Christian Chronicle named Best Newspaper by the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists

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THE CITY OF OKLAHOMA – The Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists honored The Christian Chronicle with two of his top awards: Best Newspaper for Overall Publishing and Best Reporter for Bobby Ross Jr.

In all, the the Chronicle won 13 awards – including several first place plaques for Ross and Erik Tryggestad – at the virtual awards ceremony Friday evening.

The annual competition celebrates the best of Oklahoma journalism.

The the Chronicle, an international journal for the Churches of Christ based in Oklahoma Christian University, competes in Division A against the major newspapers and press services. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the results of the competition for work published in 2020.

“A selection of interesting stories, excellent art, good reporting on a wide range of subjects,” the judge said of the Chronic win the best journal entry.

In the “Best of the Best” category for reporting, Ross was recognized for five stories he wrote for the The Chronicle, The associated press and The Oklahoman.

His portfolio included covering the protests and prayers after the death of George Floyd, reporting on Roy and Jeanie Willmon forgiving their daughter’s killers and reporting on the scene of deadly tornadoes.

Bobby Ross Jr.

For AP, Ross recounted how a prayer service brought hope to a troubled nation after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. And for Oklahoman, he caught up the mother of a bomb victim, Deniece Bell-Pitner, whom he had interviewed for the first time 25 years earlier.

“The breadth of Bobby Ross’ reporting and his ability to tell stories and connect with a reader puts his entries above it,” the judge said. Reconnecting with Deniece Bell is a tutorial on how to do journalism – from how he learned history to following up years later. The Willmon Family History is another example of how to relate and write. I had to judge this category; I wanted to read Ross’s stories.

The Chronic other winners (plus Ross’s awards for AP and Oklahoman):

Education Reports

First of all: ‘African Shark Tank’, by Erik Tryggestad. Judge: “A fascinating and light look at a college in Ghana that offers unique training and opportunities for students. The skillfully narrated play weaves personal anecdotes with an informative narrative that holds readers’ interest throughout.

The very first graduates of Heritage Christian College line up for a class photo on the school's campus in Accra, Ghana.

The very first graduates of Heritage Christian College line up for a class photo on the school’s campus in Accra, Ghana.

Third: The Bible in 3D, by Erik Tryggestad

Science-Technology-Health and environmental reports

First of all: A long solitary confinement, by Erik Tryggestad. Judge: “The captivating writing of the main article and the compelling human stories made me want to keep reading. “

Knox Watson and his grandmother, Judy Forrester, rest their hands against a window at Tealridge, an independent living center in Oklahoma City, as they say goodbye.  Watson's sister, Nora, and their dog, Mae, also came to see Forrester, 72.

In the fall of 2020, Knox Watson and his grandmother, Judy Forrester, rest their hands against a window at Tealridge, an independent living center in Oklahoma City, as they say goodbye. Watson’s sister, Nora, and their dog, Mae, also came to see Forrester, 72. “She hasn’t been able to give them a hug since March,” said Forrester’s daughter Amanda Watson, events coordinator for Oklahoma Christian University. “She is alone but is fine.”

Activity reports

First of all: Betting on black churches, by Erik Tryggestad. Judge: “Good exploration of the past and present of discrimination in the banking system, and how it spawned nonprofit lenders who aim to help. Bonus points for presenting concrete figures and unraveling concepts that are difficult to understand.

Minister Orpheus Heyward cuts a ribbon during the dedication of a building for the Renaissance Church of Christ in Atlanta, funded by the Solomon Foundation.

Minister Orpheus Heyward cuts a ribbon during the dedication of a building for the Renaissance Church of Christ in Atlanta, funded by the Solomon Foundation.

Diversity coverage

First of all: The Christian Response to the Murder of George Floyd, by Bobby Ross Jr. and Cheryl Mann Bacon. Judge:This multi-part series offers a skillful examination through a religious lens of outrage, anger and calls for justice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. The diversity of voices, captured in a concise manner, helps to paint a comprehensive and empowering portrait of past challenges with racial injustice and systemic racism and challenges yet to come. “

Trey Elliott prays for Tulsa, Okla., Police Chief Wendell Franklin amid protests after the death of George Floyd.  The 7-year-old has made it his mission to pray for every policeman in Tulsa.  Franklin, a member of The Park Church of Christ, said of Elliot, “It is that mustard seed planted that gives a tree used by all.  Franklin praised the peaceful protesters in his city.  “May God continue to extend a blanket of protection all over Tulsa,” he said in a tweet.

Trey Elliott prays for Tulsa, Okla., Police Chief Wendell Franklin amid protests after the death of George Floyd. The 7-year-old has made it his mission to pray for every policeman in Tulsa. Franklin, a member of The Park Church of Christ, said of Elliot, “It is this planted mustard seed that gives a tree used by all. Franklin praised the peaceful protesters in his city. “May God continue to put a protective blanket over all of Tulsa,” he said in a tweet.

Second: Little Rock Church Fire Coverage, by Erik Tryggestad

Personal Chronicle

First of all: “The world does not stop”: his 15 month old daughter died in the bombing but she survived, by Bobby Ross Jr. (for Oklahoman). Judge: “A very touching piece. “

Second: As Christians, Let’s End “Corona Culture”, by Laura Akins

Editorial / Commentary

First of all: Christians Respond to Minister’s Claim of “Crocodile Tears” and “Bogus Outrage” over George Floyd’s Death, by Bobby Ross Jr. Judge: “An excellent text and a service to the community. “

Writing features

Second: Forgive Carla’s Killers, by Bobby Ross Jr.

Father and mother pose with their daughter Carla on Easter Sunday 1995. Carla's killers are also pictured: Mitchell W. Skinner and Patric D. Patterson.

Father and mother pose with their daughter Carla on Easter Sunday 1995. Carla’s killers are also pictured: Mitchell W. Skinner and Patric D. Patterson.

Third: 25 years ago a prayer service gave hope to a shaken America, by Bobby Ross Jr. (for AP)

Entertainment / Arts / Recreation

Second: Lauren Akins values ​​faith, family over fame, by Laura Akins

Lauren Akins, with her husband Thomas Rhett and their three daughters, celebrates the release of her book

Lauren Akins, with her husband Thomas Rhett and their three daughters, celebrates the release of her book “Live in Love”.

Sports function

Second: At 84, retired major league member Lindy McDaniel is still Bobby Ross Jr.’s Pitching for the Master.

Filed Under: Best Newspaper Bobby Ross Jr Christian Journalism Erik Tryggestad International Journalism Awards National News Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Partners Top Stories


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