For approximately 117 years, the Oklahoma Press Association (OPA) has been the organization that almost all Oklahoma newspapers looked to for support in their trade. The OPA is also the oldest trade association in Oklahoma. Now, in some cases being the oldest is a good thing, but newspapers nationwide have struggled to survive for the past few years. Associations like OPA were kind of stuck in the old way of doing things.

For several years, All About Hennessey inquired about becoming a member of the OPA and was told that we did not qualify because we didn’t fit their guidelines. We were “an internet thing, not an actual newspaper.” About a year ago, OPA Executive Vice President Mark Thomas came by the office and asked if we would be interested in joining the association. Our first response was, what has changed for us to become a member? Thomas replied that as an association, we must decide, “Do we want a bright future or just a proud past?” Mark told us that their board recently changed their bylaws to allow new types of news organizations like All About Hennessey to become members.

In January, All About Hennessey joined the OPA and was invited to be a presenter at the OPA convention held last week, June 9th, at the Grand Casino in Shawnee. Jack Quirk, founder of The All About Network and All About Hennessey, was part of a panel that talked about producing alternative income. Quirk spoke about how AAH documented the building of the Hennessey Eagle Event Center, Created the Hennessey QR code program, and used video to tell stories.  


Part of the convention includes being included in the blooper ceremony. Although it was cool to be considered for an award in the first year as a member, it taught us to proofread a little better. Our blooper was for the story we did about the world’s biggest cowboy hat. We stated in the article that the big hat was submitted to the “Genius World Book of Records” We didn’t win the grand prize, which went to  the Norman Transcript for their headline that read, “Pecan growers should take care of their nuts year-round.”