In an era in which the definition of journalism itself seems to be up for grabs, it's a pleasure to praise Godbeat journalists recognized for superior writing by their own colleagues in the Religion Newswriters Association. Troll the list of the 2009 RNA awards, and you will see a few names you may know, either because they comment on the blog, or we often praise them for being examples of accurate reporting -- Julia Duin (who won in multiple categories!), and Bob Smietana. Another award recipient was Sarah Pulliam, the younger sister of our own Daniel Pulliam. Here are a few highlights:
Selected as Religion Reporter of the Year, Moni Basu, now with CNN, wrote an ambitious, multi-faceted series about Fort Stewart Chaplain Darren Turner and his work here and in Iraq. Read "Chaplain Turner's War" for yourself. Basu also won the Suplee Religion Writer of the Year Award.
Jeff Brumley of the Florida Times Union won first place among reporters for mid-sized papers for stories on how faith meets modern life. Melanie Smith of the Decatur Daily was elected Reporter of the Year from publications with workday circulations of 50,000 or below.
The Salt-Lake Tribune ,edited by Lisa Carricaburu, won an award for its religion pages, which we here at GetReligion have often found a good source for reporting on the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Special Correspondent Kim Lawton won Television Religion Reporter of the Year for a piece she did on the continuing legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the radio religion Reporter of the Year award went to Stephanie Martin of KQED in Northern California.
I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with all of these names. Were you? All over the nation, reporters in media both large market and small continue to work to bring us religion news. That gives me hope for the profession! Please let us know what you think of the stories (some of the content is subscription only, however) and which others ones you might have nominated.