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ONG Column Winner

Aaron McDonald & John Small 

April & May 2017 Column Winners

ONG Editorial Winner

Mike McCormick & J.D. Meisner

April & May 2017 Editorial Winners

  • Contest changes announced in July Publisher

    The July issue of The Oklahoma Publisher is available for download. This month's publication features some of the exciting changes being made to the Oklahoma Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. The 2017 contest will feature 20 categories with recognition for newspapers and individuals. Download the complete details of categories at

    To download the July issue, click here.

  • Brian Blansett takes office as OPA president

    Brian Blansett was elected as president of the Oklahoma Press Association on June 9, 2017, during the OPA Convention in Oklahoma City.
    Blansett, publisher of the Tri-County Herald in Meeker, will serve a one-year term, beginning July 1. He succeeds Dayva Spitzer, co-publisher of The Sayre Record & Beckham County Democrat, who will serve a one-year term as past president.
    Other officers elected at the meeting were Ted Streuli, The Journal Record, as vice president; and Rusty Ferguson, The Cleveland American, as treasurer. 
    Alan Herzberger from The Oklahoman was elected to a three-year term as director, and John Denny Montgomery from The Purcell Register was re-elected to a three-year term. Elected to complete two years of a vacated three-year term was Zonelle Rainbolt, The Cordell Beacon.
    "It's an honor to be president of the Oklahoma Press Association, but also humbling when you think of the leaders in journalism who have guided the association in the past," said Blansett. "I hope to live up the legacy they have left."
    Blansett said his main goal this year is to guide the board toward establishing a long-term plan that can be used to guide the association's activities for the next three to five years.


  • June Publisher Available for Download

    The June 2017 issue of The Oklahoma Publisher is available to download. This month's publication is full of OPA Convention highlights, including Better Newspaper Contest winners. Also featured are the recipients of the Milt Phillips and Beachy Musselman awards, as well as inductees into the OPA Half and Quarter Century Club. The issue is chock full of photos from the convention as well as newspaper sales, staff changes and columns by OPA President Dayva Spitzer, Dr. Terry M. Clark and Wilma Newby.

    To download the June issue, click here.

  • Award winners announced at OPA Convention

    The Oklahoma Press Association presented its Better Newspaper Contest Awards during the OPA Annual Convention, June 9-10, at the Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
    Also announced during the awards banquet were the recipients of the OPA H. Milt Phillips Award and the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation’s Beachy Musselman Award.
    Receiving the H. Milt Phillips Award was Gracie Montgomery, co-publisher of The Purcell Register. The OPA Board of Directors selects the recipient of the Milt Phillips Award.
    James Beaty, managing editor at the McAlester News-Capital, received the ONF Beachy Musselman Award.
    Winners of this year’s Sequoyah Awards also were announced at the OPA Convention. In the daily divisions, winners were The Norman Transcript, Stillwater News Press and Tahlequah Daily Press. Sequoyah winners in the weekly divisions were The Purcell Register, Eufaula Indian Journal, Midwest City Beacon, Tri-County Herald in Meeker and the El Reno Tribune. Broken Arrow Ledger was named the Sequoyah winner in the sustaining member division, and The O'Colly at Oklahoma State University was the winner in the college division. The Sequoyah Award is the highest honor in the OPA Better Newspaper Contest.
    A complete list of winners in the 2016 OPA Better Newspaper Contest and more information on other awards is available on the OPA website at

  • Bright Ideas for Newspapers - Print and Beyond! Join us for the OPA Convention June 9-10

    Register now to attend the 2017 OPA Convention, June 9-10, at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City! This two-day event provides many educational sessions and invaluable networking opportunities. The Better Newspaper Contest Awards will be presented Saturday night, June 10, at the annual awards banquet.

    Speakers include Tim Harrower, author of The Newspaper Designer's Handbook and Inside Reporting; Jason Maly, senior product manager of mobile at CNHI; Mark Zimmerman, associate professor at the University of Central Oklahoma; and Kyle Killingsworth, human resources consultant.  Sessions will cover writing for non-readers, mobile growth strategies, futurizing packaging and design, circulation ideas, photojournalism basics and change management.  
    Several sessions are scheduled at the same time, so the whole staff should attend!

    Governor Mary Fallin and our state's Congressmen have been invited for their annual sessions. 

    Reserve your room at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel by May 25. Find hotel info on the convention webpage below.


  • Services set for Bill Walter

    William 'Bill' Brent Walter, retired publisher of The Hennessey Clipper, died May 8, 2017. He was 82.
    A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 12, at the First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Cherokee St., in Hennessey, Okla.
    Walter was a third generation publisher of The Clipper, which was in his family from 1904-2014.
    Walter loved photography and was the newspaper's expert in that department. His collection of cameras was donated to the Hennessey Public Library several years ago, and are still on display.
    The recipient of many awards for his photography, editorial and newswriting, Walter was inducted into the Hennessey High School Hall of Fame in 2004; the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Oklahoma Press Association Half Century Club in 2013.
    He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Barb; five children, Courtney B. Walter, St. Louis; Jill De. Jenkins, Edmond; Tracy L. Anderson, Perry; Amy C. Carpenter, Edmond, and Nick Walter, Hennessey; eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

  • Journalism Hall of Fame to induct nine

    Nine outstanding journalists will be honored during the 47th anniversary of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame Thursday, April 27, at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Master of ceremonies will be Mark Thomas, executive vice-president of the Oklahoma Press Association.

    The honorees are:

    • James Beaty, managing editor of the McAlester News-Capital
    • Steve Booher, retired from the Cherokee Messenger & Republican
    • John Durkee, news director at KWGS, Tulsa University NPR
    • Lis Exon, OETA-TV Tulsa news manager and journalist
    • Carla Hinton, religion editor for The Oklahoman
    • Randy Krehbiel, government-politics reporter for the Tulsa World
    • Dr. Paul R. Lehman, first African American newsperson on Oklahoma City TV
    • Ralph Schaefer, veteran newsman for suburban Tulsa newspapers
    • Gene Triplett, retired news and entertainment journalist, The Oklahoman.

    » More information about this year's inductees and order tickets for the induction ceremony

  • Former OPA President Donn Dodd dies

    Donn R. Dodd, former publisher of the Claremore Daily Progress and a past president of the Oklahoma Press Association, died April 3, 2017, in Claremore. He was 85.
    The family will be having a private memorial service. Dodd requested no public service.
    Dodd graduated from Oklahoma A & M College in 1953 with a degree in journalism.
    His career started in Bartlesville, and also served with newspapers in Miami, Okmulgee, and Sapulpa.
    In 1965, he moved to Claremore, serving as publisher and owner of the Claremore Daily Progress from 1965 to 1986.
    Dodd was  president of the Oklahoma Press Association in 1985, and also served on many OPA committees throughout the years.
    He is survived by two daughters, Susan Dodd-Taylor of Jenks and Dr. Karen Willhoite of Claremore; and several grandchildren.

  • Judges needed for Arkansas News/Editorial Contest

    More than 30 volunteers are needed to judge the Arkansas Press Association's news & editorial contest. This is a great opportunity to gather new ideas for your paper. Entries will be judged ONLINE in April. APA members are judging OPA's Better Newspaper Contest right now, so we encourage all OPA contest participants to help out and return the favor!

    » Sign up to judge Arkansas' contest

  • Services for OPA past president Jerry Quinn

    A memorial service for Jerry Quinn, former publisher of the Okmulgee Daily Times and Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, and a past president of the Oklahoma Press Association, will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, 220 N. Seminole Ave., in Claremore, Oklahoma.
    Quinn died March 10, 2017. He was 68. He was born Sept. 3, 1948, in Atchison, Kansas, and grew up in Blackwell. He served in active duty for the U.S. Navy until July 4, 1971, and was discharged from the Naval Reserve on June 1, 1976. He returned to Blackwell and attended Oklahoma State University after service.
    In 1973, Quinn married Carol Sue Purdy and the couple moved to Bartlesville, where Jerry joined the Examiner-Enterprise. He later managed the Wewoka Daily Times, the Holdenville Daily News and the Chickasha Daily Express.
    Quinn became general manager of the Okmulgee newspaper in 1987, and was named publisher in 1992.
    In 2001, he was named advertising director at the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. He was named publisher of that newspaper in 2006, following the death of longtime publisher Joseph H. Edwards.
    Quinn served as president of the Oklahoma Press Association in 2000-2001, and was an Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation trustee from 2008 to 2012. He was instrumental in the establishment of the ONF Joseph H. Edwards Outdoor Writer of the Year in 2007.
    He is survived by his wife, Carol Sue Quinn of Owasso; one daughter, Karen Sue Inman and husband Brian Lee of Owasso; two sons, David Wayne Quinn of Jones, and Robert Dean Quinn of Owasso; three grandchildren and two brothers.

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