The Norman Transcript

April 2, 2014

Judges pick Norman Transcript as Newspaper of the Year

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

MONTGOMERY, Ala., — A panel of editors and journalists honored The Norman Transcript as Newspaper of the Year.

The announcement was made Tuesday by the newspaper’s parent company Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. The Best of CNHI contest recognizes individual and collective works of the company’s journalists producing newspapers, websites and niche publications in more than 130 communities in 23 states.

Judges cited the newspaper’s detailed coverage of the devastating tornado that struck Moore on May 20. The award was for small dailies in the annual Best of CNHI editorial competition.

Judges commended The Transcript’s compelling stories, evocative photos and layered print and digital coverage of the spring tornado and its aftermath. Two dozen people died, and scores of homes and businesses were destroyed. 

“The Transcript delivered right down to the smaller details, like tracking down an author who’d written about a massive tornado in the same community 10 years earlier. Even the garden columnist touched on the post-storm effects,” the judges said.

The Transcript’s digital coverage of the storm — and rich online journalism yearround — earned it the honor of Website of the Year for smaller dailies.

“In the media business, we all try to be prepared for a catastrophic event in our communities, but I do not think any of our reporters or photographers were ready for what they saw when they arrived in Moore on the afternoon of May 20th,” Transcript Publisher Terry Connor said.

“However, they met the challenge and immediately began delivering information people wanted and needed via our website. This coverage continued for days, weeks and months after the storm in print and online. Today, we are still covering the rebirth of the Moore community, and that will go on for some time.

“I am obviously very proud of The Transcript team and the outstanding work behind this award,” Connor said.

The Herald Bulletin of Anderson, Ind., was named Newspaper of the Year for CNHI’s large dailies. The Andover, Mass., Townsman won Newspaper of the Year among CNHI non-dailies.

The Mankato, Minn., Free Press captured the Website of the Year award for large dailies. The news staff of the Knoxville, Iowa, Journal Express won Website of the Year among the company’s non-daily newspapers.

Judges honored the Claremore Daily Progress and reporter Salesha Wilken with a Public Service award for their aggressive pursuit of questions surrounding the conduct of the district attorney and county commissioners.

In addition, Wilken earned the Reporter of the Year award among journalists at the company’s smaller dailies for her “thorough, tenacious reporting.”

The Valdosta, Ga., Daily Times earned a Public Service award for coverage of a public health crisis that occurred when a flood inundated the local wastewater treatment plant, sending millions of gallons of waste into a nearby river.

The Suwannee Democrat of Live Oak, Fla., won the award among the company’s non-daily newspapers for coverage of a medical waste incinerator planned for the community.

CNHI is an Alabama-based media company and leading publisher of local newspapers, websites and niche publications serving more than 130 communities in 23 states. The Best of CNHI contest recognizes individual and collective works of the company’s journalists.

Individual Oklahoma honorees included Reporter of the Year, small dailies, Salesha Wilken, Claremore Progress and Editorial Writer of the Year, non-dailies, Lisa Shearer, Edmond Sun.

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