The Catholic Standard newspaper and website of the Archdiocese of Washington received 17 awards in the 2020 Catholic Media Contest, including first place for best newspaper in its division. The awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada were announced July 2. The annual Catholic Media Conference was held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

El Pregonero, the Spanish language newspaper and website of the Archdiocese of Washington, received 19 awards in the 2020 Catholic Media Contest, including a second place award for Spanish publication of the year, so together the archdiocese's media received 36 awards in the annual contest.

The Catholic Standards five first place awards included:

  • First place, Best Newspaper – Non-Weekly Diocesan Newspaper, Circulation 25,000 or lessCatholic Standard staff
  • First place, Best Media Kit 2019 – By Irieska Caetano, the Catholic Standard’s business manager and advertising sales director; Barbara Quisquinay advertising representative; and Javier Diaz, production assistant
  • First place, Best Coverage Papal Trips – Feb. 7, 2019, pages S1-S8 “World Youth Day,” photos by Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard staff photographer now director of digital media for the Archdiocese of Washington, and stories by Kelly Sankowski, Catholic Standard reporter now in graduate school
  • First place, Best Special Supplement on Bishop’s Transition – “Our new archbishop, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory,” by Catholic Standard staff.
  • First place, Best Photograph, Catholic Education – “Happy graduates,” photo by Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard photographer
The Catholic Standard's coverage of Pope Francis's January 2019 World Youth Day in Panama City won a first place for best coverage of a papal trip. The award went to photographer Jaclyn Lippelmann and reporter Kelly Sankowski.

The Catholic Standard’s four second place awards included:

  • Second place, Best Regular Column, Spiritual Life – “Faith in Action” columns by Msgr. John Enzler, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, for his columns  “May we all rise with Jesus;” “The immigration debate hits home;” and “A tragedy that makes domestic violence all too real.”
  • Second place, Best Reporting on Celebration of a Sacrament – “‘Unbreakable bond’: Inspired by sons’ faith, Bethesda family prepares to become Catholic at Easter,” story by Mark Zimmermann, Catholic Standard’s editor, photos by freelance photographer Leslie Kossoff
  • Second place, Best Reporting on Vocations to Priesthood, Religious Life or Diaconate – “I fell in love with the elderly,” story profiling Sister Constance Veit of the Little Sisters of the Poor, by Josephine von Dohlen, Catholic Standard reporter; photos by Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard photographer
  • Second place, Best Photograph – Scenic, Still-Life or Weather Photo – “During vigil, pope tells youth ‘the Lord’s love is greater than all our problems,’ photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard staff photographer now director of digital media for the Archdiocese of Washington
Andrew Biraj, the Catholic Standard's photography and social media coordinator, won a first place award for his photo of happy graduates from Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Maryland. 

The Catholic Standard’s two third place awards included:

  • Third place, Best Regular Column, General Commentary – “Editor’s Notebook” columns by Mark Zimmermann, the Catholic Standard’s editor, on “From jail to Easter, man found new life in Christ;” “A principal, a school and a family;” and “A pope’s – and a photographer’s – pilgrimage to Japan”
  • Third place, Best Photo Story – News – “Pope Francis joins solemn ceremony of remembrance at Nagasaki,” and “Joyful greeting for Pope Francis at Nagasaki Mass,” photos by freelance photographer Mihoko Owada and design by Patricia Castrillo, Catholic Standard production assistant
The Catholic Standard's Andrew Biraj won an honorable mention award for his “Backpack Blessing” photo on the first day of school at St. Mary's School of Piscataway in Clinton, Maryland, when Father Timothy Baer, St. Mary's pastor, blessed children's backpacks.

The Catholic Standard’s six honorable mention awards included:

  • Honorable mention, Best Freestanding Presentation of Online Photo Gallery or Slideshow: (Posted on Catholic Standard’s website on January 2019) “During World Youth Day Vigil, pope tells youth 'the Lord’s love is greater than all our problems,’ photos by Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard’s photographer now the director of digital media for the Archdiocese of Washington
  • Honorable mention, Best News Writing on Local or Regional Event – “Maryland Day at St. Clement’s Island marks special homecoming for 17th century iron cross,” story by Mark Zimmermann, Catholic Standard’s editor, photos by freelance photographer Michael Hoyt
  • Honorable mention, Best Personality Profile – “His Catholic faith means ‘everything’ to 100-year-old survivor of the Battle of Midway,” story by Mark Zimmermann, Catholic Standard’s editor, photos by freelance photographer Michael Hoyt
  • Honorable mention, Best Reporting on a Special Age Group Senior Citizens – “His Catholic faith means ‘everything’ to 100-year-old survivor of the Battle of Midway,” story by Mark Zimmermann, Catholic Standard’s editor, photos by freelance photographer Michael Hoyt
  • Honorable mention, Best Photograph, Feature Photo – “Backpack blessing,” photo by Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard photographer
  • Honorable mention, Best Front Page – Tabloid – Sept. 5, 2019, “Backpack Blessing;” Sept. 19, 2019 “Mission of Mercy;” Oct. 23, 2019 “Fantastic Four;” photos by Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard photographer, and design by Javier Diaz, Catholic Standard production assistant