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Beacon honored at OPA Awards Banquet

SHAWNEE – The Midwest City Beacon was recognized during the Oklahoma Press Association’s 2023 Annual Convention last weekend at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort.

 The Beacon took first place in photography and placed in five other categories, and editor Jeff Harrison received three individual awards. 

The paper placed second in layout and design, editorial writing, sports coverage, and sales promotion, and third in advertising. The Beacon finished second overall in Division 4, which includes weekly publications in cities with a population of more than 12,000.

The Mustang Times, a sister publication, won the Sequoyah Award in Division 4, finishing just 20 points ahead of the Midwest City Beacon. 

The Sequoyah Award, which is the highest honor in the Better Newspaper Contest, is determined by the number of points accumulated in eight of the contest’s categories: news content, layout & design, advertising, editorial writing, photography, sports coverage, sales promotion and community leadership.

Other Sequoyah Award winners included: The Lawton Constitution, McAlester News-Capital, El Reno Tribune, Piedmont-Surrey Gazette, McIntosh County Democrat, Lincoln County News, and Yale News. Northwestern News at Northwestern Oklahoma State University was the winner in the college news media division.

Harrison took first place for sports story, and second for education story and feature photo.  The winning sports story, “For the love of the game” profiles a group of senior men who started a weekly baseball game.

The education story detailed how local schools are improving safety for students and teachers. The feature photo depicted children sledding during a rare snowy day.

Members of the Hoosier State Press Association judged almost 1,550 entries from 77 Oklahoma news publications.

Also announced during the two-day convention were the recipients of the OPA H. Milt Phillips Award and the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation’s Beachy Musselman Award.

Receiving the H. Milt Phillips Award was Susan Ellerbach, former executive editor of the Tulsa World. 

John Small, managing editor at the Johnston County Sentinel, was presented with the ONF Beachy Musselman Award. 

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