HEADLINERS: The annual Tulsa Press Club Headliners event was held in December at the BOK Center. Honored were Bill LaFortune and Kathy LaFortune. From left, front row, are Keith McArtor, Tulsa attorney; Craig Sutter, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System executive director; and Bill and Kathy LaFortune, Headliner honorees. Top row are Karen Keith, Tulsa County commissioner; Michael Overall, Tulsa Press Club president; Melani Hamilton and Nicole Burgin, event chairs and Tulsa Press Club board members; and Jim Goodwin, attorney and publisher of The Oklahoma Eagle.
SEAN CAPSHAW for Resolusean Photography
Tulsa is fortunate to host one of the top press clubs in the nation. The Tulsa Press Club, with approximately 500 members, is a vibrant organization that hosts members of the media as well as citizens of many occupations throughout greater Tulsa.
The Tulsa Press Club, according to its website, was founded in 1906 when a group of newspaper men formed an organization with the purpose, “To make the path of newspaper men more beautiful and have a little fun on the side.” William Stryker, editor-publisher of the Tulsa Democrat, forerunner of The Tulsa Tribune, was president. It was before statehood, before taxes, before women’s suffrage, before TV and radio.
The following is the mission of the Tulsa Press Club:
“To promote the highest standards of journalism and to encourage the pursuit of journalism careers among students.
To defend the principle of Freedom of the Press and the public’s right to have access to public information.
To encourage the interchange of ideas between members of the media and those of the professional community with whom they come into contact.
To foster the highest ideals of ethics and fairness among all members.
To extend benevolence and assistance to recognized charitable organizations as approved by the Board of Directors.”
The Tulsa Press Club stays busy throughout the year hosting various events such as the Headliners Awards Dinner, the Legislative Reception, First Draft, Page One luncheons, the Great Plains Journalism Awards and the Newsie Awards.
The Tulsa Press Club is located in downtown Tulsa in the Atlas Life Building and hosts luncheons throughout the week and is open evenings for social interaction for members and their guests.
According to the website, The Tulsa Press Club today is very different in many ways from the group that formed in 1906. Today’s members not only work for (or have retired from) newspapers, radio and television stations, they are also involved in advertising and public relations at agencies and corporations. Some members come from outside the media, including lawyers, politicians and businessmen.
Today’s Press Club is also motivated by somewhat broader and more altruistic goals, hosting Page One speakers, awarding journalism scholarships, and recognizing radio, television and press icons.
For membership information, call 918-583-7737.