Duke Divinity School presented Excellence in Religion Reporting awards to two journalists at the North Carolina Press Association’s  annual awards ceremony on March 18. The Divinity School co-sponsors the awards with the NCPA to recognize and support excellent faith-related journalism.
In the daily newspaper category, the winner was Yonat Shimron of The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer. Shimron has won the award eight times in the nine years since it was created.
The Divinity School’s judge wrote of her work:
“Yonat’s engaging entries were a delight to read. Without question, Raleigh is blessed with a talented and insightful religion reporter.
“Yonat’s stories are carefully reported, artfully written, and engaging from the first word to the last. I was especially grateful for the national scope of her stories; her stories start in the Triangle but don’t end there. An exceptional job.
The runner up for the award was Kathryn Kennedy of The Daily Reflector.
“Kathryn Kennedy deserves special recognition,” the judge wrote, “for doing an amazing job with presumably small resources. Her stories were topical, thoughtfully written, and downright interesting.”
In the community newspaper category, the winner was Diana Smith of North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, for her three-part series on Christian counselors.
The contest judge wrote:
“Diana does an exceptional job presenting a delicate topic: the intersection of private faith and public responsibility. Her stories are engaging, well researched, and keep the reader’s attention.”
The runner up in this category was Hilary Snow of The State Port Pilot.
The judge wrote:
“Hilary’s stories revealed a deep knowledge of, and respect for, her community. Her stories touched on the lives of believers at the level of lived faith, and kept my attention from start to finish.”
For details about the awards, contact Jon Goldstein , associate dean for communications at the Divinity School, 919-660-3416.