2020

the changes for a special anniversary

The rules for the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame were like gold laid in concrete.

Nine Hall of Famers had been selected every year since its inception. All were honored at a luncheon or afternoon reception at the University of Central Oklahoma.

That all changed for the golden anniversary.

Instead of the usual number in the previous 49 classes, the 10-member Selection Committee chose 10 new Hall of Fame members for 2020. Over a two-year period, it also chose 10 for the second posthumous class. The first posthumous class in 2005 for the 35th anniversary inducted eight members.

Thus, 20 journalists will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020. They are pioneers and leaders in radio, newspapers, and television, multiple national award winners or national office holders, war correspondents and heroes, legendary sportswriters, columnists, and editors who stood up for civil rights and the least of us, and the ultimate father. Some were born in the 1800s and ended their careers in the 1960s. Others were born in the 1960s and continue their stellar careers today.

Two Lifetime Achievement Award honorees were also selected, both with special connections already to the Hall of Fame and a lifetime of service to either Oklahoma or the nation. That made a total of six for the Hall of Fame’s 50 years.

The ceremony time was changed to an evening ceremony on April 24th, 2020. And the site was changed for the first time ever from the University of Central Oklahoma to the Oklahoma History Center.

The ceremony will return to the University of Central Oklahoma for the 51st class. Many of the rules will return.

But the 2020 classes have stood out for many reasons, far beyond how their inductions changed golden traditions for the 50th anniversary.