The OU Daily took first place in 14 of 20 categories of the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest on Saturday night and earned the Sequoyah Award as the state’s best college media outlet for the second consecutive year.
The performance was based on work in the 2018 calendar year, in which the independent student news organization was led by editors Kelli Stacy (spring), Nick Hazelrigg (summer) and Kayla Branch (fall).
The winning categories and entries were:
• News content, in which New Mexico-based judges described The Daily as “a leap above the competition. The Oklahoma daily is a great newspaper.”
• Community leadership, in which judges complimented The Daily “for walking their student community through this (presidential) transition of power from start to finish in a way that makes clear how seemingly distant administrative actions at a university directly affects its students.”
• Editorial writing
• Sales promotion
• Digital media
• News story for Hazelrigg’s “Time’s up at OU,” which revealed allegations of sexual harassment against a professor emeritus who was subsequently stripped of the title.
• Feature story for Anna Bauman’s “Paving the way,” which chronicled the legacy of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher as OU’s first African American law student.
• Sports story for George Stoia’s shadowing of Kyler Murray on a day in which he played in the OU football spring game and an OU baseball game.
• In-depth reporting for Jana Allen’s revelations that former OU Drama director Tom Orr knew of and had no intentions to punish a professor emeritus accused of harassment. (Allen also took second in this category for her original piece that documented allegations of harassment against Orr.)
• Column writing for Stoia’s series of pieces throughout football season (1, 2 and 3).
• Small-space ad for Amelia Kinsinger.
• Large-space ad for Kinsinger.
• Sports photograph for Caitlyn Epes’ picture of CeeDee Lamb’s one-handed grab against UCLA.
The Daily finished second in five categories — layout and design, photography, sports coverage, front-page design and in-depth reporting.
Members of the New Mexico Press Association judged more than 1,300 entries from 75 Oklahoma newspapers.
Additionally, Student Media alum and former Sooner yearbook editor Rusty Ferguson was honored with the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation’s Beachy Musselman Award.
Ferguson, publisher of The Cleveland American, grew up in the newspaper business and today oversees all three family newspapers – The Cleveland American, The Hominy News-Progress and The Pawnee Chief. In addition to running the family newspapers, Ferguson took on another role this year as a teacher of U.S. history and community leadership and adviser of the student newspaper at Cleveland Middle School.