Monday, May 16, 2016

Oplinger a Hall of Famer

Doug Oplinger
BJ managing editor Doug Oplinger was inducted into the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Hall of Fame on Sunday in Columbus.

The BJ’s Susan Gapinski Price was chosen best headline writer. Third places went to Paula Schleis for best news writer in Ohio, page designer Brian Shellito for full-page design for “LeBron” and for best sports section.

I remember Doug, the guy with the John Deere cap and the baby face, leading the charge, with then-ME Larry Williams cracking the whip, to the 1987 Pulitzer Price for general news reporting for its coverage of Sir James Goldsmith’s greenmail attack on Goodyear Tire & Rubber that cost millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

In 1993 Doug organized 16 focus groups that examined race relations and brought Ol’ Blue Walls another Pulitzer in 1994, for public service.

The green kid from Green, a part-timer and Akron U. student during my State Desk days, has been at the BJ for 45 years.

General Excellence awards for 2016 went to the Columbus Dispatch, the Canton Repository, the Mansfield News Journal, the (Newark) Advocate and the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. The Cincinnati Enquirer won the First Amendment Award for pursuing freedom of information to make a police video public.


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