Journalism Hall of Fame inductions to be held May 3

Nine outstanding journalists and a journalism college dean emeritus will be honored during the 48th anniversary of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 3, at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond

The hall of fame inductees are:

  • Jon Denton, retired editor, reporter and columnist
  • Mary Hargrove, investigative reporter
  • Barbara Hoberock, state Capitol bureau chief, Tulsa World
  • Doug Hoke, director of photography, The Okahoman
  • Chris Lee, photojournalist for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City
  • Ray Lokey, late publisher of the Johnston County Capital-Democrat
  • Kim Poindexter, executive editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press
  • George Tomek, retired reporter/anchor
  • Berry Tramel, sports columnist, The Oklahoman.

The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame is also giving its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Joe Foote, dean emeritus of the Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. 

For reservations, send a check payable to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame for $20 each to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, c/o University of Central Oklahoma, 100 N University Drive, Edmond, OK 73034. (Reservations will be made upon receipt of a check. Please list the name or names of those who plan to attend. No tickets are issued for the ceremony.)

Doors will open at 11:15 a.m. for the induction ceremony on May 3, and the luncheon program will begin at 11:30 a.m. It will be on the third floor of the Nigh University Center, across the hall from the Hall of Fame exhibit, said Joe Hight, Edith Kinney Gaylord Endowed Chair of Journalism Ethics and director of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. The master of ceremonies will be Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association. 

“The 2018 class shows the richness and quality of journalism in Oklahoma. Each inductee has risen to levels deserving induction into this hall of fame,” Hight said. “And, in my opinion, they are long overdue for this distinction, too. I am proud that they are joining the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.” 

For the first time, video tributes will be played for hall of fame inductees. Besides receiving a plaque, hall of fame inductees will receive a lapel pin signifying their membership into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. All former hall of fame members attending this year will also receive the pin. 

“The video tributes will allow us to begin creating an archive of hall of fame members that will go beyond their bios,” Hight said. “The lapel pins signify that they are not only members of the 48th class but that they have joined the most outstanding journalists this state and country have produced.” 

The hall of fame is also awarding a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the excellence of Oklahoma journalism. “I am personally excited about this award. Dr. Joe Foote embodies what the selection committee sought in bestowing this honor for the first time,” Hight said. “I think countless students and journalists have benefited from Joe’s service to journalism education.” 

This year’s selection committee was Jennifer Gilliland, Carla Hinton, Lindel Hutson, Billie Rodely, Ralph Schaefer, Terri Watkins, Joe Worley and Hight, all current members of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. Thomas, also a hall of fame member, served as an adviser to the committee. 

The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 by former UCO Journalism Chairman Dr. Ray Tassin. He was followed by Dennie Hall as director. Hight is the fourth director and succeeded Dr. Terry Clark, who retired last year and now serves as a consultant. This year’s inductees make for 418 total members, all of whom are featured on the hall of fame website ( Past honoree plaques are on display in the Hall of Fame in UCO’s Nigh University Center. The UCO Department of Mass Communication is the hall’s host. 

The hall is supported with funding from the University of Central of Oklahoma. A sponsor of this year’s luncheon is the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The lapel pins are being made possible because of donations from individual hall of fame members. 

The biographies of the honorees as will be enshrined in the hall of fame are as follows: 


JON DENTON (1940- ), a fourth-generation member of a printing, publishing and newspaper family, joined The Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma City Times in 1967. In his 40-year career, he covered a multitude of stories: the advent of the computer age, bass fishing in Mexico, interviewing actress Carol Channing in her limo, dodging angry union managers when the Lucent Plant closed. He was frequently a columnist, always an ardent travel writer and photographer. As arts and entertainment editor, he originated Sunday Showcase Magazine. He also covered urban affairs, education, medicine, science, religion, real estate and business. In 1994, he received a Kellogg Grant to preview NAFTA in Mexico. He was an assistant city editor of the Oklahoma City Times, managing editor of the metro EastNews and SouthNews. Born in Kansas, raised in California and Oklahoma, he graduated in journalism at the University of Oklahoma and became managing editor of The Guthrie Daily Leader. He retired in 2005. 

MARY HARGROVE (1950- ) began her career at the Newark Advocate in Ohio, where she was sued for her unpublished notes and sources after investigating a badly built subdivision. Her case set the precedent for upholding the Ohio Shield Law. In 1974, she joined The Tulsa Tribune. In 1982, her coverage of the Penn Square Bank collapse in Oklahoma City revealed a $2 billion misuse of funds. From 1983-1991, she was elected to the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors and served as treasurer, vice-president, president and chair. In 1986 and 1987, she covered Oral Roberts and his finances, exposing his misuse of funds that nearly collapsed the university. Between 1993 and 2005 she worked at The Miami Herald and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In 1999, she received the Robert F. Kennedy grand prize – best of all first places. She earned B.A. and M.A. journalism degrees from Ohio State University. 

BARBARA HOBEROCK (1966- ) is the Tulsa World’s Capitol Bureau chief, the longest serving Oklahoma statehouse reporter and dean of the Capitol Press Corps. Hoberock covers the state Legislature, governor, state agencies, appellate courts and elections. She began her professional career at the Claremore Daily Progress as a general assignment reporter before joining the Tulsa World in 1990. She covered education before being transferred in 1994 to the state Capitol. She was part of a team covering the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and the criminal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Her coverage of medical conditions in state prisons contributed to a decision by the legislature to appropriate millions of dollars to correct deficiencies. Her reporting has shaped public policy in the state. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she served as opinion editor of the campus newspaper, The O’Collegian. 

DOUGLAS HOKE (1956- ) began his award-winning career at Northwest Classen High School when he won the 1975 Oklahoma Interscholastic Press Association Photographer of the Year. He attended Central State University (University of Central Oklahoma) where he worked for the yearbook, The Vista and campus photographic services. In his third semester in 1976, he joined the photo department of The Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma City Times. In March of 1977, he was promoted to a full-time staff position, where he set new standards for sports and fashion photography, winning many awards for both. He also freelanced for many magazines during the ’80s and ’90s, including Sports Illustrated, with 18 assignments in 1984 and at least one photograph there for 20 consecutive years. Other magazines included Sports Illustrated for Kids, Entrepreneur, Business Week, Progressive Grocer, Working Woman, Newsweek and Texaco. In 2007, he was named Director of Photography at The Oklahoman. 

CHRIS LEE (1955- ) began his journalism career in high school in Buffalo, Missouri, at radio station KBFL, in 1971- 1973, while also writing articles for the local weekly newspaper. He worked at the University of Missouri NBC affiliate KOMU-TV from 1975-1977 and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1977. Lee joined KOCO-TV Oklahoma City as news photographer 1977 and was chief photographer from 1980 to 1984. In 1979, he covered tornado damage in Wichita Falls, Texas, and became interested in severe weather coverage. Learning all he could about storms and severe weather, he designed much of what became the First Alert Storm Team. In 40 years at KOCO, he has covered many life-changing news stories: the Star School explosion, the May 3 tornado outbreak, Hurricane Katrina and the Oklahoma City bombing. He was born in Palo Alto, California, and raised on a 250-acre farm in southwest Missouri.

RAY LOKEY (1953-2017) was a third-generation newspaper publisher who followed his grandfather, E.R. Lokey, and father, John Lokey, at the Johnston County Capital-Democrat in Tishomingo. He began as a newspaper boy on his 11th birthday. After being editor of the high school newspaper Indian Tales, he entered the University of Oklahoma as a McMahon Scholar, earning a B.A. in journalism in 1977. He earned his M.A. in education/English from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1983, where he also served as news editor for The Southeastern. Before returning to his newspaper in Tishomingo, he taught English at Marietta High School and was public information officer at Murray State College where he advised The Aggielite. He was named Johnston County Chamber of Commerce’s 2002 Citizen of the Year. Active in the Oklahoma Press Association, he served as president in 2003, and received OPA’s highest honor, the Milt Phillips Award, in 2014. He published the Johnston County Capital-Democrat from 1990 until his death. 

KIM POINDEXTER (1960- ) began her career at the weekly Cherokee County Chronicle during college. After graduation, she went to work for the Tahlequah Daily Press. Though she’s been an editor most of her career, her loves are editorial writing and investigative reporting. Poindexter has more than 40 first-place editorial and column writing awards to her credit. She is most proud of being part of a team that uncovered corruption at Lake Region Electric Cooperative and the local hospital. She is a jack-of-all-trades who can perform any function in the newsroom – page layout, editing, photography, and every kind of writing, including sports. She has mentored many young journalists who have gone on to careers at major publications and cable networks. Through Poindexter’s guidance, the Tahlequah Daily Press has won three national social media awards and several OPA Sequoyah sweepstakes awards. Poindexter attended the University of Oklahoma and Northeastern State University. 

GEORGE TOMEK (1939- ) began his career in 1960 at KOTV, Tulsa, as a reporter/anchor. He joined WKY-TV in 1966 in Oklahoma City as a photographer/reporter/anchor. From 1969-1971, he was anchor/reporter at both KMOX-TV in St. Louis and KDFW-TV, Dallas. He returned to Oklahoma City in 1972 as an anchor/reporter at KTVY/KFOR; he also served four years as news director. He was anchor/reporter at KOCO-TV from 1992-1995. From 2007-2010, he anchored news and hosted public affairs shows on OETA. Tomek’s awards include a national IRIS Award for the investigative miniseries “The Gospel According to TV.” His several James Scripps Awards for news mini-series included “Cults, To Save or Enslave,” “Bitter Harvest” and “Fix or Fail.” He covered every Democratic Convention from the riot-torn 1968 meeting in Chicago through 1984. Tomek earned a B.A. in journalism/advertising from the University of Tulsa in 1960. He also served in the Navy and retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. 

BERRY TRAMEL (1961- ) joined The Daily Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. He began at The Norman Transcript in 1978, where his first assignment was the Lexington-Elmore City high school football game. He is a six-time winner of Oklahoma’s Sportswriter of the Year, has won five Dallas Press Club Katie Awards and other individual national AP Sports awards. He is part of a staff that won the AP Sports Grand Slam award four times in six years. He is one of the major chroniclers of Oklahoma sports history, in his 2007 Oklahoma Centennial series on the “100 greatest” athletes, venues, games/events, coaches/ contributors, and teams in state sports history. He is part of The Sports Animal’s daily Total Dominance Hour on WWLS radio. The Norman native is also known for his stories in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing and May 3, 1999, tornado outbreak.

DR. JOE FOOTE (1949- ) was Dean of the Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma from 2004 to 2015 and is now Dean Emeritus. He was Director of the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State, a journalism dean at Southern Illinois University, and taught at Cornell. He worked as a journalist for the Voice of America, KTOK Radio, the Oklahoma News Network, the Indian Nations News Network, and KSEO Radio in Durant, his hometown. He served as Speaker Carl Albert’s press secretary and Congressman Dave McCurdy’s chief of staff. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is the author of Television Access and Political Power: The Networks, the President, and the Loyal Opposition and Live from the Trenches: The Changing Role of the Television News Correspondent. The founder and chair of the World Journalism Education Council that holds triennial congresses around the world, he co-manages international training programs in Bangladesh, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Pakistan for the U.S. Department of State.