News Press wins Sequoyah Award in statewide newspaper contest

For the third time in the last four years, the Stillwater News Press was awarded the Sequoyah Award in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced Saturday at the OPA’s annual banquet. The News Press competes in Division II among daily papers with a circulation between 3,000 and 6,5000. This is the second time in the last four years the News Press has won the Sequoyah and the AP Oklahoma News Executives General Excellence award in the same year.

For the first time in the history of the awards, the OPA created a statewide magazine competition. Stillwater Style, a quarterly production created by the News Press staff, placed second behind the Tulsa World’s magazine.

Sports Editor Jason Elmquist won an unprecedented third-consecutive OG&E Photo of the Year. Elmquist’s winning photo was of a touchdown scored by Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace against Texas.

The Sequoyah Award combines eight categories for its total score, which are News Content, Layout & Design, Advertising, Editorial Writing, Photography, Sports Coverage, Sales Promotion and Community Leadership. The News Press won first-place awards in Advertising, Editorial Writing and Sports Coverage.

Judges remarked on the advertisements’ use of color, grouping and the Real Estate Weekly product. Of Sports Coverage, judges wrote, “Knows how to do college sports well. Very fun and lively sports and GameDay sections. For Editorial Writing, judges said, “Inviting headlines and sparkling writing in these forceful, well-argued editorials. There’s no mistaking where this newspaper stands on issues; and that’s the point, after all.”

The News Press placed in every Sequoyah category; earning second-place awards in Photography, Sales Promotion and Community Leadership and third in News Content and Layout.

For the second year, OPA honored individual efforts. Former News Press journalist David Bitton led the paper’s individual awards tally with a first-place in News Photograph of a photo that featured a motorcyclist praying with an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper at the scene of a fatal wreck. Bitton placed second in News Story, In-Depth Reporting and Feature Photograph. Elmquist placed second in Sports Photograph for a photo of OSU’s Chuba Hubbard hurdling a defender. Jordan Bishop placed third for his Bishop Beliefs columns.