family dynasties, broadcast pioneers, northeast Oklahomans, and changes in the Hall of Fame
The fifth decade of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame kicked off with dynasties and broadcast pioneers.
Three more Dyers were added during the decade. Brothers and community publishers Ray and Sean Dyer were both inducted in 2010. Kelly Dyer Fry, who became publisher of The Oklahoman, became the sixth family member to join the Hall of Fame in 2014.
Also, in 2010, Mike Boettcher became a member. Boettcher’s distinguished career included being the first to do a live satellite report for the launch of a “fledging” cable TV network: CNN. Dr. Paul Lehman, who was the first African-American news person in the Oklahoma City market in 1968, was inducted in 2017. George Tomek, and Navy Reserve captain, was part of WKY-TV in the 1960s and join the Hall of Fame in 2018. And master storyteller Bob Dotson completed his four million miles before being inducted in 2019.
Five late journalists, one famed for international reporting, one known for his work in Oklahoma, and three community publishers were inducted during the decade. Jim Standard, a former executive editor of The Oklahoman who later became a preacher, was inducted in 2011, a year after his death. Anthony Shadid, the famed two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, was inducted the same year that he died in 2012. And third-generation publisher Ray Lokey was told just days before his death in 2017 that he would be part of the 2018 induction class. The three joined John A. and Joy “Tinker” Hruby, co-publishers of the Marlow Review and co-owner of the Comanche County Chronicle, who were inducted in 2015 after they were killed in their home the previous year.
Also, in 2020, the posthumous award of membership was awarded to ten journalists only for the second time in the Hall of Fame’s history.
Northeast Oklahoma was well-represented during the decade. Susan Ellerbach, later executive editor of the Tulsa World, became a member in 2010. Investigative reporter Mary Hargrove, who was nominated by Pulitzer finalist Ziva Branstetter, was inducted in 2018. Branstetter was inducted in 2019. John M. II and Faith Wylie were both inducted in 2012. Besides being co-publisher with his wife, John Wylie was also known for being part of the Kansas City Star team that won the Pulitzer for coverage of the Hyatt disaster in 1982. And, noted community journalist Ralph Schaefer became a member in 2017, 16 years after being first nominated.
Video tributes replaced the sometimes long speeches for the first time in 2017. They were instituted by Joe Hight, who was inducted in 2013. Hight became the first Hall of Fame member to take over as director after he was inducted. His induction was a year before he was editor of Colorado Springs Gazette, which won the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for Dave Philipps’ “Other than Honorable” project. The 50th anniversary celebration included a redesigned website, a coffee-table book, a documentary, and the opening of a small museum and other improvements. The year before, Hight worked with student coordinators Erin Barnett and Trevor Stone to organize a First Amendment Day at the University of Central Oklahoma as part of the induction day ceremonies.
Finally, the Goodwin family dynasty continued in 2015 when brothers Edward “Ed” Godwin, Jr. and James O. Goodwin followed their father E.L. Goodwin, into the Hall of Fame. Ed Goodwin’s biography noted that he was “born with a torch in his hand and heart” that propelled him to follow the family legacy of being active in the civil rights movement. Robert “Bob” Goodwin, joined them as a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2020.
Dr. Paul Lehman (right) along with Dr. Stan Hoig, featured speakers at a symposium titled “The Oklahoma Past: Land, People, Politics.” Discussions focused on how Oklahomans were viewed.