The McAlester News-Capital won the 2021 Sequoyah Award, which the Oklahoma Press Association gives to the state’s top newspaper in each division.
This is the third time News-Capital has won the Sequoyah Award in the past four years and the fifth time it has received the award for its division in the past decade.
“I am so proud that our team is once again recognized as the best newspaper in the state,” said publisher Reina Owens. “This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of all of our staff to cover our community.”
“Our team is dedicated to journalism and ensuring that our community has a strong local newspaper,” said editor Adrian O’Hanlon III. “Journalism is important in every community to reveal the truth, hold government to account and show the good things people are doing. I am proud of our team’s diligence in pursuing these goals and honored by the recognition.
The News-Capital won the OPA’s Division 2 categories for Community Leadership, Advertising, Editorial Writing, Sports Coverage, Layout and Design and Sales Promotion, and finished second for Content news.
The judges awarded News-Capital the highest honor in community leadership for its partnership on an Angel Tree. The newspaper has partnered with the McAlester Lions’ Club to provide clothing and a toy to local children in need during the holiday season.
Staff members also won the advertising category and the layout and design category.
The newspaper won the Editorial Writing category for articles detailing the importance of media presence during executions, calling on people to stop comparing COVID-19 vaccinations to the genocide of Jews during the Holocaust, and calling on Quinton officials to release a settlement agreement with the town’s troubled police chief in the interest of transparency.
The judges awarded the top Sports Coverage Prize to News-Capital for its hyperlocal coverage in sections from three different time periods during the contest year.
McAlester News-Capital’s annual football season showcase magazine won first prize in the sales promotion category. The special project featured information on area teams with a creative cover design called “FootballVision” and based on the hit Marvel show.
Writer Derrick James won the individual category in corporate reporting for an article about the historic Pete’s Place restaurant. He also won the news photo category for a photo of Julius Jones supporters.
Designer Dawnyal Hill won the individual category for front page design.
Advertising rep Jana Weddle won the individual category for large ads.