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(RNS) A former writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution won the top two prizes of the Religion Newswriters Association Saturday (Sept.
12) for her chronicles of the life of a military chaplain.
Moni Basu wrote a series of stories entitled “Chaplain Turner’s War”
for the Atlanta paper about a chaplain who served in Baghdad, Iraq, and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. She won first place in the Religion Reporter of the Year category, which honors enterprise reporting, as well as first place in the Supple Religion Writer of the Year, which highlights writing skills.
The awards were presented during a ceremony at the annual meeting of the association in Minneapolis.
Basu left the paper last May and now works for CNN. Gayle White, retired religion reporter at the Atlanta paper, was honored with this year’s lifetime achievement award.
Second- and third-place winners for the Templeton Award were Julia Duin of The Washington Times and Eric Gorski of The Associated Press.
Michelle Bearden of The Tampa Tribune won second place in the Supple contest, followed by Tim Townsend of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in third place.
Winners in other categories included:
— The Cornell Award, for mid-sized newspapers: Jeff Brumley of The Florida Times-Union, first place; Bob Smietana, The (Nashville) Tennessean, second place; Julia Duin, The Washington Times, third place.
— The Cassels Award, for small newspapers: Melanie Smith of The Decatur (Ala.) Daily, first place; Melissa Nann Burke, York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News, second place; Adriana Janovich, Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic, third place.
— The Schachern Award, for religion pages and sections: The Salt Lake Tribune, first place; The Houston Chronicle, second place; The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.), third place.
Television awards: Kim Lawton, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, first place; Judy Valente, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, second place; Kimberly Holmes, WBOC-TV (Salisbury, Md.), third place.
Radio awards: Stephanie Martin, KQED Radio in San Francisco, first place; Monica Brady-Myerov, WBUR-FM in Boston, second place; Jessica Alpert, National Public Radio (Day to Day), third place.
— The Chandler Award for student journalists: Adeniyi Amadou, Syracuse University, first place; Sarah Pulliam, Wheaton College (for work done at The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio), second place; Tiffany Stanley, Harvard University, third place.
By Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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