This photo of the 2009 Boston Catholic Women's Conference by Gregory L. Tracy was awarded Best Feature Photo at the 2010 Catholic Press Awards.
BRAINTREE -- The Pilot was recognized once again for its excellence in the Catholic press, winning awards in the areas of photography, design, and new media at the closing of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada's annual convention June 4 in New Orleans.
Pilot Editor Antonio Enrique said he was pleased with the awards and praised the work of his staff.
"It is an affirmation of our hard work to expand our readership and bring our readers the best quality product," he said.
Awards won by the Pilot include first place in the Best Feature Photo category, first place for Most Effective Single Piece of Print Circulation Promotion, and second place for Best Electronic Newsletter.
The awards given at the convention to numerous Catholic papers in the U.S. and Canada recognized excellence in the areas of writing, photography, design, advertising, and new media for Catholic newspapers, magazines and books.
The Pilot's award-winning photo was taken by managing editor and staff photographer Gregory L. Tracy. The front-page photo appeared in the April 24, 2009 edition of the paper. The photo depicts a woman at the 2009 Boston Catholic Women's Conference reaching out to an icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe surrounded by other attendees.
The judges praised the photo's unique perspective covering a "routine event."
"Nice angle," the judges' citation read in part. "Nice moment with the woman's hand reaching up and leading us into the photograph. Way to try something different, it worked."
Enrique said the award shows the Pilot's efforts to be successful in today's media market.
"I see it as a symbol of the fact that we try to pay great attention to the quality of our visual appearance, recognizing that the media has evolved from purely printing news to also requiring a superb graphic element to tell a compelling story."
Pilot production manager Nan Wilkins received first place for her full-page ad aimed at increasing circulation, which appeared in the Dec. 11 edition.
"The artwork is eye-catching with the copy pure, simple, and to the point," the judges said.
For Enrique, the award was significant because it recognized efforts to increase readership.
"I'm very pleased for the fact that our efforts to expand our reach with the Christmas circulation drive has been recognized as an example of a newspaper in the Catholic press for others to follow," he said.
The paper's weekly e-mail newsletter took second place in the category of Best Electronic Newsletter. Each week, subscribers can receive links to local, national, and international Catholic news, as well as opinion pieces, photo galleries, and multi-media features.
The judges commended the email's "newsy" quality.
"Overall this newsletter had a particular newsy look and feel. It has an exceptional number of links," said the judges. "The copy of the front page of the publication also increases the newsy feel."
Enrique said he was particularly pleased with this honor since the Pilot has focused on expanding its online reach in recent years. The Pilot launched its e-newsletter in 2008 and created Facebook and Twitter accounts in 2009.
"For us it's important the message gets to the people in whatever format is available to us," Enrique said. "Our Facebook and Twitter pages all represent new efforts to reach the Catholic constituency who read our news and help them develop a Catholic understanding of issues of importance to us."
In 2007 TheBostonPilot.com was recognized as the best diocesan newspaper Web site in the Catholic press.
In recent years The Pilot has received awards in numerous categories for news writing, editorials, advertising and promotion, photography, special issues and general excellence.