The Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the best journalistic work in the state at its annual awards banquet Saturday, April 30, at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City. The awards banquet honors Oklahoma’s top newspaper, print, broadcast and online journalists and public relations professionals.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Carl Bernstein was the keynote speaker for the awards banquet. Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke the Watergate scandal in the Washington Post during the 1970s. The pair’s modern investigative reporting eventually led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation and Pulitzer Prizes for the newspaper and the two reporters. Bernstein highlighted the lessons learned from Watergate and the need for investigative journalism during his talk.
Elizabeth Keys accepted an award for “STATE,” the official magazine of Oklahoma State University. SPJ honored “STATE” as the best public relations magazine. Keys serves as the editor of the magazine in partnership with Jacob Longan of the OSU Foundation and Chase Carter and Holly Bergbower at the OSU Alumni Association. Mark Pennie, assistant director of marketing, serves as the magazine art director with graphic designers Dave Malec, Valerie Kisling and Paul Fleming. University Marketing photographers, Phil Shockley and Gary Lawson, are key contributors as the magazine is known for its colorful array of campus pictures. The University Marketing department is under the direction of Kyle Wray, vice president for enrollment management and marketing.
The judges for the SPJ awards highlighted "STATE" Volume 11, Number 1, commenting: “Attractive photos, professional layout and interesting stories combine to make this an appealing magazine - even folks in Pennsylvania could feel proud of OSU after reading it!
Three special awards were presented to individuals and organizations that have made an impact on the media industry. The Carter Bradley First Amendment Award was presented to Mvskoke Media, the umbrella for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s newspaper, radio program and weekly television show. Retired Tulsa World reporter Janet Pearson was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Journalism Education for Oklahoma director Darla M. Jones Tresner of Bartlesville was named Teacher of the Year.