Oklahoma Gazette received 24 honors, including eight first place awards, at the annual banquet for the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists held March 1 in Oklahoma City.
Gazette competed in the largest newspaper division in the statewide contest, which was judged by Chicago, Pittsburgh and Utah chapters.
Gazette writers garnered the top three slots in the best Reporting Portfolio category. Emily Jerman claimed first place honors while Scott Cooper placed second and Ben Fenwick came in third. Jerman also won first in Feature Writing for "Where in the world is Anita Hill?"
Cooper and Fenwick shared first prize for "Pie in the sky" in the In-Depth Enterprise Reporting/Team category for coverage of Rocketplane. Editor Rob Collins won first for In-Depth Enterprise Reporting by an Individual for the "Heart of a martyr" story on the Rev. Stanley Rother.
Assistant Editor Rod Lott won a pair of firsts for his story on Morgellons ("No cause. No cure. No joke?") in Health Reporting and for Feature Headlines with the entries "Fish shtick," "Vasecto-me?" and "Arac war."
Additional top honors went to Art Director Chris Street for "State of the Past" in Feature Page Layout and to freelance artist Bruce Eagle for Fenwick's "Brad Henry's Vegas Vacation" in the best Use of Graphic Illustration category.
SECOND- AND THIRD-PLACE AWARDS
Gazette placed second overall in the best Newspaper competition, finishing behind the Tulsa World. The Muskogee Phoenix took third, with The Christian Chronicle receiving an honorable mention nod.
Gazette claimed several second place honors: commentary writer Robin Meyers for "The gift of radical freedom" in Editorial/Commentary, Jerman for "A few bad apples" in Education Reporting, freelancer Deborah Benjamin for "At arm's length" in Health Reporting, Collins for "Broadband of brothers" in Science and Technology Reporting, former intern Brianna Bailey for "Got wine?" in Business Features, and freelancer Kathryn Jenson White for film reviews in Arts Criticism.
Gazette entries earned third place in the following categories: Fenwick for "Fall of the house of Marland" for Feature Writing and "Open, closed" in General News Reporting, Cooper for "Weather channeled" in Science and Technology Reporting, Lott for "Masters of horror" in Entertainment Features, Chief Photographer Mark Hancock for "Subterranean sights" in Story/Photo Essay and Online Editor Stefanie Brickman of okgazette.com for best Web Site.
Cooper, SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter president, also received an honorable mention for "Curtis McCarty" in Criminal Justice Reporting. " Gazette staff