OU Daily named finalist for Media Outlet of the Year for fourth consecutive year

The OU Daily learned this morning it has been named a finalist for the Pinnacle Awards’ four-year media outlet of the year for the fourth consecutive year.

The Daily has won the honor, which is presented by the College Media Association, two of the past three years.

The other finalists in the category are The Daily Universe at BYU, 14East at DePaul and The State News at Michigan State.

Here’s a portion of our nomination letter in the contest:

We’re practicing community journalism on a mass scale for an audience that cares deeply about the life and times of the University of Oklahoma. That goes for whether they’re here now or were in the past, whether they are invested in student government or the Sooners’ nationally competitive athletic programs. Specifically, please consider some specific examples from the past year: 

First, we’re immediate. For that, consider our coverage of a three-day sit-in at the offices of the university’s leadership this spring. We had blanket coverage throughout with words, photos and video. It was consumed by not only those who participated, but also those who were in class and those watching from afar. On the afternoon the sit-in ended, a speaker watching video of her remarks live on our feeds before she’d even left the building, remarked with a laugh, “The devil’s fast, but The OU Daily’s faster.” 

Second, we’re unflinching. For that, consider our coverage of a journalism professor using a racial slur in class. Our students were among those who first called out the professor – someone who was supposed to be a mentor to them in the college of their major – and then broke the story, which became national news. 

Finally, we hold power to account. For that, consider our coverage revealing an abusive relationship between a professor and a student that contributed to tremendous hardship in her life and ultimately led to his resignation. It’s a story that would never have been made public if not for The Daily’s work, especially its prior reporting on the #MeToo movement as it rippled from New York and Los Angeles to Norman. 

This blend — immediate, unflinching, investigative — has translated to a larger, more engaged audience than we’ve ever had. At the end of this unprecedented year, we compiled testimonials from alumni and community members to speak to the impact of The Daily’s work. You can watch it all here, but I want to flag two quotes, in particular: “Without The OU Daily, who knows what would happen at OU or be uncovered,” said a prominent student. And from a prominent professor, “You really helped OU look beyond our own campus. It’s so important to cover what happens and what people think about what happens, but you all asked the question that I think will help us become a better institution.”  

Work entered spanned the tenures of summer 2019 editor Scott Kirker and fall 2019-spring 2020 editor Nick Hazelrigg.

Winners will be announced on Oct. 23 during the ACP/CMA fall national convention.