by Billie Rodely, The City Sentinel
Patrick B. McGuigan — a journalist, historian and educator – will join the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame next month. The publisher of The City Sentinel, editor of CapitolBeatOK.com and News9 commentator is part of the 45th annual ceremony for the hall.
“Patrick is certainly a great addition to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame,” said University of Central Oklahoma Professor Terry Clark, director of the hall (okjournalism.uco.edu/). Clark said the other honorees for 2015 will be announced this week. The 2015 honorees will be feted at UCO on Thursday, April 30, during a noon hour luncheon ceremony.
Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry commented, “Pat McGuigan has done it all in the journalism business – from photography, to the city desk, to the capitol beat, to scholarly commentary, opinion, and even satire (who can forget his scores of Oklahoma City Gridiron spoofs!). All the communities Pat has inhabited have benefited from his wit and pen. Now his name will be listed with the other greats of his home state’s journalism leadership – a deserved honor.”
OCU is a Methodist-affiliated institution based in the heart of Oklahoma City, the primary audience for The City Sentinel newspaper.
Also commenting was Brandon Dutcher, an analyst and pundit based in Oklahoma City. “Though trained as an historian, Pat McGuigan prefers to write the first draft. He has the soul of a reporter — and a knack for seeing the story that others don’t see. And though he has a robust, principled worldview which makes him an excellent columnist, he is able — like David Broder and Robert Novak before him — to write news stories with fairness to liberal and conservative sources alike,” said Dutcher, who is vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and editor of Perspective Magazine, OCPA’s monthly publication.
He added, “Given that Pat somehow has these 36-hour days that other journalists lack, it was just a matter of time before the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame came calling.” OCPA is Oklahoma’s leading free-market “think tank.”
Another reflection on the selection came from Ward 2 Oklahoma City Council member Ed Shadid, who said, “Pat McGuigan’s journalistic influence is best illustrated in noting the political diversity of his friends and readership. As the publisher of a newspaper which caters to OKC’s diverse inner core, Pat McGuigan has been able to achieve what has become startlingly diminishing and rare: readership across the political spectrum. Pat has a wide range of journalistic talents ranging from movie reviews – which are at least as good but generally better than anyone else in the state — to writing his own stories covering all levels of government, to continuing to offer editorial content which is thought provoking and well reasoned.”
Shadid continued, “I am personally intrigued by the alliance of those across the political spectrum especially as relates to corporate responsibility, tax incentives and economic development and so I am drawn to learn about and respect a man who is able to engage in fellowship and friendship with those of such varied political orientation.”
State Rep. David Dank of Oklahoma City reflected, “There has never been a wiser or more astute advocate for good government in Oklahoma than Pat McGuigan. His principled editorials and commentaries always command respect. I can attest to the fact that many of our lawmakers, when faced with a challenge over issues, ask, ‘What would Pat think?’ ”
From a different place on the philosophical spectrum, Nathaniel Batchelder of The Peace House in Oklahoma City commented, “I met Pat in 1992, visiting with him about the RESULTS hunger & poverty organization, asking if he would write an editorial about RESULTS’ mission. He did so, and, over the next dozen years, he wrote one or two pro-RESULTS editorials every year. Our relationship has grown as Pat has always given honest and fair consideration to justice issues with which he resonated. His contributions through The City Sentinel make Oklahoma City a better place.”
Richard J. Grellner, the owner of The City Sentinel said, “To me, professional commitment is measured by how much one’s accepted professional obligation outweighs personal interests. If so, Pat is the equivalent of All In! In an age of where bylines are too often viewed as little more than a worded ‘selfie,’ Pat is the very definition of professional commitment.”
McGuigan formerly worked as editorial editor at The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper. He appears regularly on “Mitchell in the Morning,” for KOKC radio in Oklahoma City. He is the author of three books and editor of seven, including “Crime and Punishment in Modern America.” His writing has garnered honors from The Amy Foundation, the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). He presently is secretary of SPJ’s Oklahoma professional chapter.
McGuigan is a certified teacher, now working at Justice Alma Wilson Seeworth Academy, a public charter alternative school based in Oklahoma City, with students from grades 3 to 12. Pat and his wife, Pamela, are the parents of four children, and have five grandchildren. Members of Our Lady’s Cathedral Parish, they are active in the Catholic and interfaith communities.
The 2015 annual ceremony is sponsored by the UCO Department of Mass Communications, Box 308, 100 N. University Dr., Edmond, OK 73034, telephone 405-974-5122. Reservations for the event are $15 each, and can be mailed to that address. For more information, contact Clark at 405-974-5122 or email [email protected]
Mark Thomas, executive director for the Oklahoma Press Association, will serve as master of ceremonies. The event will include remarks from both Dr. Clark and Dr. Don Betz, UCO’s president. Inductions of the new hall of fame members will take place after the luncheon.
NOTE: A long-time radio and television journalist, Billie Rodely is an award-winning reporter, an occasional contributor to The City Sentinel, and a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.