The Religion Communicators Council announced 22 Wilbur Awards March 9. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2014.

Other winners include the Oprah Winfrey Network, BuzzFeed, Religion News Service, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Huffington Post, a Miami radio station, and a Knoxville, Tennessee, television station.

The 2014 awards are to be presented April 11 in Alexandria, Virginia, during the council’s 86th annual national convention.

CBS earned awards for a “60 Minutes” report on Pope Francis, a “CBS Sunday Morning” segment on “Heavenly Voices,” and a Religion and Culture broadcast production titled “Crime, Punishment and Redemption.”

Journalist, author and minister G. Jeffrey MacDonald was recognized for a news story, “Christian Nonprofits Overcome Hurdles,” on and a series of magazine articles, “Responding to Crisis on the Border,” in The Living Church.

The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in eight categories. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime council leader and former Presbyterian Church executive.

2015 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced during 2014):

Books: Fiction

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

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

Magazine Articles: National or Top 15 Metro Markets

Magazine Articles: All Other Markets

Newspaper Articles: National or Top 15 Metro Markets

Newspaper Articles: All Other Markets

Feature Films: Drama

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

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

Digital Communications: Faith-Based Blogs

Digital Communications: Online News Stories

Digital Communications: Online News Stories

Digital Communications: Multimedia

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

Television & Cable News: Network or national syndication

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

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

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

Television & Cable: Documentary (30 min+)

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

Photography: Photo Series

About the Religion Communicators Council

The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith association of more than 400 religion communicators. They work in print and electronic communication, advertising, and public relations. Members represent Bahá’í, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faith communities. Founded in 1929, the council is the oldest public relations professional association in the United States.

Contact: Shirley Struchen,, 212-870-2402

Source: Religion Communicators Council

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