TMA wins 2017 Publication of the Year Award

Bishop Brad Billings and designer Ivan Smith also recognised

August 27 2017 

TMA has won the 2017 Publication of the Year Award at the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) Conference in Auckland on 26 August.

The Award citation states that “TMA wins the award on the breadth and diversity of its content”. It notes that “the April 2016 edition cover story on Stan Grant, stories about the Bali Nine’s Andrew Chan, Rowan Callick’s appointment to China, and the winner of the Templeton Prize, are all stories of current interest”.

The citation also notes the February 2016 edition front page reports of David Suchet’s recording of the Bible, and also the Lambeth Conference, “and rather than the usual official courtyard photo of the assembled dignitaries, runs with a picture of the Australian primate, who is also the Melbourne archbishop, foot-washing. Powerful stuff.”

“The film and book reviews,” the citation continues, “give a perspective absent from the mainstream media reviews, and there is a professionalism in the writing…”

It also states that “the balances within the paper’s content”, reflected in the presentation and design, “demonstrate an ‘editorial intentionality’. The publication takes the reader not only into the mind of the [Diocese] but into its heart.”

Bishop Bradly Billings won the Bronze Award in the Best Editorial or Opinion piece category for his viewpoint “Battlers ‘sick of being ignored’ turn to Trump”, which appeared in the December 2016 edition. The citation reads: “The election of President Trump inspired a number of commentaries. Some were smug and dismissive. Others were contrite and reflective. Bradly Billings endeavours to understand the people who voted for Donald Trump and why the media, pollsters, experts and celebrities got it wrong.”

TMA was also highly commended in the Newspaper Best Cover category. The judges described the December edition cover, a painting of the nativity by TMA’s designer, Ivan Smith, as “A very interesting image, with good use of colour and dimensions, for a very traditional interpretation of Christmas”.

Melbourne priests the Revd Dr Gordon Preece and the Revd Dr Mike Bird also were honoured, with Dr Preece – the Priest-in-Charge of Yarraville Anglican Parish and Chair of the diocesan Social Responsibilities Committee – winning Gold for the Best Faith Reflection for ‘God Knows Our Beginning and End When We Don’t Know’ in Zadok Perspectives. Dr Bird, Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College, was awarded Bronze for Best Theological Article for ‘Seven things I wish Christians knew about the Bible’ in Eternity News.

The Gippsland Anglican received two awards, with Editor Ms Jan Down winning Silver for Best News Story for ‘Synod side-steps on marriage’ and her paper sharing Bronze for Best Regional Publication – the highest award given in this category this year – with two other papers, including Newcastle’s The Anglican Encounter.

The Editor of Sydney’s Anglican magazine Southern Cross, Ms Judy Adamson, won Gold for Best Headline for ‘Priests of Burden’, while the Bush Church Aid Society’s quarterly, The Real Australian, took Gold for Best Cover for a Magazine.

Other Anglican publications to be honoured were Adelaide’s Guardian and the Diocese of Grafton’s North Coast Anglican.

ARPA’s highest honour, the Gutenberg Award, was made to The Record Magazine and the eRecord from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth.

ARPA President Mr Peter Bentley, who made the award, said The Record Magazine showed that print still had a distinct offering to make in an increasingly convergent media world and that both publications provided the archdiocese with a diverse and helpful way of communicating.

TMA and its Editor, Roland Ashby, were awarded the Gutenberg in 2015. The paper also received the honour in 1998 and 2006, while its predecessor as the newspaper of the Melbourne diocese, See, received the Gutenberg in 1994 under the editorship of Mrs Angela Grutzner.