A profile of a Mormon congregation united — and sometimes divided — by its African ties, an exploration of the Quran and the stereotype-shattering verses found in Islam’s holy book, and a look at America’s black churches along with the evolving roles they play in the continuing quest for civil rights.
Those stories earned Salt Lake Tribune senior religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack the 2017 Cornell Award, the third time she has won that prestigious prize.
The Religion News Association announced the honor — for excellence in religion reporting among midsize newspapers — at its convention Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.
Second place went to Steve Rabey for stories he wrote at the Colorado Springs Gazette, followed by Douglas Todd of the Vancouver Sun.
Stack “shows a sophistication in her excellent writing and extensive reporting, providing depth and clarity on contemporary issues,” the judges wrote. “[She] takes us to places we normally do not encounter in our everyday lives, and does it well with her crisp, informative and reader-friendly style.”
Besides her two previous Cornell prizes — along with numerous other national, regional and state accolades — Stack collected the American Academy of Religion Award in 2013. She also was a co-author of one of the stories in The Tribune’s recent Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of sexual assaults at Utah colleges.
Stack joined The Tribune in 1991. During her career, she has written about new popes and old professors, rising apostles and fallen zealots, powerful preachers who command the pulpit and common parishioners who fill the pews.
Later this month, she will cover her 50th consecutive Mormon General Conference.