The Tulsa World won four of the top awards for investigative reporting, magazine of the year, photo reporting and feature photography at the 14th Great Plains Journalism Awards.
The Tulsa World competed against newspapers, websites and magazines from eight states – Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri.
Corey Jones won the project/investigative reporting category for his Tulsa World series about the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s deadly high-speed pursuits. The Tulsa World produced stories that continued to hold OHP accountable for its record of deadly activity. In five years, 18 have died, including fleeing drivers, passengers, other motorists and a soldier.
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“Corey Jones’ ongoing and eye-opening work is a great example of a journalist identifying an issue of significant public interest, exploring it, and staying there for the long haul, even when officials refuse to cooperate with that same reporting.” , the judges wrote. “Jones’ series builds on a body of work that began six years ago, with five stories that extracted documents, won through an open lawsuit by the Tulsa World and other documents provided by sources . The stories delved into individual police pursuits to expose the OHP’s questionable decisions and the agency’s inability to fully reconcile the deadly results.
“His stories exemplify the journalism communities need to stay informed about those charged with public safety – especially when those responsible answer questions with a wall of silence.”
Tulsa World Magazine, produced by the Tulsa World Newsroom and led by Editor-in-Chief Nicole Marshall Middleton and Associate Editor Stacey Dickens, won Great Plains Magazine of the Year for the second time. Cover articles from the magazines judged included the 14 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Oklahoma, Pop Culture Spotlight on Western Living, 50 Things to Love About Tulsa, and the Annual Tulsans of the Year.
“The measure of a good urban magazine is how much of a ‘must read’ has it become? Tulsa World certainly fits the bill with a compelling editorial perfectly suited to Tulsa,” the judges wrote.
Tulsa World staff photographer Mike Simons won for a photo story about a patient who was dumped outside a local hospital, which is under federal investigation. Former Tulsa world photographer Ian Maule won the award for feature photography.
The Tulsa World was a finalist for Great Plains Newspaper of the Year and Great Plains Website of the Year.
Tulsa World finalists in the competition included writer Andrea Eger for Great Plains Writer of the Year; Sportswriter Eli Lederman for sports reporting; Ginnie Graham, editorial editor for News Column Portfolio; Simons for Spot News Photography and Sports Feature Photography; staff photographer Daniel Shular for sports photography; and Maule for Great Plains Newspaper Photographer/Portfolio of the Year and Spot News Photography.
Five journalists have been inducted into the Great Plains Journalism Hall of Fame. This year’s class included Robert E. Lorton Jr., former owner and publisher of the Tulsa World; Robert E. Lorton III, former editor of the Tulsa World; Tulsan Becky Dixon, owner and president of AyerPlay and former host of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports”; Ed Kelley, dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma and former editor of The Oklahoman; and Clytie Bunyan, managing editor for diversity and inclusion, community engagement and opinion at The Oklahoman.