The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) proudly announces the 2024 Wilbur Award recipients, recognizing exceptional work by 19 media outlets completed in 2023 by the secular (non-religious) media in the fields of print and online journalism, book publishing, podcasts and radio, television and film.

The Wilbur Award is the top honor provided by the RCC and is presented annually to recognize the most outstanding work in the communication of religious issues, values, and themes in secular media. Each winner received a hand-crafted stained-glass Wilbur trophy.

The awards were presented Friday, April 5, in Louisville, KY, at the Muhammad Ali Center, during the RCC’s annual convention, “95 Years of Harnessing our Collective Power.”

According to Teresa Faust, president of RCC’s Board of Governors, “For more than 70 years, the RCC has presented the Wilbur Awards to recognize excellence in the secular media in communicating about faith and religion – with fairness and professionalism, honesty and respect. In selecting our Wilbur Honorees, our judges evaluate content and creativity, execution and results, but the ultimate criterion is brilliance in communication about faith and religion. This year’s Wilbur recipients are part of a rich tradition of excellence.”

RCC’s Wilbur Award coordinator and RCC Board of Governors member Brad Pomerance notes, “The entries this year were truly outstanding, but maybe more importantly, inspiring in the way that they – in line with our Convention’s theme this year – remind us that as a community, we can ‘Harness our Collective Power’ in the name of the greater good.”

The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in several 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.

2024 Wilbur Award Winners:

Audio Productions:

  • News Stories/Short Form –
    • Two pastors worry for their congregants’ safety. Are more guns the answer or the problem?; Associated Press, Walter Ratliff and Allen Breed
  • News Stories/Medium Form –
    • Churches confess and repent for sins against Native and Indigenous people; NPR News, Jason DeRose and Cheryl Corley
  • News Stories/Long Form –
    • Freshwater, United; CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, Lindsay Bird and Steward Young
  • Audio Productions/Long Form –
    • How three Muslims memorized the entire Qur’an; CBC Ottawa, Halima Sogbesan, Betsy Trumpener, Christine Maki and Caitlin Crockard


Written Works:

  • Magazine Articles –
    • The Meeting House: Inside a Megachurch Scandal; The Walrus, Rachel Browne, Harley Rustad, Cornelia Li, Emma Wilkie, and Allison Baker
  • Newspaper Articles/Faith & Values –
    • The Nones; Associated Press, Chinedu Asadu, Ilan Ben Zion, Deepa Bharath, Giovanna Dell’Orto, Mariam Fam, Luis Andres Henao, Peter Smith, and Mari Yamaguchi
    • Silicon Valley’s vision for AI? It’s religion, repackaged; Vox, Sigal Samuel
    • Meet Natalie Drew: Christian, trans woman, veteran and pacifist; Religion News Service Kathryn Post
  • Newspaper Articles/Hard News –
    • The Synagogue Shooting Trial; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Anya Sostek, Megan Guza and Jonathan D. Salant
  • Newspaper Articles/Human Interest –
    • Arson fire destroyed a Black L.A. church. ‘We shall rise from the ashes’ – but how?; Los Angeles Times, Thomas Curwen
  • Books –
    • One More Mountain; Del Mar Investments, Mansur Nurdel and Jeannette Moninger



  • Major Motion Picture –
    • With This Light (Con Esta Luz); Miraflores Films, Nicole Bernardi-Reis, Laura Bermudez, and Jessica Sarowitz


Audio-Visual/Broadcast Television:

  • Short Form –
    • Secrets of the Clergy; Fault Lines – Al Jazeera English, Kavitha Chekuru, Laila Al-Arian, Natasha Del Toro, Erik Ljung, and Leslie Atkins
    • A Taste of History with Chutzpah: Remarkable Stories of the Southern Jewish Adventure; AIB Network, Audrey Galex, Jai Schwarz, Adam Van Wickel, Lucas Hale, and Austin Prescott
  • Medium Form –
    • The Malevolent Bride; A+E Studios and Ananey Studios, Noah Stollman, Avigail Ben-Dor Niv, Orly Atlas-Katz, Osnat Saraga, Oded Davidoff, Barry Jossen, Tana Jamieson and Adam Berkowitz
  • Long Form –
    • Three Chaplains; Terrace Films LLC, David Washburn and Razi JafriAustin Prescott
    • SABBATH; Journey Films, Martin Doblmeier, Mark Comberiate and Carrie Snyder


Audio-Visual News Stories:

  • Medium Form –
    • Taste of Home; CBS Sunday Morning, Lee Cowan, Sara Kugel, and Ed Givnish
  • Long Form –
    • The Resurrection of Notre Dame; CBS News 60 Minutes, Bill Whitaker, Rome Hartman, Sara Kuzmarov, and Craig Crawford


In addition to the 19 Wilbur winning entries, RCC also honored 29 Award of Excellence Recipients and 17 Award of Merit Honorees. The Award of Excellence is for entries deemed to be of excellent quality and unquestionably worthy of recognition and the Award of Merit, which is presented for work deemed meritorious and worthy of acknowledgment.


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