Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Recognizing the Oklahoma Capitol Press Corps


While Oklahomans are busy at work, the State Legislature deliberates on legislation that will affect their lives. Keeping up with events at the Capitol can be nigh impossible for the average citizen, especially when the Legislature runs late-night sessions and committee meetings, pulls legislation out at the last minute, and generally makes things difficult for common people to be able to observe (i.e. difficult-to-navigate websites and technical issues with video/audio when under heavy viewing load... looking at you, State Senate, in particular...).

Unknown to most people, there is a small band of journalists and media personnel that are assigned to observing the legislative session, many of whom do as-it-happens reporting on Twitter rather than just evening print or television stories. They bring much needed light and transparency to an oftentimes dim and hidden state government.

Several of the journalists on the list below tweet details from committee meetings, floor activities, snippets from floor debate, practically everything that happens with or without a microphone in the Legislature.

These individuals provide an invaluable realtime service to the people of Oklahoma. When I'm working or unable to personally watch or listen to proceedings in the Legislature, I monitor tweets from these dedicated reporters in order to stay in the loop with what is going on at 23rd and Lincoln.

Below is a list of most of the Capitol press corps that is active on Twitter:

Catherine Sweeney (@CathJSweeney), Journal Record (which also tweets with @JRLROK)
Dale Denwalt, The Oklahoman (@Denwalt)
Trevor Brown (@tbrownOKC) and Paul Monies (@pmonies) with Oklahoma Watch (@OklahomaWatch)
Shawn Ashley (@eCapitol_Shawn) and Tyler Talley (@tylertalley22) with eCapitol (@eCapitol_House@eCapitol_Senate, and @eCapitol)
Tres Savage, NonDoc @thricesavage and @nondocmedia (Savage and NonDoc are ideologically liberal, but deserve mention due to frequency in covering Capitol happenings)

The following reporters are also in the Capitol regularly, although they tend to be less active with as-it-happens tweets:

Aaron Brilbeck, News9 (@AaronBrilbeck9)
Grant Hermes, News9 @GrantHermesKWTV
Justin Wingerter, The Oklahoman (@justinwingerter)
Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World (@rkrehbiel)
Barbara Hoberock, Tulsa World (@bhoberock)
Janelle Stecklein, CNHI (@ReporterJanelle)
Sean Murphy, Associated Press (@apseanmurphy)
Bill Miston, KFOR (@billmiston)
Bret Buganski, KOCO  @KOCOBret

I've created the Twitter list below, featuring tweets from the bulk of these reporters (and a few others), which you can follow as well.

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