Britton Summers

Oklahoma City Community College is full of talented and hard working students. Among the Pioneer newspaper staff, there is a student who excels in the field of journalism: Britton Summers.

In the month of April, Summers was given the First Amendment Award for student media for his Feb. 27, 2021 story More Remodeling Coming For Former President’s Office.

The story was the second in a series in which Summers detailed lavish expenditures at a time when staff were being eliminated due to the school’s budget. 

The Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth Pro Chapter, who designates the award, said of Britton’s article, “the reporter’s commitment to explaining this dollars-and-cents story, which is also a personality story, is written so well and richly. His readers are going to be well served by his drive and fearlessness.” 

Summers noted the award and the requirements that must be met to achieve it. 

“It was an award for people, for journalists, who had gone the extra mile to protect free speech. It’s like trying to get the truth out there,” Summers’ said.  

The Society of Professional Journalists Fort Worth Pro Chapter, recognizes hard work and the strive to seek the truth in controversy. 

In finding winners for the First Amendment Award, they looked for people who went above and beyond for their stories. 

Summers’ article was specifically about how money was being spent on luxurious improvements to the OCCC’s president’s office. 

“The previous president of OCCC retired, I use air quotes. He was blowing money to get stuff for himself using money from the school fund,” Summers said.  

Specifically, the money was going toward furniture in the president’s office area. 

Writing articles about high-ranking people — like a college president — is not an easy task, especially for college students. 

Students never know how the people around them will take what they have written, and they never know the consequences until it’s too late. In the case of this paper, after the article

According to Summers, after the story was written and published, the newspaper was shut down for three months. 

However, as a journalist, that is the price you pay for the truth. And it is in no way a bad price. 

“He’s left quite a legacy for himself over these two years and he’s gonna be hard to replace come graduation,” Kyle Barnett, Professor of Journalism, said about Summers.  

Right now, Summers has more experience than any other student with the Pioneer. 

He has written more articles and covered more stories than any other student journalist on staff. 

This experience led him to receive the First Amendment Award. 

Being a journalist is complex. There are no shortages of difficulties and complexities as one navigates the world. 

“I have loved writing my whole life. And I wasn’t originally wanting to do journalism, but it just kind of stuck. I like doing it and interacting with people. Plus I like exposing the truth,” Summers said.  

Summers is set to graduate from OCCC with a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting. 

“I’m hoping to go to the University of Central Oklahoma next. Hopefully, I can continue writing because it’s what I like doing more than anything,” Summers said. 

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