The Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored The Oklahoman staff with 44 awards for outstanding reporting, photography, online and other work. The group recognized achievements in newspapers, television, radio, magazines, Web sites and public relations during an awards banquet Saturday night in Tulsa. The contest was for work completed between July 2007 and June 2008, and winners were selected by SPJ members from outside Oklahoma from more than 1,200 entries. The Oklahoman competed among newspapers with circulations of 25,000 or more. The Oklahoman received 44 awards in 2008 and 34 awards in 2007. Staff Writer Nolan Clay won the best newspaper reporting portfolio category. Staff Writer Ken Raymond won first place in four categories: multimedia project, individual in-depth reporting ("Cold Case” series), special projects and leisure writing (Taos, N.M., travel story). "Your Right to Know,” a special NewsOK.com site, received the Carter Bradley First Amendment Award. The Web site includes a collection of public records databases, open government links, news feeds and a blog by Database Editor Paul Monies. The site helped fight a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to limit the public’s online access to court filings. "The Greatest Generation,” an in-depth look at World War II soldiers and survivors, won the special projects category. Reporters were Bryan Dean, Ken Raymond, John Greiner and Wendy Kleinman. Nolan Clay and Augie Frost won first place in spot news for their coverage of the murder-suicide at Tinker Air Force Base. Staff members won all awards for headline writing. Erica Smith won first, Amy Raymond took second and Steve Byerly finished third. Washington Bureau reporter Chris Casteel won first place in sports reporting for his coverage of the Sonics trial in Seattle. Jenni Carlson won first place for a column about Virginia Tech. Steve Gooch won first place in spot news photography for his photo of a water rescue.
Other winnersThe Oklahoman and NewsOK.com staff members were recognized in the following categories: Investigative reporting/individual: Randy Ellis, second. Investigative reporting/team: Nolan Clay, Randy Ellis, Ryan McNeill and Sheila Stogsdill, second. In-depth reporting/individual: Ken Raymond, first; Wendy Kleinman, third. In-depth reporting/team: The Oklahoman staff, second. Spot news: Bryan Painter and Augie Frost, second; Johnny Johnson, third. Personal column: Bryan Painter, second. Editorial/commentary: J.E. McReynolds, first. General news reporting: Nolan Clay, second. Criminal justice reporting: Nolan Clay, second. Science, technology and environmental reporting: John David Sutter, third. Entertainment feature: Gene Triplett, second. Arts criticism: George Lang, third. Leisure writing: Ken Raymond, first. Sports reporting: Chris Casteel, first; Jake Trotter, third. Sports features: Andrea Cohen, second; John Helsley, third; Ed Godfrey, honorable mention. Sports column: Jenni Carlson, first; John Rohde, second; Berry Tramel, honorable mention. Sports photography: Sarah Phipps, second. General photography: Paul Hellstern, second. Story/photo essay: Nate Billings, third. Spot news photography: Steve Gooch, first. Best photographic portfolio: Bryan Terry, second; Sarah Phipps, third. Page 1 layout and design: Steve Byerly, first. Feature page design: Matt Clayton, third. Feature headlines: Don Brown, first. Multimedia project: Ken Raymond, Brian Mays and Steve Aylor, first. Videography: Tanner Herriott, third. Blog: Matthew Price, second; Brandy McDonnell, third. Best newspaper: The Oklahoman, second.