Reporters for The Oklahoman have won four First Amendment Awards in a journalism competition in Texas.
Reporters won for news stories on the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, the Oklahoma Education Department and the federal investigation of a horse ranch tied to a Mexican drug cartel.
“First Amendment Awards strike close to our hearts. The men and women in our news and information center value openness and transparency, not for our sake but for the sake of our community,” said Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group.
The competition covered stories published in 2012. It was hosted by the Fort Worth Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Winners were announced last month.
Reporters Robby Trammell, Randy Ellis and Nolan Clay won in the “Defending the Disadvantaged” category for stories on DHS and overcrowding at DHS shelters.
Ellis, Clay and Michael McNutt won in the investigative category for coverage of a prosecutor's complaints about the parole board.
Clay won in the general news category for coverage of the horse ranch investigation. “It reads like a Hollywood script, with action and drama,” a competition judge wrote.
Ellis, Megan Rolland and Carrie Coppernoll won in the “Reporting on Open Government” category for stories on slush funds involving the Education Department.