For the second year in a row, the Religion News Association’s national awards were presented in virtual fashion Thursday night because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was honored to receive third place for reporting at magazines and non-daily newspapers. Emma Green of The Atlantic won first place, while John Beck of Moment Magazine earned second place.
“The judges praise Ross for writing with both authority and compassion,” RNA contest chairman Jeff Diamant said.
My entry portfolio included these three stories from The Christian Chronicle:
• Volunteer State: After Tennessee’s deadly tornadoes, churches play a leading role in the disaster relief effort (reporting from Cookeville, Tenn.). With sidebar.
• Protests and prayers: Christians respond to George Floyd’s death with outrage, rallies and calls for justice. With sidebar
• Ousted by Democrats, anti-abortion preacher runs as independent in Tennessee: After 26 years in office, lawmaker faces the fight of his political life.
I was honored to win first place in this category in 2013. I have been an RNA contest finalist seven other times with the Chronicle and twice with The Associated Press.
In this year’s contest, Cheryl Mann Bacon, Chellie Ison, Hamil Harris and I also were named as a finalist for RNA’s Gerald A. Renner Award for Excellence in Religion Enterprise Reporting. Our team covered the faith response to George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis police custody last year, producing a series of videos and stories.