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Chronicle honored by Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists


TULSA, Okla. — The Christian Chronicle earned four awards Feb. 17 at the annual awards banquet of the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Chronicle, an international newspaper for members of Churches of Christ published at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, competed against the state’s largest newspapers, including The Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World. The contest period covered stories published between July 2005 and June 2006.
Assistant Managing Editor Erik Tryggestad captured first place in Minority Issues Reporting for an April 2006 feature on the Northeast church in Oklahoma City using “edgy, street-savvy evangelism” in a Black History Month production featuring a former gang member-turned-Christian.
Judges awarded Managing Editor Bobby Ross Jr. third place in General News Reporting for his October 2005 stories from Mandeville, La., Gulfport, Miss., and Dallas on church members offering hope and help after Hurricane Katrina.
Tryggestad, who has filed stories from more than a dozen countries since joining the Chronicle in 2001, received honorable mention for Best Newspaper Reporting Portfolio for a representative sampling of five stories from Cuba, Liberia and other places around the globe.
Tryggestad, a Lipscomb University graduate who holds a master’s in journalism from the University of Georgia, also earned honorable mention in Minority Issues Reporting for a January 2006 trend story from Irving, Texas, on the challenges that face Laotian Christians in the United States.
“I am really proud of Erik and Bobby,” said Lynn McMillon, the Chronicle’s editor, president and CEO. “I have known all along that they are both gifted writers, but this is recognition of what I and the rest of us have known for a long time. Most of all, I am thankful that they are using their talents to serve the Lord and the kingdom.”
While with The Daily Oklahoman from 1993 to 2002, Ross won 34 awards from Oklahoma’s Society of Professional Journalists, including 11 first-place honors. He said he was pleased by the Chronicle’s success in its first year to enter the contest.
“I am particularly excited that the SPJ judges recognized the type of world-class reporting that Erik has done in places such as war-torn Liberia and communist Cuba,” said Ross, an Oklahoma Christian University journalism graduate who joined the Chronicle in 2005 after three years as a religion and enterprise writer for The Associated Press in Nashville and Dallas. “We want to keep improving our quality of journalism while staying true to our unique mission of informing, inspiring and uniting members of Churches of Christ.”
Scott LaMascus, senior editor and former managing editor, described the Chronicle as “more timely … and more professionally reported and written than at any time” in its 64-year history.
“I know that Bobby, Erik and associate online editor Tamie Ross are such valuable resources for the Chronicle, our fellowship and the kingdom of Christ,” LaMascus said. “We also know it could not happen without the newspaper’s amazing history, Lynn’s leadership and the foundations Bailey McBride and others such as Joy McMillon built. The team for advertising, circulation and fund-raising is essential as well.”
The Chronicle, an independent newspaper overseen by a national board of trustees, is mailed each month to more than 107,000 households in all 50 states and reaches an estimated 250,000 readers. Its growing Web site at www.christianchronicle.org often draws more than 1 million hits per month.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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