The Franklin Center’s Patrick B. McGuigan — Oklahoma City bureau chief for the Watchdog.org system, and editor of CapitolBeatOK – finished third in the annual competition for best reporting portfolio sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma professional chapter. The awards were presented at a banquet in Tulsa, OK, on Saturday, April 20.
McGuigan’s five submissions in the portfolio competition for newspaper reporters included four stories adapted from Oklahoma Watchdog and CapitolBeatOK. McGuigan also won a first place award for Diversity Reporting and second place awards for health reporting and commentary.
One of McGuigan’s second place awards in the category of science, technology, health and environmental reporting consisted of news reports on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, widely known as “ObamaCare,” and its impact on Oklahoma state government, which first ran nationwide on the Watchdog.org Online news platform.
McGuigan’s other second place recognition came in the commentary category, for “Telling a Story and Giving Thanks – To all those who give a damn,” which reflected on the 2012 election season.
McGuigan’s first place recognition, in the category of Diversity Coverage, came for a report on the life of Archie Hoffman, an activist and member of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma who pressed for recognition of native land rights in western Oklahoma. Hoffman challenged the Clinton administration to keep a treaty promise to the Two Tribes to return certain lands to their control when the land was no longer required for U.S. military use.
McGuigan’s obituary/tribute about Hoffman appeared nationwide on Native American-focused websites and in other Oklahoma newspapers. The judge who afforded McGuigan the first place recognition wrote, “A powerful tribute to a great community leader. I expect there are other, equally inspiring people still alive who can be featured for their contributions to diversity.”