Christian Chronicle The Ross News

My stories honored in national, state journalism contests

I was honored to be named as a finalist this week for the Religion News Association’s 2020 Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence.

My portfolio in the category for best reporting at non-daily newspapers and magazines included:

“A perpetrator in the pews” from Uniontown, Pa., with this related Q&A.

“Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly returning to Africa as medical missionary” from Fort Worth, Texas.

“Texas church grieves, prays, sings after deadly shooting” from White Settlement, Texas, with this sidebar.

Also this week, The Christian Chronicle, where I serve as editor-in-chief, earned six awards — including first place in four categories — from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists.

My individual honors included:

• First place for in-depth enterprise and investigative reporting for my coverage of “A perpetrator in the pews” (previously recognized by the Associated Church Press and the Evangelical Press Association).

Besides the main story, my winning entry featured a related Q&A, a follow-up story and a column on a Chronicle live panel on church sex abuse hosted by Harding University in Searcy, Ark.

• First place for diversity reporting for coverage of Oklahoma Christian University’s efforts at racial reconciliation. The winning entry featured Erik Tryggestad’s in-depth feature “After 50 years, an apology” and my news story on the Christian university changing the name of its auditorium amid concerns about a racist statement attributed to the previous namesake.

• Third place for criminal justice reporting for my coverage of the Botham Jean shooting case, including an interview with the beloved Dallas West Church of Christ member’s parents and a news story on Brandt Jean forgiving the police officer who killed his brother.

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