Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

April 1, 2014

Daily Progress, Wilken honored with Public Service award

Wilken named Reporter of the Year

MONTGOMERY, Ala. —

The Claremore Daily Progress and reporter Salesha Wilken have been honored by CNHI with a Public Service award for their aggressive pursuit of questions surrounding the conduct of the district attorney and county commissioners. 
Wilken has also earned the Reporter of the Year award among journalists at the company’s smaller dailies for her “thorough, tenacious reporting.”
A judging panel of editors and journalists honored the Daily Progress and Wilken for its public service among the company’s small dailies in the annual Best of CNHI editorial competition.
Judges said, “ The Progress — and particularly reporter Salesha Wilken — deserve commendation for courageous, comprehensive reporting on the questionable conduct of the county’s top public officials. The Progress uses solid, records-based reporting to support its coverage of the county commission, district attorney and others. The newspaper and reporter Wilken merit high praise for their relentless pursuit of a complicated, controversial story.”
Judges also singled out Wilken’s work.
“Wilken’s work stands out for thorough, tenacious reporting of stories about the local district attorney and other county officials. Her stories should be a model of watchdog coverage for community newspapers everywhere,” the judges said. “Wilken’s work lays out the facts, without editorializing. She distills complicated material into clearly written, easily understood stories. Significantly, she has faced large obstacles to her reporting, including a lawsuit filed by the district attorney against the Claremore Progress and Wilken.”
The company also honored The Norman Transcript as one of the company’s best papers for its detailed coverage of a devastating tornado that struck Moore.
Judges commended the Norman Transcript’s compelling stories, evocative photos and layered print and digital coverage of the spring tornado and its aftermath. Two-dozen people died, and scores of homes and businesses were destroyed. The judges said: “The Transcript delivered right down to the smaller details, like tracking down an author who’d written about a massive tornado in the same community 10 years earlier. Even the garden columnist touched on the post-storm effects.”
The Transcript’s digital coverage of the storm – and rich online journalism year-round – earned it the honor of Website of the Year for smaller dailies.
Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (CNHI) is an Alabama-based media company and parent company to publishers of local newspapers, websites and niche publications,  serving more than 130 communities in 23 states. The Best of CNHI contest recognizes individual and collective works of the company’s journalists.

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