The Oklahoma Press Association awarded Frontier Staff Writer Clifton Adcock the Ray Lokey Memorial Award for Excellence in Reporting at its annual convention on Saturday. 

The judge praised Adcock’s “clear writing, effective use of sources and quotes and good context.” 

The Frontier also won three first-place awards and five second- and third-place awards at this year’s Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest Awards. 

Adcock and former KOSU reporter Allison Herrera won first place in the business category for their story on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s use of public money to pay attorney fees in his legal battles with tribes over gaming. 

“Well-sourced, objective and the best kind of watchdog reporting,” the judge said.  

Adcock also took second and third place in the business category for stories on Oklahoma’s “woke” investment ban and the unchecked expansion of poultry farms in the state. 

Kayla Branch won first place in the feature category for her reporting on the lack of options for people experiencing homelessness who have too many medical needs to stay in one of Oklahoma City’s strained shelters.

“Branch did the sort of investigative work here that could really make a difference if people in positions of power are willing to listen,” the judge said. 

Brianna Bailey won first place in the news category for her story about the death of Ronald Gene Given in the Pottawatomie County jail. The Frontier sued to obtain jail surveillance video and other records that uncovered new information about the circumstances surrounding Given’s death after a struggle with jailers. 

“A compelling expose that meticulously and fearlessly describes the last hours of a detainee’s life and the systematic failures that led to his death,” the judge said. 

Jillian Taylor and Ari Fife won second place in the education category for their story about how Oklahoma’s critical race theory ban has caused a chilling effect around some lessons involving race in Oklahoma classrooms. 

“I can tell the reporters had some really great and difficult conversations with teachers who probably don’t know who to trust or how to make a difference. I hope this story can,” the judge wrote. 

Dylan Goforth won second place in the online project category for producing the Listen Frontier podcast. 

“A well produced podcast with journalists who are well informed and authoritative on their beat,” the judge wrote. 

The Frontier website also took third place in the digital media category. 

Members of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association judged almost 1,450 entries from 74 Oklahoma news outlets for this year’s awards.