Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square.
Wikimedia Commons / Alfredo Borba

Religion Dispatches recognized with 2016 Wilbur Award for coverage of pope

Coverage of Pope Francis earned Religion Dispatches, a secular online magazine based at USC Annenberg, one of the 2016 Wilbur Awards.

The Religion Communicators Council announced 22 Wilbur Award winners March 4. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media — print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures — in communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2015.

Religion Dispatches will recieve an individually crafted stained-glass Wilbur trophy for the story “Falling in Love with the Earth: Francis’ Faithful Ecology” by writer Jacob J. Erickson. Religion Dispatches is published by the Knight Program in Media and Religion, run by USC Annenberg Knight Chair Diane Winston.

Vanity Fair magazine and NPR will also be honored with the award, all for 2015 reports on the pontiff.

Other Wilbur winners come from diverse media outlets such as The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Slate, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, National Geographic, The Atlantic, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee) and WFAA-TV, Dallas.

The 2015 awards are to be presented April 2 in New York City during the council’s 87th annual national convention.

The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in eight categories. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime council leader and former Presbyterian Church executive.

For more information about the award winners, read the original press release