Winners of the 2008 Carl Rogan Awards were announced Saturday, with The Oklahoman winning 14 first-place awards, 46 awards overall and top honors for coverage of the Picher tornado. The awards, sponsored by The Associated Press and Oklahoma News Executives, included entries from newspapers in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas during the 2008 calendar year. The Oklahoman competed in Division A, the highest circulation division. The Oklahoman won two awards for coverage of the May tornado that killed seven people in Picher — first place in spot news and the sweepstakes in the Division A spot news category. Nolan Clay and Randy Ellis won first in investigative reporting for stories in August about workers’ compensation funds that became political donations. The staff also won first place in spot sports reporting for stories about the July death of Oklahoma native and New York Yankee great Bobby Murcer. Steve Lackmeyer took first in the business feature category for a series of stories in January and February about Indian workers who were drawn to Tulsa to work for the John Pickle Co., where they were held against their will and paid $2 an hour. David Zizzo won first in the features category for a first-person account of his first solo parachute jump in July. John Rhode took first for sports columns in February, March and April about basketball coaches Kelvin Sampson and Bill Self and for a column about Morgan Snowden, a 7-year-old leukemia patient and Lomega basketball fan. Brandy McDonnell won first for reviews, including one of the March 2008 animated feature, "Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.” In the non-page one layout category, Valerie Blackburn won first place for an April 14 design of the You section. Todd Pendleton took first in the page one deadline layout category for three layouts from July to October. Erica Smith won first place for headlines. Smith also won third place in the best new journalist category, which was won by Nick Tankersley. Suzanne Green won first place for her graphics and illustrations. The Oklahoman’s photographers took two first-place awards — Jim Beckel in the feature category for a picture of a boy crying on Santa’s lap, and Sarah Phipps in the Web site photo category. Phipps also won second in the Web site photo category.
Other winners→Investigative reporting: second, Randy Ellis and Michael McNutt; third, Ken Raymond. →Business feature: honorable mention, Paul Monies. →Spot news: third, Bryan Painter, Augie Frost and Ken Raymond. →General news: second, Nolan Clay, Augie Frost and Ken Raymond; third, Randy Ellis. →Spot sports reporting: second, The Oklahoman staff. →Features: honorable mention, Devona Walker. →Sports feature: second, Jenni Carlson. →Sports columns: second, Berry Tramel. →Personal columns: second, Bryan Painter. →Editorials: third, J.E. McReynolds. →Reviews: third, Matt Price. →Non-page one layout: third, Renee Lawrence. →Page one deadline layout: third, Felicia Murray; honorable mention, Matt Clayton. →Headlines: second, Steve Byerly; third, Felicia Murray. →General Excellence: second, The Oklahoman. →Web site: second, The Oklahoman (NewsOK.com). →Spot news photo: third, Steve Gooch. →Sports photo: second, Sarah Phipps. →General news photo: second, Chris Landsberger; third, Jaconna Aguirre; honorable mention, Nate Billings. →Feature photo: third, Jaconna Aguirre. →Photo package: second, Chris Landsberger.