Oklahoma Living Wins National Journalism Award

SAN DIEGO —Anna Politano, editor of Oklahoma Living,  has won the prestigious 2016 George W. Haggard Memorial Journalism Award from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The award was presented at NRECA’s annual meeting in San Diego.

Oklahoma Living, with a circulation of 322,000, is published monthly by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives based in Oklahoma City. Competing with multiple other statewide publications, judges selected Oklahoma Living based on clarity, content, visual appeal and relevance of the articles to readers.

NRECA CEO Jim Matheson congratulated Politano and the magazine staff:  “With stunning covers, engaging content and an adherence to the cooperative principles, Oklahoma Living showcases the value of relevant and unflinching journalism.”

The Haggard Award annually recognizes the electric co-op publication demonstrating the most forthright, concise and balanced presentation of ideas advancing the objectives of electric cooperatives and their members. In selecting Oklahoma Living, judges pointed to high-quality images, a wide breadth of topics and topics relevant to the lives of the magazine’s readers.

Judges uniformly praised the magazine’s beautiful covers. Said one judge, “It’s obvious that your covers are not an afterthought but instead purposely photographed.”

The judges also agreed that not only is the magazine’s content relevant to readers, but the articles provided an important human perspective on issues such as post-traumatic-stress disorder and stagnating rural economies. One judge pointed to an article on small towns that offered a “realistic, poignant look at what is happening in much of rural America. … Nicely done.”

“The magazine is a powerful tool of influence in communicating the cooperative message to Oklahoma’s rural electric member-owners,” said Chris Meyers, CEO of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. “I commend the Oklahoma Living staff for their hard work and dedication in producing a quality, professional publication that reflects cooperatives’ values every month.”

“At Oklahoma Living, we strive to be the voice of Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives. It takes a team of skilled writers, graphic designers and photographers to produce a publication that is trusted, informative and enlightening for our member-readers. I’m humbled and honored Oklahoma Living has been selected as the 2016 George W. Haggard Award recipient. It validates our efforts to develop an effective communications tool to aid our co-ops in their mission of powering the needs of new generations.”

More than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s Annual Meeting celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The meeting runs from Feb. 23 through Mar. 1 in San Diego and sets NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2017. Co-op representatives also hear from NRECA officials, key public figures and business experts about issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer members. The Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with TechAdvantage, a technology learning event and expo that features more than 280 exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and services.