Some more notes and thoughts about a week on NewsOK.com.
Surviving the Dust BowlI just want it to rain. I’m tired of drought conditions that are threatening Oklahomans’ livelihoods. I’m tired of wildfires that are threatening Oklahomans’ homes, livelihoods and lives. I just want one of those three-day showers that we traditionally tend to get in the Oklahoma’s Aprils. We had a story this week about the drought conditions being the worst we’ve had since the Dust Bowl. It gave our NewsOK editors a nice opportunity to link up one of our best nDepth: Stories of the Ages packages we’ve built on “Surviving the Dust Bowl.” As you’re praying for rain this weekend, check out “Surviving the Dust Bowl.” You might need the tips.
OKC Thunder bandwagon
In a tradition we started last year, we launched our end-of-season Thunder Bandwagon page to detail the building of a contender in the NBA Playoffs. The page is sponsored by OKC Thunder Cycles, and it features a fun StoryWall from the 2010-11 season, a Loud and Proud Fan Photo contest, and photo gallery with the best photos from the season and some of our best feature stories about the players. The page is great for all Thunder fans.
Home & Garden sponsor
The NewsOK Home & Garden page has a new sponsor as of this week. Appropriately, it’s sponsored by Marcum’s Nursery. The Home & Garden page now features a new enhanced look and feel, plus tips from Marcum’s and videos from a series of producers, including The Associated Press and CBS News.
Blake Griffin: To boo or not to booBlake Griffin made some news this week. All he did was play winning basketball against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Thunder fans’ reaction to his play sparked a nice debate for sports fans in Oklahoma (and within our own newsroom). Darnell Mayberry noted the fans’ boos on one of his Twitter updates during Wednesday’s game. Then, he shared his opinion again on his blog after the game. Sports editor Mike Sherman wrote a blog post Thursday afternoon that sparked even more debate after we featured that post at the top of NewsOK’s home page. Berry Tramel followed all that up with his column that was released on NewsOK on Thursday night. To recap, Darnell didn’t like the boos, Mike hated the boos and Berry didn’t mind the boos. That sports department … they are never short on opinions.
Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant: Know It
With all the booing going on, it’s a good thing we launched our Know It page on Blake Griffin last week. And it’s a good thing we enhanced that page (and the page we have on the Thunder’s own Kevin Durant) with featured presentations of their blogs. So, follow our Know It pages on Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant, and follow their blogs on our pages.
Telling important stories
Our site is full of information that people just need to know about. That occurs to me every week, and I often write about that thought, but it just occurred to me again on Wednesday afternoon. The trial in the drowning death of 2-year-old Allie Croom began this week. The story, like so many we tell on NewsOK, is important for us to follow. We’ll follow them. We’ll cover this trial and tell you if a jury sees it as a tragic accident or murder. I think it’s important that we do that. I hope you think so, as well.
Anthony Shadid in the houseSpeaking of telling important stories that need to be told … Oklahoma City native Anthony Shadid stopped by our newsroom on Friday to talk about his recent near-death experience in Libya and his thoughts on covering the Arab world throughout his Pulitzer-Prize winning career. Shadid is a great story-teller, which is part what makes him a great journalist. Shadid can honestly say that he survives his craft. That’s not something every journalist has to say. It’s honorable to be so passionate and continually risk your life to tell people’s stories. If you want to really understand what he and his colleagues went through in Libya while in captivity, you must read their piece in the New York Times after they returned.
NewsOK & The Oklahoman win awards
Shadid does great work in the Middle East. And the New York Times does great work in New York. And so does NewsOK.com and The Oklahoman. Want proof? Check out our awards at last weekend’s Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives competition. The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com won 21 individual first-place honors and 48 individual awards. My boss, Kelly Dyer Fry, said this: “Being recognized by our industry peers is a proud moment for all of us. We work every day to bring quality news to our readers. These awards tell us job well done.”
Berry Tramel’s column about new men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger’s salary let the way this week for article traffic on NewsOK. I find it extremely interesting that this makes the third consecutive week that an article about the OU men’s basketball coaching job has led the way for articles on NewsOK. Berry’s take? “OU paying Lon Kruger $2.2 million is cents-less.”
Most-viewed blog post
More OU basketball. This story keeps getting traffic. This week, the most-viewed blog post is the Tuesday post about former OU coach Jeff Capel being hired as an assistant coach on the Missouri staff.
Strange. The most-viewed video this week was a video from last week. It was a video of Bob Stoops talking about building depth on his football team this spring. Watch it below: