The Edmond Sun

March 29, 2013

Sun reporter inducted into Journalism Hall of Fame


The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — James Coburn, veteran reporter of The Edmond Sun, will be one of nine outstanding Oklahoma journalists inducted into the 2013 Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame April 18 at the University of Central Oklahoma. Framed citations are on display in the hall of fame in the Nigh University Center.

“Flexibility is James Coburn’s middle name,” said Terry M. Clark, director of the hall of fame. “In more than 25 years with The Edmond Sun, he represents the best of community journalism.”

Other honorees are Joe Hancock, publisher of the Hobart Democrat-Chief; Joe Hight, editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette; John Klein, sports columnist for the Tulsa World; the late Jerry Laizure, photographer of The Norman Transcript, who died late last year; Mike McCarville of the national political The McCarville Report; Mary Mélon, president and publisher of The Journal Record; Tom Muchmore, publisher of The Ponca City News; and Oliver C. Murray, pioneer photojournalist for WKY/KFOR-TV.

Coburn has served as reporter and photographer for The Sun since 1986. A native of Oklahoma City, he went from a passion as a photographer to feature writer and then the city beat as well as state and national politics.

He was on the scene of the Edmond Postal massacre and one of the first at the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing. His investigative pieces have included nursing homes, race relations, Alzheimer’s, death row, drunken driving and the homeless.

He writes annually about the HOPE center project helping raise funds. He’s won two sweepstakes awards from AP, and dozens of first places from AP and SPJ. He won the American Cancer Society’s High Plains Media Award in 2008 and 2009, the Edmond Historical Society Historic Preservation Award as well as Photo of the Year from the Oklahoma Press Association.

Luncheon reservations are available for $15 a person by calling Clark or Sherry Sump at 974-5122, or emailing tclark@uco.edu or ssump@uco.edu. Deadline for reservations is April 12.

The ceremony will include the first Oklahoma Press Association Award to a student with outstanding promise in newspaper journalism, funded by donations from judges of monthly writing contests. Also to be awarded will be Brian J. Walke scholarship in journalism ethics to a student at UCO.

Honorees are selected by a committee composed of members of the working press and the Hall of Fame. The committee sifts through all nominations, both new ones and those held over from previous years before selecting the nine honorees. Nomination forms are available at any time from the Hall of Fame office at UCO.

The luncheon program will be begin at 11:45 a.m. April 18 on the third floor of the Nigh University Center, across the hall from the Hall of Fame exhibition hall, Clark said.

Master of ceremonies will be Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association. Don Betz, president of UCO, will welcome the crowd. More than 250 journalists, friends and families are expected for the Hall of Fame ceremony.

“The annual ceremony has become an informal homecoming for honorees and families. The Hall is a virtual Who’s Who of Oklahoma Journalism, and the crowd will be filled with the giants of the profession,” Clark said.