Religion Communicators Council honors 26 for work during 2016
(Black PR Wire) NEW YORK—A motion picture, two television productions and a non-fiction book that tell stories of black Americans lead the list of 2017 Wilbur Award winners.
The Religion Communicators Council announced 26 Wilbur Award winners March 7. 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 2016.
Hidden Figures, the 20th Century Fox production about African-American women behind astronaut John Glenn’s historic space launch; Roots, the History Channel’s remake of Alex Haley’s portrait of American slavery; black-ish, ABC-TV’s comedy about a black family’s search for cultural identity; and New York University Press book, Black Women’s Christian Activism: Seeking Social Justice in a Northern Suburb, are to receive individually crafted stained-glass Wilbur trophies at an awards ceremony in Chicago next month.
The 2017 awards are to be presented April 1 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago O’Hare during the council’s 88th annual national convention.
Other Wilbur winners include The Associated Press, Canadian Broadcasting Company, CBS News, National Geographic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), and WAND-TV 17, Decatur, Illinois.
The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in seven 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 council leader and former Presbyterian Church executive.
2017 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced during 2016):
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES print and online
National or Top 15 metro markets (single article, series of articles, special section, religion page)
“DIVIDED AMERICA: Evangelicals feel alienated, anxious,” Rachel Zoll, national reporter; The Associated Press, New York, New York
All other markets (single article, series of articles, special section, religion page)
“Silent Sanctuaries,” Peter Smith, religion editor; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
“Faith Matters,” David Waters, writer; The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee; (series of articles: “Founding Fathers wrote Tennessee’s ‘official book,’ not God,” “Anti-LGBT law also anti-American,” “Homicides dim season of light in Memphis”)
MAGAZINE ARTICLES print and online
National or Top 15 metro markets (single article, series of articles, religion page)
“Winning at Life,” by Grace Conenna as told to Paula Chin, Woman's Day, New York, New York
All other markets (single article, series of articles, religion page)
“Jesus Christ and Super Stars: How the Holy Rolled Mainstream in Pop Music,” Alana Massey, writer; Ellie Faustino, managing editor; Religion Dispatches, Los Angeles, California
“Religious Diversity May Be Making America Less Religious,” Daniel Cox, writer;
FiveThirtyEight.com, Public Religion Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
BOOKS including e-Books
Black Women’s Christian Activism: Seeking Social Justice in a Northern Suburb, Betty Livingston Adams, author; New York University Press, New York, New York
The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey, Dawn Anahid MacKeen, author; Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York
Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist, Rachelle Burk, author; Claudia Gadotti, illustrator; Bronson Pinchot and Katherine Keligren, narrators; Sue Zizza, director/producer, SueMedia Productions, Hempstead, New York
Hidden Figures, Theodore Melfi, director; Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi, producers; Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, screenplay writers; 20th Century Fox
Documentary (30 min.+)
Big Sonia, Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday, directors; Leah Warshawski, producer;
Inflatable Film, Seattle, Washington
Sick Pilgrim, Jessica Mesman Griffith and Jonathan Ryan, Traverse City, Michigan
American Muslims: Facts vs. Fiction, Unity Productions Foundation, Alex Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, executive producers; Silver Spring, Maryland
“Silent Sanctuaries,” Laura Schneiderman, interactive developer; Peter Smith, religion editor; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TELEVISION & CABLE
Roots, Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner, Alison McDonald, Charles Murray, writers; History, New York, New York
News – network or national syndication (up to 8 min.)
“The Harmony Project,” Jane Pauley correspondent; Rand Morrison, executive producer; Dustin Stephens, producer; Lauren Barnello and Carol A. Ross editors; CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News, New York, New York
News – network or national syndication (8 min.+)
“The Resurrection of St. Benedict’s,” Scott Pelley, correspondent; Jeff Fager, executive producer; Guy Campanile and Andrew Bast, producers; Peter M. Berman, editor; 60 Minutes, CBS News, New York, New York
Public Broadcasting (up to 8 mins)
“Cochin Synagogue,” Fred de Sam Lazaro, reporter; Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Washington, D.C.
Public Broadcasting (more than 8 mins.)
“Christians Countering Anti-Muslim Sentiment,” Kim Lawton, reporter; Noelle Cwiklinski Serper, producer, Religion & Ethics, NewsWeekly, Washington, D.C.
News – local
Documentary (up to 30 min.)
“Religion and Democracy,” Elizabeth Kineke, producer; John P. Blessington, senior executive producer; CBS Television: Religion and Culture, CBS News, New York, New York
Documentary (30 min.+)
“The Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” James Younger, Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman, Michael J. Miller, Simon Andreae, executive producers; Scott Tiffany, supervising producer; Frank Kosa, producer; National Geographic, Washington, D.C.
“God,” black- ish, Kenya Barris, creator/executive producer; Laura Gutin Pearson, episode writer/producer; ABC Television, Burbank, California
RADIO OR PODCASTS feature stories, not commentary
“The acid attack survivor who became a comic book superhero,” Mary Hynes, host; Erin Noel, Acey Rowe, Rosie Fernandez, and Marc Appolonio, producers; Tapestry, Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Series of programs (two or more)
“The Power of Nonviolence,” David Freudberg, writer and producer in association with
WGBH/Boston, Human Media, Belmont, Massachusetts
Documentary (up to 30 min.)
“An attack backfires: how a mosque bombing brought Peterborough together,” Mary Hynes, host; Erin Noel, Jeff Goodes, and Rosie Fernandez, producers; Tapestry, Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
About the Religion Communicators Council
The Religion Communicators Council (RCC), founded in 1929, is an association of communications professionals who work for and with a diverse group of faithbased organizations in the areas of communications, public relations, marketing and development.