MIDWEST CITY —
The Claremore Daily Progress walked away with the coveted Sequoyah Award Friday night at the conclusion of the annual Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest Awards at the Reed Center in Midwest City.
The Progess placed first in Division 2, newspapers with circulation between 3,800 to 8,000. It received eight awards in addition to the top prize, including first place in In-Depth Enterprise Reporting and Feature writing. The Progress was received second place honors for Editorial Comment and Community Leadership; third place Sports Coverage and Personal Columns; and two fourth place awards for Sales Promotion and News Content.
The Progress earned 520 points overall. The McAlester News Capital placed second with 390 points and the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise finished in third with 380 points.
“This is quite an honor for the Claremore Daily Progress staff,” said Randy Cowling, editor, who accepted the award on behalf of the newspaper. “Our staff has worked very hard at covering significant events and unfolding stories this year. The staff deserves praise for its commitment to telling the community’s story, holding government officials accountable and its dedication to excellence.”
Earlier this year, the Progress was also honored with the top award for newspapers of its size by the Oklahoma News Executives/Associated Press.
Salesha Wilken’s reporting of ongoing issues between area law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office was tapped with the top prize for In-Depth Enterprise reporting.
“Thorough and compelling coverage of Rogers County officials that resulted in the calling of a statewide grand jury investigation,” said Judge Kathy Steiner. “Telling readers about FOI (Freedom of Information) requests is important.”
Feature stories by Tim Ritter and Tom Fink received high praise from Judge Gene Crider. “The topics were strong and different and the writing kept you going.”
Publisher Bailey Dabney’s editorials won second place. Judge John C Huff Jr. said “Good topics of direct local interest and importance. Clearly presented with a well-driven, logically unfolding argument. A good voice with authority but with accessibility.”