KGOU, StateImpact Oklahoma Dominate Radio Awards From Journalism Organization

Apr 28, 2014

Brian Hardzinski, Patrick Roberts, Kurt Gwartney, Karen Holp, Logan Layden and Joe Wertz after the awards banquet.
Credit Jolly Brown / KGOU

KGOU and a journalism cooperative it leads, StateImpact Oklahoma, combined to sweep several categories of awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists' Oklahoma Pro Chapter. The journalists' organization also honored KGOU General Manager Karen Holp as its Teacher of the Year for her work as adjunct faculty for the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism, teaching students who produce a program broadcast on KGOU. The awards were announced at a banquet Saturday evening at the Reed Center in Midwest City.

In the Radio division, KGOU won a total of 18 awards, including five First Place awards in the Feature, Diversity Coverage, Special Program, Interview/Talk Show, and Newscast categories. KGOU swept the Interview/Talk Show and Newscast categories, taking first, second and third place awards.

StateImpact Oklahoma was awarded First Place honors in the Radio General News category, and also in Government Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, and Reporter's Portfolio categories.

Together, KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma combined to sweep the Government Reporting, Special Program, and Reporter's Portfolio categories.

StateImpact Oklahoma also won awards in the highly competitive Online division.

SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter President Kurt Gwartney presented Karen Holp with the Teacher of the Year award.
Credit Jolly Brown / KGOU

In accepting the Teacher of the Year award, one of three special awards given each year by the Oklahoma SPJ, Holp thanked KGOU staff members Jim Johnson and Brian Hardzinski for their assistance. All three serve as editors for the KGOU program Assignment: Radio, produced by students enrolled in Holp's Radio News course at OU. Student work in that class won numerous awards in state, regional and national student journalism competitions in 2013.

Here's the list of awards given to KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma:

Teacher of the Year Award: Karen Holp, KGOU, University of Oklahoma


General News
First Place: Logan Layden, StateImpact Oklahoma “Canton businesses on the brink months after Oklahoma City water withdrawal”
Second Place: Kate Carlton, KGOU “Ornaments give tornado victims a little Christmas cheer”

Spot News:
Second Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU "No ‘universal’ best practice to save yourself from tornadoes"
Third Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU "Massive tornado takes aim at Moore, Oklahoma"

Sports Reporting:
Second Place: Brian Hardzinski, KGOU “Defending women’s champs Baylor to battle Cardinals’ tough defense”

First Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU “Coming home: The Woody Guthrie Center opens in Tulsa”

Government Reporting:

Judges' comment on First Place winner: To our ears, this story put the storm shelter question in the best context, comparing Oklahoma policy with neighboring Kansas. Very well done.

First Place: Logan Layden, StateImpact Oklahoma “Why Oklahoma’s priority is storm shelters for individuals, not safe rooms for schools”
Second Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU “Oklahoma school districts consider adding storm shelters”
Third Place: Joe Wertz, StateImpact Oklahoma “Public shelter policy in Oklahoma: Yes for nukes, no for natural disasters”

Diversity Coverage:
First Place: Brian Hardzinski and Suzette Grillot, KGOU “Laughter as the ‘common language of the world’”
Third Place: Brian Hardzinski, Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise, KGOU "Oklahoma Syria protest, Sikh civil rights"

Special Program:
First Place: Kurt Gwartney, Brian Hardzinski, Kate Carlton and Patrick Roberts, KGOU “KGOU panel highlights different reactions to 1999 and 2013 Moore tornadoes”

Judges' comment: This is a valuable public service and a noble undertaking by KGOU.

Second Place: Joe Wertz and Logan Layden, StateImpact Oklahoma “Troubled water: A deep dive into Oklahoma’s most precious resource”
Third Place: Staff, KGOU “Former legislative leaders talk Oklahoma politics”

Investigative Reporting:
Second Place: Joe Wertz, StateImpact Oklahoma “Oklahoma’s response to man-made quakes is more passive than other states”

Enterprise Reporting:
First Place: Joe Wertz, StateImpact Oklahoma “Earthquake frequency increasing in Oklahoma” (several parts)
Third Place: Kate Carlton, KGOU “All giving not created equal following disasters” (3-part series)

Interview/Talk Show:
First Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU “‘Tornadapreneur’ Reed Timmer takes TV show to internet”
Second Place: Brian Hardzinski, Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise, KGOU “Memorial designer reflects on commemorating tragedy through architecture”
Third Place: Kurt Gwartney and Brian Hardzinski, KGOU “Changing demographics may help recovery of southern democrats”

Best Newscast:
First Place: Brian Hardzinski, Joe Wertz and Kurt Gwartney, KGOU May 21, 2013, 7:30 a.m. newscast

Second Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU Dec. 18, 2013, 7:30 a.m. newscast
Third Place: Brian Hardzinski and Joe Wertz, KGOU May 21, 2013, 8:49 a.m. newscast

Best Reporting Portfolio:

First Place: Joe Wertz, StateImpact Oklahoma

Judges' comment: Great job bringing historical context to current environmental and public safety issues. The type of solid explanatory journalism that moves listeners.

Second Place: Kurt Gwartney, KGOU
Third Place: Logan Layden, StateImpact Oklahoma


Online Writing:
Second Place: Logan Layden, StateImpact Oklahoma “The federal government got Oklahoma hooked on coal, now it’s forcing a detox”

Special Report/Enterprise:
Third Place: Joe Wertz: StateImpact Oklahoma “Hazy guidance over fracking water lines confounds commissioners and cowboys”

Interactive Graphic or Resource:
Second Place: Joe Wertz and NPR Staff, StateImpact Oklahoma “Water fight”