Tulsa World reporter honored for stories about transgender Bixby teenager
BY Staff Reports
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
4/03/12 at 10:48 AM
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Original Print Headline: Reporter honored for 'Katie' series
Tulsa World Staff Writer Cary Aspinwall accepted a national award Monday evening in Washington, D.C., for her work on "Becoming Katie," a two-part series that explored the life and transition of a transgender Bixby teenager.
Aspinwall won the 2012 Freedom Forum and American Society of News Editors Award for Distinguished Writing on Diversity and was selected from a pool of journalists from across the country, regardless of their publication size.
"The American Society of News Editors is pleased to honor a wide range of extraordinary work and substance," said Ken Paulson, president of ASNE. "Collectively, these hard-hitting and illuminating reports and photographs remind us of the critical role our free press plays in protecting the disadvantaged and keeping an eye on the powerful."
A total of 10 winners came from The New York Times, the Denver Post, the Boston Globe, the Arizona Republic and other newspapers, in addition to the Tulsa World.
The ASNE awards, which originated in 1979, honor the country's best journalism each year.
"Becoming Katie" followed Bixby resident Katie Hill last year as she dealt with being a transgender teenager in an Oklahoma high school.
The story showed how she abandoned the name Luke Hill as she and her parents learned to educate themselves about what it means to be transgender.
The series, published in May, also gave readers a glimpse into the transgender community as a whole.
Aspinwall began as an intern at the Tulsa World and then was hired in 2001 as a full-time police reporter.
She worked at The Arizona Republic from 2004 until 2006, when she returned to the World to write for the Scene section.
She wrote features for the Scene section until 2011 and created the popular Fitness Guinea Pig column.
Since then, Aspinwall has worked on the World's Enterprise team, where she has written stories and contributed to projects about the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and several other organizations and issues.
Cary Aspinwall is a graduate of Oklahoma State University who began as an intern at the Tulsa World.