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VOA Reporters Win Religion Newswriters Awards

Michael O'Sullivan (left) and Jerome Socolovsky (right) at the RNA Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas on September 28, 2013.
For the third consecutive year, VOA correspondents Jerome Socolovsky and Michael O’Sullivan have won prestigious awards at the Religion Newswriters Association annual ceremony.

Socolovsky’s video package Churches Take up Fight for Stressed Parents, placed first in the RNA Television National Network/Cable News Religion Report of the Year category, announced at a Sept. 28 ceremony in Austin, Texas. His story focused on the efforts of U.S. churches to help parents who are struggling to balance a career, children, and attend church on a regular basis. Video producer Marcus Harton was also named on the award.

“Reporting on religion really is an essential component of VOA’s mission of informing and explaining American culture around the world,” said Socolovsky, who is a general assignments reporter and VOA’s religion correspondent.

O’Sullivan won third place for his story California Group Helps Young Muslims, Jews Find Common Ground, which profiles an innovative LA-based organization called NewGround. His story focused on how this organization helps promote dialogue between young Muslims and Jews through storytelling, art, and events that strive to initiate conversations between youths of both faiths.

“Religion is such an important part of culture, American life, and international life, and you often end up covering stories that touch on religion in your daily reporting,” said O’Sullivan, who is VOA’s West Coast Bureau Chief. “It’s great to have RNA highlight these stories.”

With this year’s awards, Socolovsky and O’Sullivan have now made it into the top three slots of the RNAs for the past three years in a row.