Special to The City Sentinel
The City Sentinel won 14 awards for excellence in journalism at the state banquet of the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Professional Chapter, including second place in the Best Newspaper category.
Four current members of the staff and one former writer were honored for stories published over an 18-month period. The City Sentinel competed in Division B, publications with 25,000 readers or less.
Editor Stacy Martin took first place in business reporting for a page one story on early stages of the Devon Tower construction project and its impact on office space in downtown Oklahoma City. She garnered a third in health reporting and shared third in diversity coverage with Patrick B. McGuigan, senior editor at the newspaper. The two writers also shared honorable mention for education reporting.
Martin finished third in reporter portfolio, one of the “Best of SPJ” categories. Martin took five personal SPJs and recognition, as editor, for the second place Best Newspaper designation.
Lee Vincent, graphics artist for the newspaper, won second place for graphics design. Danniel Parker won second place in arts criticism for a story in the Pioneer, campus newspaper at Oklahoma City Community College.
Robin Dorner-Townsend, formerly with the newspaper, won first place in story/photo essay for her compilation of photographs on the “Ghouls Gone Wild” event at Halloween 2009. She also won second place for general photography.
Senior Editor Patrick B. McGuigan won two first place honors for works published in The City Sentinel, in the categories of personal column and editorial/commentary. He won first place in the Magazine category for a column on challenges facing an Edmond family with a child afflicted with a rare disease, an essay later republished in the newspaper.
McGuigan won eight personal awards at the banquet, in such categories as photo essay, sports, and education. He shared in three institutional honors, one for The City Sentinel and two for online journalism. The news service McGuigan runs, CapitolBeatOK, garnered honorable mention in the best news website category, and third place in web design.
The listing of awards won by The City Sentinel newspaper and staff follows.
- Best Newspaper 2nd place
- Best Reporting Portfolio, third place, Stacy Martin
- Page One Layout and Design, second place, Lee Vincent (Dec. 30, 2010 front page)
- Story/Photo Essay, 1st place, Robin Dorner-Townsend
- Story/Photo Essay, 3rd Place, Patrick B. McGuigan
- General Photography, 2nd Place, Robin Dorner-Townsend
- Sports Reporting, 2nd Place, Patrick B. McGuigan
- Business Reporting, 1st Place, Stacy Martin
- Health Reporting, 3rd Place, Stacy Martin
- Education Reporting, Honorable Mention, Patrick B. McGuigan & Stacy Martin
- Education Reporting, 3rd Place, Patrick B. McGuigan
- Editorial/Commentary, 1st Place, Patrick B. McGuigan, (shared with El Reno Tribune)
- Personal Column, 1st Place, Patrick B. McGuigan
- Diversity Coverage, 3rd Place, Patrick B. McGuigan & Stacy Martin
- Danniel Parker, Arts Criticism, 2nd place (OCCC Pioneer, campus paper)
- Column Writing (Magazine), 1st Place, Patrick B. McGuigan, Perspective Magazine
- Online awards, 3rd place web design and honorable mention best news website, CapitolBeatOK (editor Pat McGuigan).
McGuigan, senior editor for the newspaper, said, “The decision to bring on Stacy Martin as editor has certainly paid rich dividends for us. What an honor for the newspaper as a whole to win second place in competition with outstanding dailies and weeklies across Oklahoma. Martin’s honors in business reporting and reporter’s portfolio are richly deserved and a testament to her ethics and professionalism. She is a great leader for our staff.”
Pointing to the graphics designer Vincent, and reporter Parker, McGuigan said, “we’re reloading, building readership in service to the community.” He continued, “I extend warmest congratulations to my friend Robin Dorner-Townsend, for her two awards garnered for her outstanding work at our newspaper.”
McGuigan concluded, “In the end, all of us are grateful for the loyal support of readers and subscribers, and advertisers who make it possible to publish every week. Serving the heart of Oklahoma City is a labor of love for me and the staff. This year’s awards banquet proves that community journalism is alive and well, yet evolving.
“The City Sentinel intends in the coming months to improve web presence and better serve our diverse audience. We solicit support as we build our niche, and improve our product. We are grateful to the Society of Professional Journalists for these honors, and extend hearty congratulations to all our competitors and friends who also gained recognition.”