Wilbur Awards

2017 Wilbur Awards

Awards were presented April 1, 2017 at the national convention in Chicago

Four productions about black Americans win 2017 Wilbur Awards

Additional 2017 Wilbur Awards photos – RCC gives you permission to use these photos.

For over 86 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 for excellent work!

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.

Shirley Struchen and Andy RawlsShirley Struchen and Andy Rawls provide leadership for the Wilbur Awards program

Shirley Struchen, RCC Executive Director since 2001, is coordinator of the 2016 Wilbur Awards.

Dr. Andrew “Andy” B. Rawls, former director of media services at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is producer of the 2016 Wilbur Awards event for the 26th year. He recieved a “Special Wilbur” in 2012 as Producer Extraordinaire for his many years of creatively producing the RCC Wilbur Program.

2017 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced during 2016)

2017 Wilbur Award winners

Photo by Bud Heckman

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES print and online

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

      Susan Spencer, editor-in-chief at Woman's Day, accepted the award via video.

  • All other markets (single article, series of articles, religion page)

  • Commentary/Blog/Column

    •  Religious Diversity May Be Making America Less Religious,” Daniel Cox, writer, FiveThirtyEight.com and research director at Public Religion Research Institute, Washington, D.C.

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Daniel Cox.

      Photo by George Conklin.

BOOKS including e-Books

  • Non-fiction

  • Youth/Children

    •  10 Years of KidSpirit, Elizabeth Dabney Hochman, editor; KidSpirit, Brooklyn, New York

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Elizabeth Dabney Hochman.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • Youth/Children Audiobook

    •  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

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Sue Zizza.

      Photo by George Conklin.

FEATURE FILMS

  • Drama

    •  Hidden Figures, Theodore Melfi, director; Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, producers; Allison Schroeder, screenplay writer; 20th Century Fox

      Theodore Melfi accepted the award via video.

  • Documentary (30 min.+)

    • Big Sonia, Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday, directors; Leah Warshawski, producer; Inflatable Film, Seattle, Washington

      Leah Warshawski accepted the award via written remarks.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

  • Faith-based blogs

    •  Sick Pilgrim, Jessica Mesman Griffith and Jonathan Ryan, Traverse City, Michigan

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Jessica Mesman Griffith and Jonathan Ryan.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • Social Media

    •  American Muslims: Facts vs. Fiction, Unity Productions Foundation, Alex Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, executive producers; Silver Spring, Maryland

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Michael Wolfe.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • Multimedia

    •  Silent Sanctuaries,” Laura Schneiderman, interactive developer; Peter Smith, religion editor; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Laura Schneiderman and Peter Smith accepted the award via video.

TELEVISION & CABLE

  • Drama

    • Roots, Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner, Alison McDonald, Charles Murray, writers; History Channel, New York, New York

      Mark Rosenthal accepted the awards via written remarks.

  • 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

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Dustin Stephens.

      Photo by George Conklin.

       Jane Pauley accepted the award and provided an update on “The Harmony Project” via video.

  • 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

      Scott Pelley accepted the award via video.

  • Public Broadcasting (up to 8 mins)

    •  Cochin Synagogue,” Fred de Sam Lazaro, correspondent; Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Washington, D.C.

      Fred de Sam Lazaro accepted the award via video.

  • Public Broadcasting (more than 8 mins.)

    •  Christians Combating Anti-Muslim Sentiment,” Kim Lawton, correspondent; Noelle Cwiklinski Serper, producer, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Washington, D.C.

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Noelle Cwiklinski Serper and Kim Lawton.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • News – local

  • Documentary (up to 30 min.)

    •  Religion and Democracy,” Elizabeth Kineke, producer; Natalie Baxter and Elyse Kaftan; John P. Blessington senior executive producer; CBS Television: Religion and Culture, CBS News, New York, New York

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Elizabeth Kineke.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • 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.

      Morgan Freeman accepted the award via video.

  • Comedy

    • “God,” black-ish, Kenya Barris, creator/executive producer; Laura Gutin Peterson, episode writer/producer; ABC Television, Burbank, California

RADIO OR PODCASTS feature stories, not commentary

  • Single program

    •  The acid attack survivor who became a comic book superhero,” Mary Hynes, host; Erin Noel and Marc Apolonio, producers; Tapestry, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Erin Noel.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • Series of programs (two or more)

    •  The Power of Nonviolence,” David Freudberg, writer and producer in association with WGBH/Boston, Human Media, Belmont, Massachusetts

      Casey Tom, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to David Freudberg.

      Photo by George Conklin.

  • Documentary (up to 30 min.)

Current award winners

2017 (for work completed in 2016)

Previous award winners

2016 (for work completed in 2015)

2015 (for work completed in 2014)

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)

1998 (for work completed in 1997)

1996 (for work completed in 1995)

1992 (for work completed in 1991)

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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