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The Oklahoman wins recognition for reporting

FORT WORTH — The Oklahoman received recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists during the organization’s annual First Amendment Awards banquet Friday.

The First Amendment famously provides for the freedom of speech, and the press, among others, and is seen as a hallmark to democracy. Awards presented to journalists by the SPJ’s Fort Worth Chapter were given to professionals throughout Oklahoma and Texas who displayed excellent work in their respective fields under the freedom provided by the First Amendment.

Five Oklahoman journalists were finalists in their respective categories, while one was an overall winner.

Business Editor Adam Wilmoth received top honors in the business category for his work covering the dismissal of former SandRidge CEO James Bennett. Wilmoth reported Bennett received about $26.6 million after being fired without cause.

“Adam Wilmoth pulled off the difficult task of reporting a major business story without the cooperation of the company in question,” judges said of the work.

Food Editor Dave Cathey and Business writer David Dishman were also finalists in the business reporting category for their work covering historic changes in alcohol legislation.

“The story covers all sides of a new measure that will greatly impact the state,” judges said.

Former staff writer Silas Allen was a finalist in the “Defending the Disadvantaged” category for his work documenting an increase in unsheltered homelessness — work that is “always needed” according to the judges.

Staff writers Randy Ellis and Chris Casteel were finalists in the general news category. The pair explored the rising incarceration rate as part of The Oklahoman’s “The State of Oklahoma” series.

“An alarming finding,” judges said. “Well told.”

Dave Cathey

The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene. Read more ›

Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two... Read more ›

Silas Allen

Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri. Read more ›

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

Adam Wilmoth

Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector.... Read more ›

David Dishman

Business Writer David Dishman has worked as a journalist in Oklahoma since 2014 covering business, education, local government, healthcare and more. He worked as a reporter in southeast Oklahoma before joining the business team at The Oklahoman in... Read more ›