In our second year of publishing, Free Press has won two awards. One was given by the Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Chapter. The other was by the Oklahoma Education Association.
At the Society of Professional Journalists Awards Banquet Saturday, we won second place in the Online Breaking News category for our story “Bike ride turns to fearful encounter with police.”
It was the first story in our coverage of an Oklahoma City Police officer stopping and detaining OKC resident Kelsey Pierce who was guilty of nothing but riding her bicycle to work.
To date, it’s our most viewed post since going live October 2016. While it is very much a local story, it earned and has held national interest.
First place went to The Oklahoman and third place went to KWTV.
In April, the Oklahoma Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in Oklahoma, presented Free Press with the Marshall Gregory Award for best education series “Enduring Enterprise.”
The four-part series explored the dynamics of Oklahoma City’s three enterprise schools. A fourth enterprise school has been added since then.
Enterprise school status gives each school independence in decision-making with its own board made up of parents and other community stakeholders.
Yet, their teachers are on the regular negotiated contract and the principal is connected to the central administration in the same way as other principals in the district.
The award was the second Marshall Gregory Award for Free Press founder and editor Brett Dickerson.
He received his first one in 2016 for a series he wrote for Oklahoma Gazette before starting Free Press.