gospel pastoral letter.
“Open Door Policy” is currently recording its third season. Listeners can download the first two seasons on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Fireside.