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Index receives BCA grand prize for newswriting

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Riders prepare to embark on the Unholy Tour last year. Content Editor Myriah Snyder's coverage of the event was recognized with the Frank Burkhalter Award for Exceptional Achievement in Religious Newswriting by Baptist Communicators Association. MYRIAH SNYDER/Special


DULUTH — The Christian Index received three awards recently on behalf of Baptist Communicators Association, including one of the seven grand prizes covering various areas of Baptist journalism.

Content Editor Myriah Snyder received the Frank Burkhalter Award for Exceptional Achievement in Religious Newswriting for her piece “Unholy Tour attendees hear survivors recount ‘second chances.’” The article shared the experiences of speakers on the Unholy Tour, an annual event that takes attendees on a bus ride through human trafficking hotspots of Metro Atlanta. Those areas include notorious strip clubs, hotels, truck stops, and apartments where trafficking has been acknowledged. Speakers not only include trafficking survivors, but law enforcement and community workers battling the issue.

Snyder’s article centered heavily on the story of Kayti Batya, who was abused as a toddler and sold into sex slavery by her father, a minister. Judges described Snyder’s work as “attention-getting” and “deeply disturbing.” Additional comments included “My heart was in my throat.”

Snyder also received a 3rd Place award for her First Person column “Dads, we need you.” That column recounted her personal testimony and a call for fathers to rise to godly leadership.

Index Editor Scott Barkley received a 3rd Place award in News Writing 750-1500 words for his article “North Georgia awakening coming from what is found, not what was lost.” His article centered around Heritage Baptist Church in Calhoun and the congregation’s reaction to its pastor’s death last July, leading into a revival with many being saved.

The annual awards ceremony was originally slated for April 10 in New Orleans during the BCA meeting. However it was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and held online through last week on Facebook. Snyder and other Grand Prize winners were announced in a special video stream Friday.

BCA is a professional development organization founded in 1953. Most of its approximately 250 in membership come from Southern Baptist agencies, state conventions, Baptist newspapers, and Baptist universities. Judging falls into seven interest categories: editorial, public relations, electronic media, photography, management, marketing, and graphic design.

awards, BCA, human trafficking, Mission Georgia

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