Ten Oklahoma journalists will be inducted April 29 into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Central Oklahoma. The UCO journalism department sponsors the hall of fame. Mark Thomas, executive director of the Oklahoma Press Association, will be master of ceremonies. Terry Clark, chairman of the UCO journalism department and a member of the selection committee, said the inductees were chosen for their journalistic contributions. "They have exhibited real careers in news media serving citizens," Clark said. "They are incredibly dedicated to news and journalism." The hall of fame was founded in 1971 and one of the first inductees was Will Rogers. The hall has more than 300 members. This year's inductees are: photographer David G. Fitzgerald; UCO photography professor Haskell O. "Woody" Gaddis; Sue Hale, executive editor of The Oklahoman; journalism educator Bettye Jane Johnston; Jim Killackey, health and medical writer for The Oklahoman; and Mike McCormick, executive editor of the Shawnee News-Star. Also being inducted are Purcell Register Publisher John D. Montgomery; radio journalist James G. Palmer; Tulsa World sports columnist Dave Sittler; and KOCO-TV reporter Terri Watkins.
Fitzgerald is from Oklahoma City, attended Oklahoma City University and the Kansas City Arts Institute. His work has appeared in state and national exhibitions and he has been a major contributor to Oklahoma Today magazine.
Gaddis earned his journalism degree at the University of Tulsa in 1959, and worked as a staff photographer at The Tulsa Daily World from 1955-1963, and from 1966-1969 before creating the photography program at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Hale joined the Oklahoma City Times in 1975 as a reporter and became editor of the El Reno Tribune in 1981. Returning to The Oklahoman in 1984, she has served as news, city and assistant managing editor. She started OPUBCO's online Web site and convergence operations. She is founder of FOI Oklahoma and helped start the First Amendment Congress.
Johnston taught journalism and photography for 16 years at Bartlesville Sooner High School. She was editor of the Northern Oklahoma College Maverick. She also was editor of the Central State Vista when Pearl Harbor was attacked. She continues to freelance.
Killackey, a native of Chicago, holds a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma. He was managing editor of The Oklahoma Daily and joined The Oklahoman as a reporter in 1973. He was a Ford Foundation Fellowship recipient, and is president of the OU Gaylord College of Journalism Alumni Association board.
McCormick started in 1967 with the Shawnee News-Star, becoming city editor in 1977, managing editor in 1991 and executive editor in 1998. He serves on the board of St. Gregory's University. He attended St. Gregory's College, the University of Central Oklahoma and OU. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Montgomery has worked for his hometown paper at the Hobart Daily Democrat-Chief. He went on to work for the Kiowa County Star-Review, The Oklahoman, The Oklahoma City Times, The Tulsa World and The Madill Record. He bought an interest in the Johnston County Capital-Democrat in 1977 and also owns the Purcell Register.
Palmer attended OU and served in the Army before starting his career at WRIT in Milwaukee. He worked at KADS in Elk City and KWCO in Chickasha before joining WKY. He was a regional broadcast executive with UPI in Dallas, worked at KDNT in Denton and returned to Oklahoma City at KTOK in 1991. He re-started WKY's news department in 1994.
Sittler started his career at the Lincoln Journal Star. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Nebraska. He worked as a sportswriter and columnist at The Oklahoman, The Tulsa Tribune and The Omaha World-Herald before joining The Tulsa World. He was named Sportswriter of the Year for Oklahoma five times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Watkins graduated from the OU School of Journalism before joining KOCO-TV in 1982. She has twice won the Peabody Award for bringing respect to TV journalism. She hosted ABC's Nightline during the Denver trial of Timothy McVeigh. She was the first woman in Oklahoma City Gridiron, and has been president of FOI Oklahoma.
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The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame also will honor eight journalists posthumously. The selection committee voted to induct them as a group. Honorees are Doris Hedges, 1910-1999, Eufaula Indian Journal; Vera Holding, 1884-1984, Waurika News-Democrat; Ben Langdon, 1913-1999, Mangum Star; Eugene Lorton, 1869-1949, Tulsa World; Joseph Miller, 1921-1992, The Oklahoman; Alexander L. Posey, 1873-1908, Eufaula Indian Journal; Wayne Singleterry, 1949-2001, The Oklahoman; and Tom Steed, 1904-1983, Shawnee News-Star.