| September 29, 2010
Another set of eyes at the capitol
You may be aware that OCPA has contracted with veteran journalist Patrick McGuigan to provide incisive and accurate reporting from the state capitol building at NE 23 and Lincoln. Pat secured a desk in the fourth-floor press room and for several months now has been “running with the pack” to cover legislative and policy topics at CapitolBeatOK.com. This is an online news site, not an aggregator, broadening the understanding of capitol people and events.
Operating independently with wisdom gleaned from thousands of previous reports, Pat is asking questions that would not otherwise be asked. He’s telling stories that are influencing citizens, policymakers, and other journalists.
Pat’s reporting and the substance in his news reports have separated him from some of the others in the press room. So far he has focused on comparatively neglected issues such as government pensions and retirement plans, tax hikes disguised as “user fees,” inflated estimates of education budget pruning, urban vs. rural (vs. tribal) conflicts over water policy, a law firm dictating policy outcomes while impeding legislators and investigators through one of the state’s largest school districts, and an exposé laying bare “when special education isn’t.”
Is Pat fair? I encourage you to visit CapitolBeatOK.com and decide for yourself. Better yet, ask the people -- both liberal and conservative -- whom Pat regularly covers at the capitol. I will say this: there's only one journalist in the state capitol press room who received an award for "diversity reporting" this year from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. And he received two of them.
OCPA’s decision to sponsor high-quality, traditional, original journalism delivered in a new way -- targeting the burgeoning online audience -- is one of the most significant initiatives in OCPA's history. I encourage you to visit CapitolBeatOK.com.