Veteran journalist long serving as Capital Editor for Tulsa Today Patrick B. McGuigan in partnership of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has launched a new independent online news service to cover Oklahoma state government – http://www.capitolbeatok.com.
In the mid-1990s, nearly 1,000 reporters covered state capitols across the 50 states. Today, capitol press corps numbers have shrunk to around 300 in all. In Oklahoma, falling advertising revenue and paid subscriptions have led print publishers to reduce staff, causing cutbacks in both statehouse and investigative reporting. Online news services like Tulsa Today (est. 1996) continue to expand.
“I am excited about this new venture to provide Oklahomans with pure Capitol reporting,” said CapitolBeatOK Editor Patrick B. McGuigan. “This is an opportunity to fill the gap and inform the public of the inner-workings of the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.”
CapitolBeatOK, the online news operation which formally launched this week will greatly increase coverage and better inform Oklahomans about the workings of their government. An independent and nonpartisan news service based in the state capitol press room, CapitolBeatOK will provide another set of “eyes” focused on government—providing fair, dependable, accurate, and credible information. The emphasis will be on hard news, focusing primarily on the Legislature, executive decisions, agencies, and the judiciary.
Leading up to the launch of CapitolBeatOK, McGuigan’s series of reports made a national story out of Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s decision to become the first Democrat state attorney general to call for removal of the controversial “Cornhusker Kickback” provision in the U.S. Senate’s health care reform bill. That became national news after it was picked up by Tulsa Today and other news sites. This provision, placed in the Health Care measure by U.S.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, promised that only Nebraska would escape increased costs for Medicaid. The language was designed to assure the support of Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson for the bill. Sen. Nelson has since called for removal of the controversial provision, or its extension to all states.
CapitolBeatOK is contracted by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) to provide incisive, fair, and straight-forward news reporting on areas of broad public interest. CapitolBeatOK supports the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists.
“As the oldest, largest, independent, local news service online anywhere, Tulsa Today recommends CapitolBeatOK to our readers and looks forward to increasing numbers of insightful reports McGuigan is well-known to provide,” said Tulsa Today Publisher David Arnett. “Pat is an artisan in the craft of writing, a courageous reporter and a lifelong conservative respected nationally.
“Oklahoma will never be truly become one state until we cease to be separate media markets ignoring each other. The cooperative agreement between The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World newspapers on state coverage was one step in expanding statewide communication. CapitolBeatOK and Tulsa Today provide an important alternative so citizens may the public information necessary to manage government as our Constitution provides, Arnett added.”
For more information on CapitolBeatOK please visit: www.capitolbeatok.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.