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Midwest City Beacon, Choctaw Times honored by Oklahoma Press Association

The Midwest City Beacon and Choctaw Times earned several honors in the 2019 Better Newspaper Contest Awards. The Oklahoma Press Association announced the winners in a video released on June 15.

“Although the 2020 OPA Convention was postponed this year, we knew it was vitally important to announce the winners of the newspaper contest,” said Lisa Sutliff, OPA member services director. “We discussed several options and decided to create a video showcasing all the award winners.”

The Choctaw Times, which competed in Division 4, placed second in photography and community leadership. The judges in the photography contest commented, “Good moment and fun photos with emotional facial expressions.” The community leadership award was given for the paper’s annual Holiday Food Drive.

The Midwest City Beacon, which competed in Division 5, placed first in news content, and second in advertising, photography, sports coverage, and sales promotion. Judges for the news content said “A perfect blend of human interest, government news, crime news, and business news, with a pleasing graphical layout. Lovely photographs, and well-written, too. Excellent newspaper.”

Managing editor Jeff Harrison also placed third individually in sports writing for “Lady Titans show resolve on final day of state meet,” an article about the Carl Albert girls swimming state championship.

The paper finished second overall in its division, trailing only the Countywide and Sun.

The Mustang Times, which is owned by the same group, placed second in sales promotion and third in news content and editorial writing.

The Norman Transcript, The Ardmoreite and McAlester News-Capital won the Sequoyah Award in the daily newspaper divisions. Sequoyah winners in the weekly divisions were The Purcell Register, Countywide & Sun, Wagoner County American-Tribune, Tri-County Herald and Sequoyah County Times. The Oklahoma Daily at the University of Oklahoma was the winner in the college division.

The Sequoyah Award is determined by the amount of points accumulated in eight of the contest’s 20 categories: News Content, Layout & Design, Advertising, Editorial Writing, Photography, Sports Coverage, Sales Promotion and Community Leadership.

Members of the Maine Press Association judged more than 1,300 entries from 74 Oklahoma newspapers. A complete list of winners in the 2019 OPA Better Newspaper Contest is available on the OPA website at


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