Laura Eastes Akers ’08 wins two first-place SPJ awards in Oklahoma

The Elon University alumna was recognized for her news coverage for a weekly newspaper serving the Oklahoma City metro area.

Laura Eastes Akers ’08 was awarded first place in general news reporting and business reporting at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Oklahoma chapter awards banquet presented on May 19 in Tulsa.

Laura Eastes Akers '08
​Akers captured first place in the general news reporting category for “391 percent loans,” an in-depth look at how the payday loan industry impacts Oklahoma City residents. In addition, she earned first place in the business reporting category for “Blurred lines,” a post-mortem on Tate Publishing and Enterprises, whose founders were charged with multiple counts of embezzlement in 2017.

For nearly three years, Akers, who writes under the name Laura Eastes, served as a news writer for Oklahoma Gazette, a weekly newspaper serving the Oklahoma City metro area. She previously served as an education reporter for The Ardmoreite in southern Oklahoma and news reporter for The Elk Citian in western Oklahoma. Her newspaper career began at The Southwest Times in Liberal, Kansas.

A Cincinnati native, Akers lives in Oklahoma City and studied journalism at Elon. In July, she will complete a Master of Arts degree in the study of nonprofit leadership from Oklahoma City University.