CapitolBeatOK wins honors from Society of Professional Journalists

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Alexandria, VA – In its first year of eligibility for competition, CapitolBeatOK won two awards for excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists. Additionally, Editor Patrick B. McGuigan and staff writer Stacy Martin each won several reporting awards, including for stories in “legacy media” – reports that were adapted from CapitolBeatOK. Capitol Beat OK is a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national nonprofit journalism organization.

“This award and recognition is a remarkable accomplishment for CapitolBeatOK and its talented reporting staff,” said Franklin Center President Jason Stverak. “CapitolBeatOK has proven itself to be a reliable, and trusted news source for Oklahomans. This award is a  testament to the terrific work that they do day in and out.”

CapitolBeatOK.com won “honorable mention” in the “Best News Website” competition and was awarded third place in “Web Design.”

In addition to awards going directly to CapitolBeatOK, McGuigan and Martin won a total of four awards for stories adapted from reporting they did for CapitolBeatOK. The pair shared two awards for a single story on the potential application of federal civil rights strictures to public school districts defying Oklahoma’s special needs scholarship program, aimed at giving handicapped students choices in where they might go to school.

In all, Martin won five awards for her work in the past 18 months (the competition time frame was July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010). McGuigan won a total of 11 SPJs (eight for his reporting and commentaries, and three “institutional awards,” including the two recognitions for CapitolBeatOK.com).

Capitol Beat OK is a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.  Dedicated to exposing waste, fraud, and abuse at all levels of government, the Franklin Center networks with journalists and organizations covering the daily activities of state government and continues our work holding elected and public officials accountable to the people.

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