Wilbur Awards

2019 Wilbur Awards

Banquet celebration of winners and 70 years of Wilbur Awards: April 12, 2019 at the Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago

2019 Wilbur Awards program and winners list PDF file

2019 Wilbur Awards photos – RCC gives you permission to use these photos.

Wilbur Awards in the news

Religion Communicators Council honors 22 for work during 2018

Wilbur Awards to celebrate 70 years in Chicago, winners announced for 2019 (RCC)

Moni Basu Receives 2019 Wilbur Award for CNN Online News Story (College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida)

Wilbur Award stained glass trophyIn 2019 the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) will celebrate 90 years of helping to tell stories at the intersection of faith and the public arena, while encouraging understanding and respect among faith groups.

RCC presents the Wilbur Awards to promote and encourage excellence in the communication of religious faith and positive values through a variety of secular media. We want to recognize the work of individuals and agencies as they communicate about religious issues, values and themes, with professionalism, fairness and honesty.

The Wilbur Award, first given in 1949, honors Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in the field of religious public relations. Each Wilbur stained glass trophy is individually hand-crafted. An eloquent thank you for excellent work!

We encourage you to come to Chicago April 12, 2019 to celebrate the 2019 winners and 70 years of Wilbur Awards.

Phillips SeminaryPhillips Theological Seminary is pleased to sponsor the 70th anniversary of the Religious Communications Council’s Wilbur Awards to celebrate those in secular media who help create conversations about faith that expose people to new ideas, deepens their commitment, and provides inspiration for those seeking to serve in a changing world.

The seminary, at its core, is a community of teachers and learners seeking to be faithful to God through disciplined, reasoned and reflective study of scripture, religious tradition and human experience. We offer courses online and on-campus with students across the U.S. and abroad.

Wilbur Awards to celebrate 70 years in Chicago, winners announced for 2019

Religion Communicators Council honors 22 for work during 2018

Wilbur Award stained glass trophyNEW YORK — For 70 years, Wilbur awards have honored excellence in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – for communicating religious issues, values and themes. Since the time when they were first given in 1949, award winners are represented by a myriad of individuals, agencies, and networks. Past winners include public figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Morgan Freeman and popular films “Chocolat,” “The Help” and more recently “Hidden Figures.”

This year is no different. The Religion Communicators Council announced 22 Wilbur Award winners on March 8 for work completed in 2018. Contributing to an impressive legacy of uplifting and inspiring secular media, this year’s winners include Mitch Albom’s New York Times bestseller, “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven;” an A&E Lifetime television drama, “Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story;” Vanity Fair’s “Pope Versus Pope,” article on issues surrounding the Catholic Church; a stunning documentary by Irish national television and radio broadcaster RTÉ, “Jesus: Countdown to Calvary;” and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who won in two categories for their in-depth reporting on the devastating shooting that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue, considered to be the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history.

Other Wilbur winners include CBS News, NBC-WTWO TV, The Associated Press, CNN and several other contributors both locally and internationally.

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Shirley Struchen and Andy Rawls provide leadership for the Wilbur Awards program

Shirley Struchen and Andy RawlsShirley Struchen, RCC Executive Director since 2001, is coordinator of the 2019 Wilbur Awards.

Dr. Andrew “Andy” B. Rawls, former director of media services at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is producer of the 2019 Wilbur Awards event for the 29th year. He received a “Special Wilbur” in 2012 as Producer Extraordinaire for his many years of creatively producing the RCC Wilbur Program.

Want to check out some of the 2018 Wilbur Awards presentations again? Go to the RCC YouTube Channel to see the award presentations.

Many thanks to Andy Rawls, Wilbur Awards producer, for preparing all 22 video clips highlighting the introduction to each award and excerpts from the acceptance remarks!

2019 Wilbur Award winners (for work produced during 2018)

2019 Wilbur Award winners

Photo by Cherilyn Crowe

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES print and online

MAGAZINE ARTICLES print and online

  • National or Top 15 metro markets (single article, series of articles, religion page)

    •  Pope Versus Pope,” John Cornwell, writer; Vanity Fair, New York, New York

      John Cornwell accepted the award via video.

  • Commentary/Blog/Column

    •  When Islamophobia Backfires,” David Brockman, writer; Texas Observer, Austin, Texas

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Dr. David Brockman.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

BOOKS

  • Fiction

    •  “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven,” Mitch Albom, author; Harper, HarperCollins, New York, New York

      Mitch Albom accepted the award via video.

  • Non-fiction

    •  “Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs,” Beth Ricanati, MD, author; She Writes Press, Berkeley, California

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Beth Ricanati.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • Non-fiction

    •  “Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks,” Diana Butler Bass, author; HarperOne, HarperCollins, San Francisco, California

       Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Dr. Julie Ingersoll, who accepted on behalf of Diana Butler Bass.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

FILMS AND VIDEO

  • Documentary (up to 30 min.)

    •  The Secret History of Muslims in the US,” Negin Farsad, Zeyba Rahman, Hussein Rashid, Joshua Seftel, Maria Stanisheva; Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Smartypants Pictures & Animadocs, Brooklyn, New York

  • Documentary (30 min.+)

    •  The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith,” Steve Sarowitz, executive producer/writer; Bob Hercules, director/producer/writer; Edward A. Price, producer/writer; Adam Mondschein, producer; Spring Green Films, Los Angeles, California

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Steve Sarowitz (center) and Edward A. Price (right).

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

  • Online News Stories

  • Multimedia or Video

    •  Unbroken,” Shelly Bradbury, story; Andrew Rush and Steve Mellon, video; Ben Howard and Sam Underwood, design development; Lillian Thomas, editor; staff at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Peter Smith accepted the award via video.

TELEVISION & CABLE

  • Drama

    •  Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story,” T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams, Craig Baumgarten, Toni Braxton, and Judith Verno, executive producers; Larry Rapaport, producer; Vondie Curtis Hall, director; Laura Harrington and Stephen Kay, teleplay; Based on the Book “Prepared For a Purpose” by Antoinette Tuff; A&E Lifetime, Manhattan Beach, California

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Vondie Curtis Hall.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • News Segment

    •  The CBS Evening News: Sikhs in Semis,” Jim Axelrod, correspondent; Mosheh Oinounou, executive producer; Javier Guzman, senior producer; Sharaf Mowjood, producer; CBS News, New York, New York

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Sharaf Mowjood.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • News – network or national syndication (4-8 min.)

    •  A Gift of Dance” Lesley Stahl, correspondent; Mary Lou Teel, producer; April Wilson, editor; Rand Morrison, executive producer; CBS Sunday Morning, New York, New York

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Mary Lou Teel.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • News – network or national syndication (8 min.+)

    •  60 Minutes: Inside the Secret Archive,” Bill Whitaker, correspondent; Guy Campanile producer; Lucy Hatcher, associate producer; Craig Crawford, editor; Bill Owens, executive producer; “60 Minutes,” CBS News, New York, New York

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Guy Campanile.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • News Story – local or regional

    •  Making His Mark,” Sierra Hignite, reporter; Josh Lum, photographer; WTWO TV, Terre Haute, Indiana

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Tim Sturgess.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • Documentary (up to 30 min.)

    •  Deconstructing My Religion,” Elizabeth Kineke, writer/producer; Elyse Kaftan, editor; Yuti Joshi, associate producer; CBS Television: Religion and Culture, CBS News, New York, New York

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Elizabeth Kineke.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

  • Documentary (30 min.+)

    •  Jesus: Countdown to Calvary,” Hugh Bonneville, presenter; Gerry Hoban, director; Eric Luskin & Cynthia Fenneman, commissioning executives (American Public Television); Béatrice Aullen, commissioning executive (ARTE); Roger Childs & Ray Bruce, executive producers (RTÉ, Dublin, Ireland)

      Hugh Bonneville accepted the award via video.

  • Interview

    •  Religion in Life,” Conrad (Ozzie) Ostwalt, host; Jesse Jackson, guest; Kelly Hunter, producer: “Religion in Life;” Rob Gelber, general manager, AppTV; Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Ozzie Ostwalt.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

RADIO OR PODCASTS

  • Single program

  • Series of programs (two or more)

    •  Can These Bones: A Faith and Leadership Podcast,” Rev. Laura Everett and Rev. William H. “Bill” Lamar IV, co-hosts; Dave Odom and Kelly Ryan, executive directors; Sally Hicks, executive producer; Jessamyn Rubio, technical manager; An offering of Faith & Leadership, Durham, North Carolina

      Jacqueline Fuller, president of the national Religion Communicators Council, presented the award to Christopher Karnadi.

      Photo by Julie Brinker.

Current award winners

2019 (for work completed in 2018)

Previous award winners

2018 (for work completed in 2017)

2017 (for work completed in 2016)

2016 (for work completed in 2015)

2015 (for work completed in 2014)

2014 (for work completed in 2013)

2013 (for work completed in 2012)

2012 (for work completed in 2011)

2011 (for work completed in 2010)

2010 (for work completed in 2009)

2009 (for work completed in 2008)

2008 (for work completed in 2007)

2007 (for work completed in 2006)

2006 (for work completed in 2005)

2005 (for work completed in 2004)

2004 (for work completed in 2003)

2003 (for work completed in 2002)

2002 (for work completed in 2001)

2001 (for work completed in 2000)

2000 (for work completed in 1999)

1998 (for work completed in 1997)

1996 (for work completed in 1995)

1992 (for work completed in 1991)

For more information about the Religion Communicators Council or to become a member, please contact:

Shirley Struchen
Phone: 212-870-2402
E-mail: [email protected]

 
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