Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists – CapitolBeatOK writers recognized for “enterprise” and special reporting

OKLAHOMA CITY – Writers for CapitolBeatOK won a total of five awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (Oklahoma Pro Chapter) Saturday night (April 21). 

Three of the awards came for stories first posted on the website, www.CapitolBeatOK.com. For the second year in a row (and in only its second year of eligibility for recognition), the online news website acquired awards from the group of journalists who work in newspaper, television, radio, online journalism, and for blogs.

A project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, CapitolBeatOK won two awards in the online reporting category deemed “enterprise” reporting, or special reports. Another story first posted on CapitolBeatOK won recognition in the newspaper category, as well. 

CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan won first place awards in both online and newspaper reporting, and a third place award in magazine writing. 

McGuigan garnered one first place SPJ award for his online enterprise/special report for CapitolBeatOK, a news story focused on pension reform and entitled, “Is pension reform the crowning achievement of the 2011 legislature?”  
McGuigan had previously won widespread recognition for his in-depth reporting on government pension issues, making arcane matters of public finance and accounting accessible to readers. 

Special projects writer Stacy Martin of CapitolBeatok won second place honors for online “enterprise” or special report for her story, “OEA keeps generous benefits and pay raises while member face more suffering.”  

Additionally, Martin shared a second place newspaper investigative reporting award with McGuigan,for their joint effort entitled “State’s largest teacher’s union ready to take on school districts.”  

In other aspects of the annual competition, McGuigan also won a first place newspaper award in the “entertainment category” for a personal reflection on art works paying tribute to Sacawagewa, the Indian guide for the Lewis & Clark expedition in the Nineteenth century. 

McGuigan also won third place in magazine column writing for his tribute to the late NBA and college basketball great, Wayman Tisdale of Tulsa.

A member of the SPJ for more than 15 years, McGuigan has won more than two dozen SPJs in this decade. 

Note: Billie Rodely, a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, writes for CapitolBeatOK.