Great Plains Journalism Awards


The Great Plains Journalism Conference and Awards Ceremony awards outstanding work in newspapers, magazines and websites. Sponsored and started by the Tulsa Press Club, the regional journalism awards honor the best magazine, web and newspaper work from eight states.

May 4 | Historic Mayo Hotel | Downtown Tulsa
Bringing together award-winning journalists from an eight-state region.

Distinguished Lecturer

Omar Villafranca CBS News Correspondent
Photo Cr.: Michele Crowe/CBS
©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Omar Villafranca is a CBS News correspondent in its Southern Bureau.

Villafranca’s assignments have sent him to the front lines of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and in 2017 placed him in the path of major hurricanes that battered the U.S. and the Caribbean. He also led CBS News’ coverage of a deadly shooting by a Tulsa County reserve deputy that eventually led to the resignation of the longtime Tulsa County Sheriff.

Featured Speakers

Joining Villafranca as featured speakers are S. Douglas “Doug” Dodd of Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson, LLP law firm in Tulsa, Andrea Leitch of National Geographic, and Louise Kiernan of ProPublica Illinois.

Dodd represents national and local media companies in media and intellectual property matters with an emphasis on First Amendment and defamation issues.

Leitch serves as Senior Director of Travel and Adventure. She oversees the digital strategy for and leads a team of editors, producers, and photo editors who tell stories about far-flung places, fascinating cultures, and amazing adventures across digital platforms.

Kiernan is editor-in-chief the first regional operation of ProPublica. She came to ProPublica from Northwestern University, where she was an associate professor of journalism, focusing on investigative and narrative reporting, and the leader of the program’s social justice and investigative journalism specialization.

Schedule and ticket information

On Thursday, May 3, The Tulsa Press Club will host a meet and greet from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the clubhouse. Mix and mingle with conference speakers, out-of-town journalists and guests. Free admission. Cash bar.

On Friday, May 4, conferences will be held in the Mayo Museum inside The Mayo Hotel, 115 W. Fifth St.

Workshops: Free
Distinguished Lectureship Luncheon and Awards Presentation: $50; and $45 for students and media personnel

Purchase your luncheon ticket at

10 a.m.: Louise Kiernan, Editor-in-Chief of ProPublica Illinois-
Strategies for writing about complex topics

11 a.m.: Luncheon Registration

11:30 a.m.: Awards Luncheon — Welcome and Introduction, President’s Remarks, Awards Presentation (Lunch served during awards), Presentation of the Dan Harrison Memorial Scholarships, Distinguished Lectureship Speaker: Omar Villafranca. Luncheon at The Mayo Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom.

1 p.m.: Break

1:15 p.m.: Omar Villafranca, CBS News national correspondent-
Covering natural disasters

2 p.m.: Break

2:15 p.m.: Doug Dodd, partner with Doerner Saunders Daniel and Anderson-Social media and copyright compliance

3 p.m.: Break

3:15 p.m.: Andrea Leitch, Senior Digital Director, Travel and Adventure for National Geographic-Digital storytelling

4 p.m.: Break

5 p.m.: Happy Hour Reception
(All luncheon ticketholders are welcome to join us for a post-event reception at the Mayo’s Penthouse Bar.)


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Cherokee Nation Businesses

Executive Editor:

Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Hillcrest HealthCare System
Langdon Publishing
Mayo Hotel
Trust Company of Oklahoma
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa World
Questions regarding Great Plains Journalism Conference and Awards Ceremony should be sent to

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