The Claremore Daily Progress has won first place for editorials on county government, local sports photo coverage and the best New Journalist of the Year in the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives competition.
The winners were announced Saturday night.There were 179 entries in Division C, which comprised newspapers with less than 7,000 in circulation.
Progress editor Randy Cowling won first place for three editorials about Rogers County government’s practices.
Cowling is “a clear advocate for the community. (His entry) beat out a more traditional editorial format because it centered more squarely on an issue of vital importance,” said Judge Bob Eschliman of the Newton (Iowa) Daily News.
Sports editor Tim Ritter was honored with a first place award for three sports photo packages.
Judge Jim Slasiarek of The Gazette (Iowa) in Cedar Rapids said of Ritter ‘s photos, “A clear collection of sports images. The soccer photos were the best of the bunch.”
Reporter Salesha Wilken received the Best New Journalist of the Year award.
“It is obvious that public officials don’t scare Salesha Wilken. She covers county commissioners, the investigation of a congressional candidate and other important issues for the Daily Progress’ readers. She’s a strong reporter and quite an addition to the staff,” said Judge Dino Chiecchi of the San Antonio Express-News.
The Progress also received other honors including:
Public Service Reporting
Second, Salesha Wilken. Judge Rick Brack of the Longview (Texas) News-Journal said “Great job of holding local officials accountable for spending.”
Second, Salesha Wilken. Judge Jared Strong of the Daily Times, Carroll, Iowa, said “This entry showed some dogged work to keep your county officials honest. I bet someone might think twice before running in the next election.”
Non-Page One layout
Second,Tim Ritter, Progress Sports pages.
Page One Deadline layout
Second, Randy Cowling
Second, Randy Cowling
Third, Salesha Wilken
Second, Tom Fink.
Third, Salesha Wilken for story on a 91-year-old mother legally adopting 69-year-old son.
The AP/Oklahoma News Executives competition is open to newspapers that are regular members of The Associated Press news cooperative. The competition attracted more than 600 entries from newspapers in Oklahoma with 20 writing and photography categories.