The OU Daily was celebrated on the national stage this weekend at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association convention in Washington, D.C., receiving three organizational honors — media outlet of the year, website of the year and a newspaper finalist nod — along with five individual ones.
On Friday night, The Daily won the CMA’s Pinnacle Awards for both four-year college media outlet of the year and four-year website of the year. The entries covered the period from June 2018 through May 2019, spanning the leadership of summer 2018 editor Nick Hazelrigg, fall 2018 editor Kayla Branch and spring 2019 editor Emma Keith.
Website of the year recognizes “excellence in overall coverage, content and content delivery, design, reporting, writing and editing, multimedia, special projects, cross-platform integration, service to the campus community and interactivity.”
Media outlet of the year is listed as follows. “News is a concept, not a format. We recognize the media outlet that delivers stellar information to its audience through multiple channels: the written word, the spoken word, photography, and video. Judges will consider both print and web design, the use of web tech and even apps, the integration of social media into news coverage, and the day-in-day-out quality and quantity of coverage that students, faculty, staff, and administrators want — and frankly, need.”
On Saturday night, five staffers garnered individual honors in the ACP journalism contest.
George Stoia placed third in the Ernie Pyle reporter of the year contest among finalists from four-year schools. His entry consisted of a series on the consequences of concussions in college football, a profile of Kyler Murray and a human interest column off covering the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York. Stoia, who serves as The Daily’s sports editor and is scheduled to graduate in May, also won first place in sports feature story of the year for the series on concussions.
Branch, Will Conover and Paxson Haws won first place in multimedia story of the year in both the podcast and blog categories for their work on Uncovered: The Lovers’ Lane murders. The blog category singled out the social media push surrounding the five-part project. Branch graduated in May 2019 and now is a county government reporter at The Oklahoman. Conover, who serves as The Daily’s video editor, is scheduled to graduate in December 2020. Haws, who serves as The Daily’s enterprise editor, is scheduled to graduate in May.
Hazelrigg placed fourth in breaking news story of the year for his work revealing that OU had hired a law firm to investigate misreporting of alumni donations during the tenure of former president David Boren. Hazelrigg, who serves as The Daily’s editor-in-chief, is scheduled to graduate in May.
Additionally, The Daily was a finalist for a four-year newspaper Pacemaker.
The honors reinforce the service and value The Daily — the independent student voice of OU since 1916 — provides to the university community.