Claremore Daily Progress Editor Randy Cowling captured first place for editorials Saturday during the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives competition in Norman.
There were 179 entries in Division C, which comprised of newspapers with less than 7,000 in circulation.
He 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.
"It is an honor to have your work selected as the best in Oklahoma among your peers," Cowling said. "Sharing opinions through editorials is at the core of the First Amendment. As community journalists, it is our responsibility to be advocates for the community in the use of their tax dollars."
Cowling won an AP/ONE Sweepstakes award for his photography in 2011 for an image of the arrest of a man in Owasso. In 2010, he and the Progress staff won the AP/ONE Sweepstakes award for writing for a series on child welfare in Rogers County.
He has also received the top prize for editorials at the Oklahoma Press Association.
Cowling has been the Progress editor since December 2009.