Oklahoma Watch Journalists Win 11 Awards in Statewide Contest

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Oklahoma Watch captured 11 awards, including seven first-place honors, in the 2017 journalism competition sponsored by the Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Jennifer Palmer, education reporter for Oklahoma Watch, was named “Best Reporter” and also was first in education coverage, which featured her stories related to hunger in schools.

Reporter Trevor Brown, along with reporter Mollie Bryant, won in in-depth enterprise and investigative coverage in the large newspaper division, as well as won first in online special report/enterprise, for their series titled “Inside Democracy” about the influence of money and special interests on state government. Brown also won second in online multimedia coverage for his reporting on the special session of the Legislature.

Former Oklahoma Watch reporter Clifton Adcock’s won in criminal justice reporting for his two-part series on suicides in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Adcock now works at The Frontier, based in Tulsa.

Receiving third-place honors in investigative reporting were Paul Monies and Ben Botkin, for their exclusives and analysis of the reported financial crisis at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Bryant, along with enterprise editor and writer Jeff Raymond, was third in general news reporting for her story on infant deaths related to unsafe sleeping practices – part of a “Kids in Peril” series.

Other first-place honors went to Oklahoma staff and contributors in these areas:

–Community engagement. Chief Operating Officer Dena Drabek, contributor Penny Seale and the Oklahoma Watch staff were honored for their outreach through newsletters and on various social media platforms.

— Video journalism. David Fritze, Ilea Shutler, Warren Vieth and Adcock won for a selection of video interviews about marginalized communities – part of the Oklahoma Watch video series “Conversations”.

–Interactive graphic or resource. Tom Theron and Fritze won for an interactive map titled “Oklahoma’s Poverty Landscape”.