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The Oklahoman, NewsOK honored for two efforts

FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: April 14, 2009 at 11:34 am •  Published: April 14, 2009

Topics continue to grow, and so do the Web presence of each. As intended, they have become an online encyclopedia of community conversation, information, contacts, interactive video and links to resources on the Web.

"Your Right to Know" was launched originally as the first “know it” to provide readers with a collection of online databases created by The Oklahoman and also included public records, open government links, news feeds and a blog by Database Editor Paul Monies called "DataWatch."

It appeared during “Sunshine Week” in March 2008 at the same time when the Oklahoma Supreme Court passed a rule limiting the public's online access to court filings.

The move prompted widespread outcry, and The Oklahoman and its “Your Right to Know” played key roles in covering the story and providing the public with access to their open records and First Amendment rights. After two weeks, the Supreme Court rescinded its rule and put the issue under further study.

“Your Right to Know” has since evolved and was integrated this year into NewsOK's "Watchdog" site.

The award will be presented at the society’s national convention Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis. Judges chose winners from more than 900 entries in 53 categories, including print, radio, television and online.

Some other newspapers recognized in the 2008 Sigma Delta Chi Awards include The New York Times, St. Petersburg Times and The Denver Post.

The Sigma Delta Chi Award is the first online journalism award that The Oklahoman has won from the national SPJ chapter. The Oklahoman won two print awards in "Deadline Reporting" and "Spot News Photography" in 1996 for its coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995.