Lead reporter on Shadow Land project named to Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame

Donate
Veteran journalist Mary Hargrove will be named to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in May. Courtesy
Shadow Land lead reporter and veteran journalist Mary Hargrove will be named to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame this spring.

Hargrove is among nine new members who will be inducted to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on May 3.

Hargrove, 67, was the lead reporter on The Frontier’s five-part investigation Shadow Land, which explored the undeclared rape crisis in Oklahoma. She received the lifetime achievement award from the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists last year.

She was also named a Tulsa Press media icon in 2008 and won a lifetime achievement award from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s School of Journalism.

Ziva Branstetter, senior editor for Reveal from The Center of Investigative Reporting and former editor of The Frontier nominated Hargrove for the honor.

“I’m really glad the Journalism Hall of Fame is honoring her in this way,” Branstetter said. “It’s completely deserved. She is the No. 1 inspiration for me in my career as a journalist and someone I’ve tried to model myself as as a journalist.

“She’s probably the most careful, meticulous reporter I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Her standards for accuracy are just unparalleled. and I’ve learned so much from working with her when I was at the Tribune (Tulsa Tribune).”

Hargrove briefly worked at the Newark Advocate in Ohio, where she was sued for her unpublished notes and sources after investigating a badly built subdivision. Her case set the precedent for the Ohio Shield Law.

In 1974 she joined The Tulsa Tribune. In 1982 her coverage of the Penn Square Bank collapse in Oklahoma City revealed a $2 billion misuse of funds.

Hargrove was elected to the Investigative Reporters and Editors board of directors from 1983 to 1991. She served as treasurer, vice president, president and chair.

In 1986 and 1987 she covered Oral Roberts and his finances, and exposed his misuse of funds that almost collapsed the university. Roberts claimed to have little money but Hargrove revealed he had hidden assets with his son-in-law and had homes in other names in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Palm Springs, Calif.

Hargrove was on the cover of Washington Journalism Review as “The Best In the West” in 1987. The same year, she was the commencement speaker for the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Mary Hargrove was featured on the cover of Washington Journalism Review as the “Best in the West.”

Between 1993 and 2005 she worked at The Miami Herald and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She won the Robert F. Kennedy grand prize — best of all first places — in 1999 for a series she wrote on an Arkansas juvenile detention center.  The 1998 series, “Welcome to Hell,” took a year and a half to write and exposed physical and emotional abuse and a murder in state-run juvenile facilities.

Hargrove retired in 2005 and moved to Tulsa, where her son and grandchildren live.

Other Hall of Fame inductees are: Jon Denton, a retired editor, reporter and columnist; Barbara Hoberock, state Capitol bureau chief, Tulsa World; Douglas Hoke, director of photography, The Okahoman; Chris Lee, photojournalist for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City; Ray Lokey, the late publisher of the Johnston County Capital-Democrat; Kim Poindexter, executive editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press; retired reporter/anchor George Tomek; and Berry Tramel, sports columnist, The Oklahoman.

Inductees will be honored during the 48th anniversary of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at UCO in Edmond on May 3. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. for the induction ceremony, and the luncheon and program will begin at 11:30 a.m.

The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 by former UCO Journalism Chairman Dr. Ray Tassin. 

Related reading:

Veteran Tulsa journalist Mary Hargrove to receive lifetime achievement award

Your financial support for our investigative journalism is now tax deductible. To become a Friend of The Frontier, click here.

Kassie McClung

Staff writer

Kassie McClung joined The Frontier in May 2016. She reports on health, criminal justice and other state issues. Kassie holds a bachelors degree in multimedia journalism from Oklahoma State University. She likes dogs, maps and data. She can be reached at Kassie@readfrontier.com or 918-935-1044. Follow her on Twitter @KassieMcClung.
Donate