Geneva — Ecumenical News International has won an Award of Excellence as the "best in class" religion news service from the Associated Church Press.
"What impressed me about ENInews is the breadth and depth of the reporting," said award judge Leon Alligood, a journalism professor at Middle Tennessee State University. "The writing was well edited and engaging."
The award for work done in 2009 was presented on 8 May to Peter Kenny, editor-in-chief of Geneva-based ENInews, at the annual ACP awards ceremony in Arlington, Virginia. ENInews also received a second award of excellence and two awards of merit for its reporting.
The Award of Merit in the "Best in Class: News Service" category, went to Washington-based Religion News Service, which works in partnership with ENInews in distributing news to other media. An honourable mention was shared by Baptist Press, which was noted for its coverage of Kyrgyzstan and El Salvador, and Presbyterian News Service.
In the "Editorial Courage" section, ENInews won the Award of Excellence for its coverage of the World Council of Churches, one of the four founding member organizations of the news agency.
"This is editorial courage at its best - great journalism in the watchdog tradition. Great risk for the writers, but the audience wins," commented judge Andrew Herrmann, the managing editor at the Chicago Sun Times.
Two ENInews journalists won Award of Merit certificates. A story entitled "No sausages, but plenty of beer at Palestinian Oktoberfest" by ENInews Jerusalem correspondent Judith Sudilovsky clinched the certificate in the "Feature Article" category for news services, newsletters and Web sites.
In the "News Story" category, ENInews London correspondent Martin Revis won the Award of Merit certificate for a story entitled "Churches say 'atheist buses' promote discussion about God".
ENInews was launched in 1994. Its founding members, besides the WCC, are the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches.
Editor-in-Chief Kenny said, "Our news agency operates with a tiny staff and increasingly tight financial constraints. Still, our staff and correspondents have shown that with dedication and professionalism we can be at the top of our game."
The Associated Church Press is the oldest ecumenical organization in North America for professional religious communicators and news organizations.
In the ACP's "Editorial Courage" section, the Award of Merit went to Touchstone magazine for a piece entitled "Love, Sex and Mammon". The Honourable Mention category was shared by the Friends Journal for an article entitled "Sex Offenders are People", and the U.S. Catholic for a piece entitled "Above and Beyond the Call".