Wilbur Awards

2016 Wilbur Awards

Entry deadline: February 5, 2016

Categories for 2016 will be similar to previous years with some modification. The 2016 entry categories will be posted in early September, 2015.

2015 Winners list and photos

For over 85 years the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) has helped tell the story at the intersection of faith and the public arena, all the while encouraging understanding and respect among faith groups.

RCC presents the Wilbur Awards to promote and encourage excellence in the communication of religious faith and positive values through a variety of secular media. We want to recognize the work of individuals and agencies as they communicate about religious issues, values and themes, with professionalism, fairness and honesty.

The Wilbur Award, first given in 1949, honors Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in the field of religious public relations. Each Wilbur stained glass trophy is individually hand-crafted. An eloquent Thank you!

We keep sponsoring the annual Wilbur Awards because so many of you keep turning out such great work!

Competition is judged by media professionals in a jury process. The basic criteria of content, creativity, execution and results, apply in the evaluation of each entry. The ultimate criterion is excellence in the communication of religious values.

2015 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced during 2014)

Full size images are available in the RCC 2015 Wilbur Awards Flickr album. Videos of winner's acceptance speeches are in the RCC 2015 Wilbur Awards playlist on the RCC YouTube page.

Books: Fiction

 Walking on Water, Richard Paul Evans, author; Simon & Schuster, New York, New York.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Richard Paul Evans.

Photo by George Conklin.

Books: Non-Fiction

Rebbe, Joseph Telushkin, author; HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York

Books: Youth Books

 Best of KidSpirit Online, Volume III, Elizabeth Dabney Hochman, editor, KidSpirit Online.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Elizabeth Dabney Hochman.

Photo by George Conklin.

Magazine Articles: National or Top 15 Metro Markets

 From Rebel to Reverend,” Julia Duin, writer; More Magazine, New York, New York.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Julia Duin.

Photo by George Conklin.

Magazine Articles: All Other Markets

 Responding to Crisis on the Border,” G. Jeffrey MacDonald, writer; The Living Church (series of articles: “Rest for the Weary,” “Ecumenical Compassion,” “Defend the Sojourner,” “Border Crisis Eases”).

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

Photo by George Conklin.

Newspaper Articles: National or Top 15 Metro Markets

Life As a Non-Muslim In Pakistan,” Jaweed Kaleem, writer; The Huffington Post

Newspaper Articles: All Other Markets

Faith in Ferguson,” Lilly Fowler, writer; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri (series of articles: “Former Ram Aeneas Williams now tending a flock in Ferguson,” “Clergy-led protest raises questions over nature of repentance,” “Movement seeks to make St. Louis a compassionate city,” “Churches to serve as safe spaces after Ferguson grand jury announcement”)

Feature Films: Drama

 The Song, Kyle Idleman & Tony Young, executive producers; Richard Ramsey, writer/director; City on a Hill Studio, Louisville, Kentucky.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Richard Ramsey.

Photo by George Conklin.

Feature Films: Documentary (30 min+)

 Of Many, Danielle Emery, producer; Linda G. Mills, director; Chelsea Clinton, executive producer; Peter Goodrich, artistic director; Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership, New York University.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Danielle Emery.

Photo by George Conklin.

Digital Communications: Faith-Based Blogs

Commentaries on American Jewish Life, Jeffrey Salkin, commentator; Religion News Service (series of articles: “A rabbi’s Christmas sermon: May God become incarnate in you,” “The ‘plane’ truth about the ultra-Orthodox,” “‘The Red Tent’: A bloody tale with a timely twist”)

Digital Communications: Online News Stories

 Feminism In Faith: Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s Challenge To The Vatican,” Jamie Manson, freelance writer; published by BuzzFeed.com.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Jamie Manson.

Photo by George Conklin.

Digital Communications: Online News Stories

 Christian Non-profits Overcome Hurdles,” G. Jeffrey MacDonald, FaithAndLeadership.com (series of three articles: “From funding loss to sustainability,” “A Texas nonprofit becomes a hub for addressing the border crisis,” “School brings life to empty buildings”).

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

Photo by George Conklin.

Digital Communications: Multimedia

 Day By Day,” Tom LaMarra, writer; Claire Novak, online features editor; Kimberly Reeves, designer; Blood-Horse Publications, Lexington, Kentucky.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Tom LaMarra.

Photo by George Conklin.

Television & Cable News: Network or national syndication

 CBS Sunday Morning: Heavenly Voices, Tracy Smith, correspondent; John D’Amelio, producer; Lauren Barnello, producer/editor; CBS Sunday Morning, New York, New York.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to John D’Amelio and Tracy Smith.

Photo by George Conklin.

Television & Cable News: Network or national syndication (8+ mins)

 CBS News 60 Minutes: Pope Francis, Scott Pelley, correspondent; Jeff Fager, executive producer; Nicole Young, producer; Sabina Castelfranco, co-producer; Bill Owens, executive editor; CBS News, New York, New York.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Katie Kerbstat and Nicole Young.

Photo by George Conklin.

 Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly: Camden Priest, Lucky Severson, correspondent; John Greco, producer; Washington, D.C.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to John Greco.

Photo by George Conklin.

Television & Cable News: Local

 WATE-TV: Jake and Evelyn Get a Home, Don Dare, reporter/producer; Dave Wignall, photographer/editor; Brian Engelstad, photographer; WATE-TV, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Brian Engelstad, Don Dare, and Dave Wignall.

Photo by George Conklin.

Television & Cable: Documentary (up to 30 min.)

 CBS Television: Religion and Culture broadcasts: Crime, Punishment, and Redemption, John Blessington, executive producer; Liz Kineke, producer; New York, New York.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Liz Kineke.

Photo by George Conklin.

Television & Cable: Documentary (30 min+)

 Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens, director and producer; Geof Bartz, editor; Julia Reichert, associate producer; Dean Creasie Finny Hairston, project advisor; Broadcast on HBO, Prison Terminal LLC, Montgomery, Illinois.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Edgar Barens.

Photo by George Conklin.

Television & Cable: Interview

Super Soul Sunday: Timothy Shriver interview with Oprah Winfrey, Tare Montgomery and Andrea Wishom, executive producers; Corny Koehl, Jenna Kostelnik, Eric Peltier, Amy Ward and Lisa Weiss, co-executive producers; Elianna Bodner, A. Chris Gajilan, Shantel Klinger, and Erinn McNeill, producers; OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Radio or Podcasts: Single Program

WLRN-Miami Herald News: How A Liberty City Pastor Rallies His Community After Murders, Nadege Green, reporter; Alicia Zuckerman, editor; WLRN-Miami Herald News, Miami, Florida

Photography: Photo Series

 Journey to the Clouds, Nile Sprague, photographer; Nile Sprague Photography, Mendocino, California.

Jay Rollins, President of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Nile Sprague.

Photo by George Conklin.

2015 Wilbur Awards News

Previous Award Winners

2014 (for work completed in 2013)

2013 (for work completed in 2012)

2012 (for work completed in 2011)

2011 (for work completed in 2010)

2010 (for work completed in 2009)

2009 (for work completed in 2008)

2008 (for work completed in 2007)

2007 (for work completed in 2006)

2006 (for work completed in 2005)

2005 (for work completed in 2004)

2004 (for work completed in 2003)

2003 (for work completed in 2002)

2002 (for work completed in 2001)

2001 (for work completed in 2000)

2000 (for work completed in 1999)

For more information about the Religion Communicators Council or to become a member, please contact:

Shirley Struchen
Phone: 212-870-2402
E-mail: sstruchen@rcn.com

 
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