Fired reporter wins awards

Claire O’Brien, a former reporter for the Dodge City Daily Globe, was fired recently after she made comments about The Globe’s parent company, GateHouse Media, not supporting her financially through a legal battle concerning an Oct. 13 article that concerned a murder case and used anonymous sources.

Now the plot thickens.

As Billy Dennis of Peoria Pundit reported, O’Brien has won awards for her work as a journalist at The Globe.

The Globe confirmed this in an article that said she won four awards from the Kansas Press Association in the annual newspaper competition.

Guess which story won her an award? That’s right. The one that also got her held in contempt and fired. Here’s how The Globe described it:

“O’Brien took first place in the news story category for her story ‘Arkansas Riverbed shooter claims self-defense.’ The story was based largely on a jailhouse interview with Sam Bonilla, who shot two men in the Arkansas Riverbed on Labor Day 2009.”

Ironic isn’t it? She’s a good enough reporter to win awards, but she isn’t good enough to keep around.

As for her other three awards, here’s what they were:

“O’Brien also took third-place honors in the feature, investigative and local business story categories.”

Thought it isn’t a job, at least O’Brien can wave the awards in the face of the newspaper that fired her. At least she’s be able to get a little satisfaction that way. I know I would enjoy flaunting the fact I won awards to the people who turned their backs on me.

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About toddvogts 839 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at