Wel-com wins best news story

The newspaper for the dioceses of Wellington and Palmerston North, Wel-com, has won an award for best news story in recent Catholic press awards.

A story about a marae-based programme to help violent offenders reintegrate into society has won the ‘best news story’ category in the Australasian Catholic Press Association awards.

The story which featured in the December 2009 issue of Wel-com highlights the risk the programme run at Orongomai Marae in Upper Hutt faces daily of losing its funding.

The judges said ‘the winning entry fits the criteria of reporting on a current news event and shows initiative by highlighting a successful community program that, because of the way it is funded, fights for its continued existence each year. The emphasis of personal stories in the piece balances well with the necessary facts and figures to create a far greater emotional connection with the reader. Stories like this have the potential to positively impact the community by raising awareness of projects that are operating successfully in sectors not readily accessed by the general community as well as promoting greater understanding and compassion. Nicely done.’

The award was one of 23 made for excellence in newspaper, magazine and website presentation and substance during the annual Australasian Catholic Press Association conference held in Hobart, Tasmania, in September 2010.

The independent monthly Catholic magazine, Tui Motu, won the Bishop Phillip Kennedy Memorial Prize for overall excellence with the judges calling it a ‘stand out winner in this category’ and a ‘mature and intelligent contributor to Catholic media’.