The Advocate won 10 more journalism awards this spring: four from the United Methodist Association of Communicators and six from the interfaith Religion Communicators Council.
At the UMAC annual meeting March 22-24 in New Orleans, the Advocate was honored with first place for newspaper publications, second place feature article for Advocate Editor Jessica Brodie’s “Beds for Kids” (March 2016 edition), third place news article for Brodie’s “UMC OKs way forward for church amid divide over sexuality” (June 2016 edition) and third place nonfiction writing for Brodie’s editorial “It’s OK to hit pause sometimes” (June 2016 edition).
At the RCC’s annual conference March 30 to April 1 in Chicago, Brodie won six awards on behalf of the Advocate: In the Periodicals category, an award of excellence for Newspaper, Local or Regional; in the Periodicals Single Edition category, an award of excellence for Newspaper, Local or Regional, for the Advocate’s June/General Conference 2016 edition; in the Writing for Publication category, an award of excellence in Editorial for Brodie’s “It’s OK to Hit Pause Sometimes” (June 2016 edition); in Newspaper Feature, Single Story, an award of excellence for Brodie’s “Small but Mighty” article (November 2016 edition); in Newspaper Feature, Single Story, an award of merit for Brodie’s “Well Woman” article (August 2016 edition); and in Newspaper or Magazine News, Single Story, an award of merit for Brodie’s “After the Hurricane” article (November 2016 edition).
One judge commented, “If I were a South Carolina Methodist, I feel I would get everything I need to know out of this publication. So thorough!”
The 10 latest awards, along with two others the Advocate won recently from the South Carolina Press Association, bring the total to 94 the Advocate has garnered since 2010.
“We strive to publish the best possible newspaper for the South Carolina Conference and are thrilled when outside organizations validate the Advocate’s quality via awards,” said Dr. Bill Click, chair of the Advocate Board of Trustees. “We’re especially pleased when the affirmation comes from our own denomination’s association of communicators and the Religion Communicators Council. Jessica’s writing has been a hallmark of Advocate excellence throughout her editorship, and we deeply appreciate her service, and that of our assistant editor Allison Trussell, to this newspaper ministry.”
Also at the UMAC meeting, the group named Carolyn Conover, director of communications for the Greater New Jersey Conference, as Communicator of the Year for 2017. Conover, a lifelong United Methodist who never had worked for the church, left a higher paying job in Manhattan to come work for the conference in June 2013, shortly after Super Storm Sandy and at a critical time.
UMAC also inducted former UMAC president Catherine “Cate” Monaghan into their Hall of Fame. Called a “trailblazer,” Monaghan served as the director of communications for the California-Nevada Annual Conference from 2006-2012.
Brodie was at the UMAC March gathering, joined by two other South Carolina communicators: Communications Coordinator Dan O’Mara and Production Coordinator Matt Brodie. Skyler Nimmons, a South Carolina native and member of the Advocate board of trustees who is now communications director for the Indiana Conference, also was in attendance and won many awards.