Broken Arrow Sentinel named finalist for national journalism award


The Broken Arrow Sentinel’s coverage of the fentanyl crisis gripping Oklahoma has placed the news website as a finalist in a national award competition.

The 7-article series “Sudden Death: How Fentanyl is Killing Oklahomans” was named as a finalist for the Outstanding Coverage Award from LION Publishers in the “micro” category for smaller publishers. The Sentinel was founded in 2021.

The Sentinel’s work, published late last year and early this year, was selected from among nearly 300 submissions.

“Though there were many extremely impressive submissions, yours stood out. Your excellent work is impactful, both in your community and in the independent journalism ecosystem as a whole,” said Kelsey Wotzka, membership success associate for LION Publishers.

The Outstanding Coverage Award recognizes general excellence in journalistic impact that builds increased awareness or influences public conversation about a specific issue that reverberates throughout a community.

“We are extremely proud to be named as a finalist in this very competitive awards program,” says John Dobberstein, founder and editor of the Broken Arrow Sentinel and the author of the series.

“When our police department held a public forum about the fentanyl crisis and how it was affecting Broken Arrow, we could see there was an important story that needed to be told about the impact this crisis has had on the victims’ families. And there was a need to get the message to our youth. 

“We are thrilled with this honor. Yet our biggest hope is that this series helped educate people about this scourge on our society.”

LION Publishers strengthens the local news industry by helping independent news publishers build more sustainable businesses. LION provides teaching, resources and community to independent news entrepreneurs as they build and develop sustainable businesses. The organization has more than 450 members.

The overall winner of the Outstanding Coverage Award in each category of publication will be revealed at the Southeast News Sustainability Meetup and the LION Awards Ceremony & Dinner in Durham, N.C. in October.

Check out the list finalists for all 10 categories and all finalists here

CLICK HERE to read our series of articles on the fentanyl crisis and to read about the resources available for addicts and affected families.

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