Frontier managing editor Brianna Bailey was awarded the Newspaper Writer of the Year award by the Great Plains Journalism Awards.

Bailey, who joined The Frontier in January 2018 and was named managing editor last year, covered a variety of topics in 2021, including Oklahoma’s deal with electric vehicle startup Canoo and the troubled Oklahoma County Jail

Last June, Bailey wrapped up an investigation into the lengthy wait times for mental health assistance for people in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. She also finished a lengthy investigation alongside ProPublica into the issues rural Oklahoma hospitals faced, even while the state received millions of dollars in federal funding aimed at keeping hospitals functioning during the pandemic. 

Bailey also took first place in the Business News category for her reporting on Canoo and first place in the Defending the Disadvantaged category for her reporting on mental health at the Fort Worth SPJ First Amendment awards in April.

Kassie McClung’s investigation into maternal mortality rates among Black women in Oklahoma won first place at the Great Plains awards in the Specialty Feature category. 

Frontier executive editor Dylan Goforth won first place in the General News Continuing Coverage category for his reporting on the death penalty in Oklahoma.

The Frontier was also a finalist for Website of the Year and a finalist in the Online Project section for its interactive website on McGirt v. Oklahoma, which was spearheaded by Clifton Adcock and designed by Half Design, an Oklahoma City web development group. Ben Felder was a finalist in the General News Single Story category for his reporting on a lack of suicide prevention training in Oklahoma public schools.

The Great Plains Journalism Awards is a regional contest honoring print, web, TV and magazine journalists for outstanding stories, photography and design. The eight-state competition includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. 

The Great Plains Journalism Awards is held by the Tulsa Press Club. The Tulsa Press Club was founded in 1906 as a members-only professional organization offering networking, education events and social opportunities. The Tulsa Press Club promotes the highest standards in journalism with an emphasis in recognizing young journalism talent through its annual scholarship initiatives. Visit for more information.  

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