The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com won 53 awards, including 23 first-place honors, and a longtime Oklahoman Capitol Bureau reporter was given the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual awards banquet Saturday.
Journalists from two out-of-state SPJ chapters judged the contest’s more than 1,200 entries. Awards were presented in newspaper, television, radio, magazines, online and public relations. NewsOK won first place in the best Web site category, while a Lifetime Achievement Award was given to longtime Oklahoman Capitol Bureau reporter John Greiner. For 37 of his more than 42 years with The Oklahoman, Greiner covered the state Capitol. His retirement prompted a state Senate resolution praising him for his "hard work, fairness, getting the story right and explaining complicated issues.” He covered three national political conventions and most branches of state government. Greiner is a member of the advisory board for the Ethics and Excellence Foundation, and his character portrayals are well-known on the Oklahoma City Gridiron stage. In 1993, Greiner was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. Greiner took first place in the education reporting category this year. NewsOK took first for best Web site, and also first and second prize for breaking news coverage of the spring wildfires and weather. Berry Tramel’s Oklahoma Sports Blog took first place in that category, and NewsOK and Ken Raymond also took first for the multimedia project "Life Is Real,” which documented the final chapters of Norman lawyer Jim Chastain’s life. Raymond and Nolan Clay also took first in criminal justice reporting. Raymond also won first place for in-depth individual enterprise reporting for "Life Is Real,” and first in best reporter’s portfolio. The Oklahoman staff took first place in the team investigative reporting category for "Dying Too Young,” in-depth enterprise reporting on the 10-year anniversary of the May 3 tornadoes and spot news reporting. Ron Jackson took first in the individual investigative reporting category. Michael Kimball took first-place prizes in the political and governmental reporting category, and for his story about the shooting death of an exotic dancer. Berry Tramel took first in sports reporting for his profile of pitcher Clint LittleJim’s struggle with alcoholism. Carla Hinton’s column about a day without footwear took first place, as did Heather Warlick-Moore’s story about a hospice that plans "perfect days” for hospice patients. Ann Kelley took first in news reporting for her story about Kitty Lewis, a woman who lived and died in her squalid Oklahoma City home. John Clanton took first in general photography for his photos of the funeral of Army Staff Sgt. Chris Hake. Steve Gooch won the top spot news photography prize for his spring wildfire photos, and Steve Sisney won first for his feature photos of Latin ballroom dancing at the University of Oklahoma.