Catholic Press Association 12 01 2015 E Edition Page 1

THE CATHOLIC JOURNALIST CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA VOLUME 67 NUMBER 10 DECEMBER 2015 CPA launching awards program for college journalists Members asked to serve as judges By Jennifer Willems The Catholic Post T he Catholic Post does five special sections each year. Some of them are mission driven" (Jubilarians) and some are designed to generate ad revenue (Catholic College Guide), although ad support and strong editorial content are expected for all of them. "Last Things" definitely comes under the heading of mission driven." Unlike most sections, where the theme guides the brainstorming, Last Things came out of my "future feature file." Over the last three or four years there were several things I had pulled from parish bulletins, newspapers throughout the diocese (including obit pages), press releases, Catholic publications, workshops and even casual conversations that seemed to suggest stories, but I didn't have a "hook" for them. I couldn't seem to throw them out, however, so I filed them away. At the beginning of this year I realized that while none of these stories could really stand alone, they might be able to stand together as a Grief section focused on the Catholic concept of a "good death" and the four "last things." I pitched the idea to my editor, Tom Dermody, during a story meeting in February and suggested we do it at the end of October, just before All Saints Day and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls). After discussing possibilities for advertising with our ad manager, Sonia Nelson, we had a section. Little did we know then, but Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, would reissue his 2008 Festival Letter, a teaching document on Prayers for the Dead," in November due to popular demand. The interview with him about the continued need for Catholic teaching on the subject was a lovely grace note for Last Things. Story ideas An obituary from one of the county papers noted that the young woman who died would have loved to see more of her friends during her debilitating final illness. This became the inspiration for a story on what people can do when a loved one is dying. Tom noted that everyone struggles with what to say or do for someone who is grieving and he wanted concrete examples of how to help. This was meant to be a companion piece to the first story, but they blended together nicely, thanks to the comments from my sources. The OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home - sponsored by our Catholic health system and the only hospice home in central Illinois - celebrated its first anniversary in 2013, but we weren't able to follow up at the time. This section provided Please turn to page 2 HERE'S HOW THE CATHOLIC POST DID A mission driven' special section When the Peoria newspaper published a grief supplement prior to All Souls Day this fall, it carried all local content Photo by Joe Towalski 'Tweet me in St. Louis' - Convention update, page 2 By Tim Walter Executive director The Young Communicators Project is underway. It is the title of a program intended to discover the best talent coming out of Catholic colleges and universities. Working with the theme, nurturing the next generation of Catholic journalists, we intend to develop a network of CPA members and talented students with industry appropriate skills. Professors tell us their students would value a critique from working professionals, someone other than their professors. An awards recognition program run by Catholics would fit the bill. In fact, some wondered why it took so long. Benefits they talked about included: Participating in a notable Catholic awards program, one respected for its rich history of professional journalism, Creating awareness of career options for their students, Developing positive PR for their college or university, Offering channels for their students to connect and participate in social justice issues. Attendees at last June's annual Member Meeting in Buffalo, N.Y., endorsed the development of the program and were excited about association outreach into student communities. After receiving grant money and doing our homework, we are ready to launch the pilot this January. It will run parallel to the CPA Press Awards within its own tier, the same as newspapers and magazines, judging will take place in March. So while Elise Freed- Brown is designing the back-end of the software for entries, it's time to recruit judges and assign them to the categories. Are you ready to volunteer? Fantastic! Please send me an email of the categories of your choice. Please turn to page 2

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