From left, Michael Duncan, Tres Savage and Ben White hold first-place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists' Oklahoma chapter Saturday, May 18, 2019. In total, NonDoc received eight awards for its 2018 work. (NonDoc)

I was so excited about the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists’ 2019 award ceremony that I arrived a whole week early. My girlfriend and I dressed up and showed up at the “event” May 11 only to discover I had gotten the date wrong.

You’d think, as a journalist, I could avoid errors like this.

As it turned out, my excitement was well-placed. Journalists and other media professionals crowded the Reed Center conference room, disparate in our affiliations and media. By the end of the night, however, we joined in a common love and respect of our craft to share the same thought we all had in our minds: I am a journalist.

“The world needs us, the state needs us the country needs us now more than ever,” University of Central Oklahoma journalism professor Joe Hight said in his keynote speech. “As you look down that long road ahead, join me in declaring what’s in your heart: I am a journalist.”

Indeed, we are journalists. Our craft is not glamorous and is at times frustrating or even dangerous. But we’re here to tell stories that matter at whatever cost. So, from the bottom of our hearts at NonDoc and from the hearts of journalists across the state and around the world, thank you for reading.

Our honors wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have an audience.

And big congratulations to the winners of SPJ’s “big three” awards:

  • SPJ’s educator of the year award: Dana Eversole
  • Carter Bradley First Amendment award: John Small
  • Frank Greer lifetime achievement award: Barbara Hoberock

NonDoc wins eight awards

For the second year in a row, NonDoc won SPJ Oklahoma’s best website honor, marking one of four first place awards for this year’s competition that features work from 2018.

The following pieces won “online writing” awards:

The following piece won a “breaking news” award:

The following pieces won “election reporting” awards:

The following piece won a “slideshow” award:

The following series won a “special report/enterprise” award:

In total, NonDoc won eight awards. We said it above, but let’s reiterate: We would not receive these honors without an audience. Thank you for taking the time to support independent journalism and caring about issues that matter to Oklahomans.

If you’d like to donate to our Writer’s Fund to help ensure we stick around for more stories like those that won awards above, click the link here.

You can view the full list of 2019 SPJ Oklahoma winners below: