The Gazette won a total of 38 awards during the last two weekends, including a sweep of the Best Reporting Portfolio category in the annual Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awards. The paper took home a total of 24 honors in the SPJ contest, including a second-place finish overall in the Best Newspaper competition and eight first-place finishes -- in the Best Reporting Portfolio, Feature Writing, In-Depth Enterprise Reporting/Team, In-Depth Enterprise Reporting by an Individual, Health Reporting, Feature Headlines, Feature Page Layout, and Best Use of Graphic Illustration categories. The Gazette also took home 14 awards at this year's Oklahoma City ADDY Awards, including Gold ADDYs in the Publication Design (Magazine or Book) Series and Newspaper Self-Promotion Single categories.

Continue ReadingOklahoma Gazette Picks Up Dozens of State Awards

The Oklahoma Gazette founder and publisher will be inducted on April 4 along with eight other notable journalists. Bleakley started the Gazette in 1979 as a bimonthly publication with a circulation of about 2,000 and has grown it into a paper with a weekly circulation of more than 57,000. He also acquired the biweekly business newspaper OKCBusiness in 2003, and last year formed Tierra Media Group, an umbrella company for all of his papers. Bleakley also sits on AAN's Board of Directors as Organization/Bylaws Chair. "I share this recognition with the many staff members whose efforts achieved the successes of our publications while adhering to the highest journalistic standards," he says.

Continue ReadingBill Bleakley Elected to Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame

The paper lost electricity early on Monday, Dec. 10, just hours before the always-hectic press day. But this week's issue still came out, thanks to the hard work of Gazette employees ... and a generator. "We were first in line for a [generator] rental but weren't fully functional until nine hours later," associate publisher Jeffri-Lynn Dyer says. "We aren't returning it, though. With the next storm coming, we might need it next press day!" According to the latest forecast, a new storm is expected to bring two to four inches of snow heading into this weekend. The Gazette's rented generator is on standby in the paper's parking lot.

Continue ReadingOklahoma Gazette Loses Power, Publishes With Help of Generator

Bill Bleakley has published the Gazette since he founded it in 1979, and four years ago, he purchased OKCBusiness, a biweekly business newspaper. Now he has moved both of those publications, along with High Plains Events LLC, which organizes events for the papers and other groups, under the umbrella of Tierra Media Group. Bleakley will take the title of president of the new company. In a statement, he says the company does not plan to expand out of its current geographic area. "We don't consider ourselves a chain because everything we do relates to niches right here in Central Oklahoma," he says. "Oklahoma City is a very hot economy and we're positioned right in the middle of it with no intention of acquiring properties outside of this market." Bleakley serves on AAN's Board of Directors as the Organization/Bylaws Chair. In other Gazette news, the paper and High Plains Events have announced Oklahoma City's inaugural Halloween parade, Gazette's Ghouls Gone Wild, featuring a performance by the Flaming Lips (singer Wayne Coyne will be the parade's Grand Marshal). Filter magazine reports that the band is currently looking for 1,000 fans to take part in the March of a Thousand Flaming Skeletons at the parade. CORRECTION: We originally noted that the Halloween parade would include a performance by the Flaming Lips. That is incorrect -- the band will only be appearing and leading the skeleton march, not performing music.

Continue ReadingOklahoma Gazette Publisher Forms a New Parent Company

Last week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) gave the Oklahoma Gazette its Outstanding Media Award for contributions to the goals of NAMI Oklahoma. According to NAMI Oklahama member Jo Rogers, the alt-weekly "provides information for those of us interested in legislative issues which may involve mental health and associated funding."

Continue ReadingOklahoma Gazette Cited for Reporting on Mental Illness

That was the question Oklahoma Gazette Editor Rob Collins recently asked editors on an AAN listserv in preparation for last week's cover story kicking off the paper's coverage of the state's centennial. Oklahoma! the musical came in first and the Dust Bowl placed third. See editors' complete responses by downloading this PDF document.

Continue ReadingWhat Five Things Come to Mind When you Think of Oklahoma?

Nancy Geraldine Scott, an advertising client of AAN-member Oklahoma Gazette, has pleaded guilty to felony counts of pandering, maintaining a house of prostitution and encouraging a minor into prostitution, according to Oklahoma County Newspapers. When a local detective responded to one of Scott's ads, which also ran in a Southwestern Bell publication, he was put in touch with a 14-year-old offering sex for $220, according to court records.

Continue ReadingBusted Prostitution Ring Placed Ads in Alt-Weekly

Victoria Williams returns to her campus newspaper after a highly productive four-month stint at the Oklahoma Gazette, AAN News reports. Williams says she found the freedom to write more in-depth stories at the alt-weekly a much needed break from the strictures and pressures of the daily newsrooms she worked in during earlier internships. Among the highlights of Williams' work for the Oklahoma weekly was her feature on a joint project linking female craft artists in Kenya to Oklahoma merchants. Established in 2001, the AAN Diversity Internship program awards four annual grants of up to $2,500 to talented young journalists of color.

Continue ReadingAAN Diversity Intern Enjoys “Refreshing” Break From MSM