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Trib's Hiel honored for reporting on Coptic Christians

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Saturday, March 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Tribune-Review foreign correspondent Betsy Hiel won a national award for religion coverage, the Religion Communicators Council announced on Wednesday.

Hiel won one of 25 Wilbur Awards for excellence by individuals in secular media in communicating religious issues, positive values and themes during 2013. She was honored for her coverage of Coptic Christians under attack in Egypt, published in the Trib from Aug. 15 through Christmas Day.

The 85-year-old council, the country's oldest public relations professional association, has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Competition is open to all forms of media, including books, films, radio and television. Contest organizers said outside professionals evaluate entries on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

Hiel's reports competed with entries from newspapers outside the top 15 markets in the country. The national market award for newspaper coverage went to the Christian Science Monitor Weekly. CBS television won four Wilbur Awards for reports aired on “60 Minutes” and other programs. Other winners included The History Channel, The Huffington Post and author Mitch Albom.

The awards are to be presented on April 5 in Nashville. They are named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, longtime council leader and former Presbyterian Church executive.

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