Catholic journalists win major awards

Source: CMC

Channel Four documentary maker Mark Dowd was named National Religious Broadcaster of the Year last night, at the Churches' Annual Media Conference held in Swanwick, Derbyshire. Steven Bates of the Guardian won the title of national Religious Writer of the Year for the second year running; and Wayne Clarke of BBC Merseyside won the Local and regional Religious broad aster of the Year award. The ceremony was hosted by Prunella Scales CBE, President of the Churches' Media Council, who presented the 2006 Andrew Cross Awards. BBC Regional and Local Radio won five awards and six commendations. Commercial radio won two awards and five commendations. Prunella Scales CBE, President of the Churches' Media Council said: "I am delighted to be able to reward the makers of such excellent religious programmes, productions and periodicals, and the personalities. What we have seen and heard tonight shows that religious media in the UK is on the up and up and clearly on a par with general output." Vin Arthey, Chair of the Judges, (Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader for Media Production University of Teeside), said: "The judges agreed that the standard of entries this year was markedly better than previously, which is tremendously heartening. Generally programmes and productions were good, so those shortlisted reached a very high standard, those commended were excellent and the award winners were exceptional." Peter Blackman, outgoing Director of the Churches' Media Council said: "In the last five years we have seen religious media improve in leaps and bounds as to its quantity and quality. The churches, programme makers and producers need to continue to be ever more creative as we move into the digital, multi-channel new media age. The media must reflect more the importance of religion, faith and spirituality in the world and people's every day lives 80% of the UK's population has a faith today's news, current and social affairs are full of religious dimensions." The awards ceremony came at the end of the three-day ecumenical conference on the theme of: 'Reporting Conflict and Reconciliation'. For more information and a full list of winners see:

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