Awards

The Chicago Reporter and its staff have received dozens of awards for journalistic excellence and public service, which have brought recognition to the publication and, sometimes, solutions. Honors include:

2013

The Chicago Reporter received a National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence award for “Abusing the Badge,” a May 2012 investigation by Angela Caputo, Rui Kaneya and Yisrael Shapiro. The story took the top prize in the investigative reporting category for magazines under 1 million circulation.

María Inéz Zamudio has been accepted as a New York Times Fellow for “The Changing Face of America: Inside the Latino Vote and Immigration Reform.”

The Chicago Reporter won seven Peter Lisagor Awards honoring exemplary reporting, graphics, photography and TV programming in 2012.

---Jonathan Gibby won an award for photography for “Slammed: Photos of Juvenile Justice”

---Maria Ines Zamudio, Rui Kaneya, Kate Everson, Kyla Gardner and Kaitlyn Mattson won an award for nondeadline reporting for “Dying for Attention”

---Christine Wachter won an award for graphics for “Subsidized housing, Wage Theft, Juvenile Justice”

---Angela Caputo, Rui Kaneya, Jonathan Gibby and Safiya Merchant won an award for in-depth reporting for “Minor Misconduct”

---Maria Ines Zamudio, Rui Kaneya, Crystal Vance Guerra and Samuel Charles won an award for in-depth reporting for “Waiting in Vain”

---Tasha Ransom, Kimbriell Kelly, Jay Sondheimer, Steve Long, Ken Goss and Bill Barth won an award for science, heath, technology, environmental reporting for WPWR-TV's “There is More to Being Gluten-Free”

---Tasha Ransom, Kimbriell Kelly, Jay Sondheimer, Steve Long, Russ Sherman and Bill Barth won an award for public affairs programming for WPWR-TV's “Experts Talk About Sexual Assault and How to Defend Yourself”

Megan Cottrell received a Studs Terkel Community Media Award. The honor goes to “outstanding media professionals for excellence in covering and reflecting Chicago’s diverse communities.”

2012

Angela Caputo and Kimbriell Kelly received a Sigma Delta Chi Award for journalism, a long-standing and prestigious national award given by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Reporter investigation looked at the way public housing residents are being kicked out by the Chicago Housing Authority’s One Strike policy.

The Chicago Reporter won eight of the Chicago Headline Club's Peter Lisagor Awards that honor exemplary reporting, design, graphics and photography.

---Angela Caputo, Kimbriell Kelly, Dylan Cinti and Alexis Pope won an award for in-depth reporting for the investigation "Out at First." If a CHA resident is arrested one time, the tenant is sent to eviction court. But a Chicago Reporter analysis found that the policy separates families and ousts some who were never convicted of breaking the law.

---Angela Caputo, Kimbriell Kelly, Phil Jacobson, Samantha Winslow won an award for in-depth reporting for the investigation "Without a Smoking Gun." Illinois is looking to crack down on gun crimes by sending more 15- and 16-year-olds into adult court. But a Chicago Reporter investigation raises questions over whether the youth headed to lockup are the hardened criminals politicians intended to put away.

---Angela Caputo, Kimbriell Kelly, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and Louis McGill won an award for business reporting for the investigation "Loopholes." Nearly $1 billion has been spent in the name of reversing blight in the Loop. But Chicagoans are still losing their jobs.

---Megan Cottrell, Rui Kaneya, Samuel Charles, Dylan Cinti, Caitlin Huston and Alexis Pope won an award for business reporting for the investigation "Empty Jackpot." Illinois celebrates its program to steer state contracts to businesses owned by minorities, women and people with a disability. But a closer look shows the state may not be fulfilling its goals.

---Tasha Ransom, Kimbriell Kelly, Nancy Langfels, Jay Sondheimer, Suzanne Dumetz-Cole and Russ Sherman, WPWR-TV and The Chicago Reporter won an award for public affairs programming in television, for a joint piece about Living with ADHD

---Joe Gallo and Jason Reblando won best photography for the issue “Secure Communities.”

---Christine Wachter won best design for “Loopholes, Empty Jackpot and The Allure of Secure.”

---Christine Wachter won best graphics for “Double whammy, On their way out, and Securing the country from immigrants.”

2011

Angela Caputo and Kimbriell Kelly were awarded a 2011 Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for “Stolen futures,” an investigative package about teens prosecuted as adults, mostly for nonviolent offenses.

Kelly Virella and Kimbriell Kelly, along with WBEZ’s Natalie Moore, won the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award in the multimedia collaboration category for “Taser timeout,” an examination of excessive Taser use at a Kankakee County jail where Cook County detainees are often sent.

Angela Caputo, Kimbriell Kelly and Alissa Groeninger won the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor award in the in-depth reporting in a magazine with circulation under 20,000 for “17”—an investigation of teens prosecuted as adults, mostly for nonviolent offenses.

Joe Gallo, Jon Lowenstein and Mark Abramson won the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award for photography in a magazine with circulation under 20,000 for their photography on the “17” investigation.

Christine Wachter won the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award for graphics in a magazine with circulation under 20,000 for her graphics documenting the path teens take from juvenile to adult court, the millions of dollars spent on job training yielding meager results and the overrepresentation of black youth in the child welfare system.

2010

Kelly Virella, Rui Kaneya and Kimbriell Kelly were awarded the Herman Kogan Award, in the print category, by the Chicago Bar Association for “Above the Law,” an investigation of the Illinois State Police’s practice of ignoring thousands of court orders to seal and expunge criminal records.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Kimbriell Kelly, Jessica Young and Jennifer Fernicola won the National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award in the specialty category for magazines with a circulation below 1 million for “Lower Standards,” which exposed racial disparities in the quality of care and staffing levels at Illinois nursing homes.

2009

The Community Media Workshop presented Alden Loury and three other journalists with the prestigious Studs Terkel Award, an honor meant to celebrate the legacy of the renowned Chicago journalist and others who embody his community-focused approach to journalism.

The Chicago Reporter’s “Fallen & Forgotten,” written by Fernando Diaz, was a finalist in the magazine/specialty publication category of the 2008 IRE Awards, presented by Investigative Reporters & Editors, a professional organization for investigative journalists.

Kelly Virella captured the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award in the business reporting category for non-daily newspaper, magazine or newspaper magazine section for “A Renter’s Nightmare,” an examination of lenders and mortgage service companies taking over thousands of foreclosed apartment buildings in the Chicago area and, in some cases, threatening to evict tenants without lawful notice and valid court orders.

Fernando Diaz, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Alden Loury, Rui Kaneya and Christiana Schmitz were presented awards for meritorious achievement by the Chicago Bar Association in its 2009 Herman Kogan Media Awards for installments of The Chicago Reporter’s “Children of the Incarcerated” series.

Jeff Kelly-Lowenstein and The Chicago Reporter were among the recipients of the National Citizen’s Coalition for Nursing Home Reform’s Public Service Award for their investigation showing widespread racial disparities in Illinois nursing homes and the human impact.

2008

Heartland Alliance presented The Chicago Reporter, the Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Radio and WTTW11, with the Midwest Light of Human Rights Award for the media collaboration “Chicago Matters: Beyond Borders,” a yearlong examination of immigration in the Chicago region.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and Rui Kaneya received a meritorious achievement award in the 19th annual Herman Kogan Media Awards sponsored by The Chicago Bar Association for “Missed Signals,” an investigation of Chicago Police officers sued for wrongful death in fatal shootings of civilians.

Fernando Diaz received the 2008 Justice and Journalism Fellowship for Ethnic Media from USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein was named a 2008 Ochberg Fellow for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

The Chicago Reporter was honored for "commitment and support of the advancement of Latinos with disabilities" by Radio Vida Independiente of the Progress Center for Independent Living and the Illinois Department of Human Services for its investigation of undocumented immigrant workers denied workers’ compensation benefits.

Angelica Herrera received honorable mention in the English-language Hispanic Immigration Stories category of the 2008 Felix Varela Awards for “The Best of All Bad Choices,” an examination of the limited immigration options available to Mexican migrants.

Fernando Díaz was been named the 2008 Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

The Chicago Headline Club presented its 2008 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting to Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and Rui Kaneya along with ColorLines’ Tram Nguyen for the series “Missed Signals,” an investigation of Chicago Police officers sued for wrongful death in fatal shootings of civilians.

Kimbriell Kelly and Alden Loury won the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award for business reporting in a trade or specialty magazine, newspaper or newsletter for “High Price of Homeownership,” an examination of wide racial disparities in high-cost mortgage lending.

Kimbriell Kelly, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and Angelica Herrera won the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Award for for in-depth reporting in a trade or specialty magazine, newspaper or newsletter for the Reporter’s three-part series on immigration.

2007

The Reporter won the Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. The national award was won in the category of magazine series for the Reporter's 2006 story, "51 Cents an Hour" by Kimbriell Kelly.

The Reporter was honored with a Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club. Kimbriell Kelly and Angelica Herrera won in business reporting category for their "May/June 2006 story " on human trafficking.

Alden Loury was chosen as a Jennings Fellow in the inaugural Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution.

2006

Former interns Amy Rainey and Whitney Woodward won second-place honors from the Society of Professional Journalists for their article on public housing.

The Reporter earned the prestigious Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, the highest recognition given by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for reporting on racial issues.

Reporter staff members were honored twice with Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club. Sarah Karp, Rupa Shenoy and Robert VerBruggen won in in-depth reporting category for a series on ex-offenders (March 2005, May/June 2005, July/August 2005). In the business category, Kimbriell Kelly won for her story, "Rising values," (July/August 2005).

The Reporter earned a 2005 Utne Independent Press Award in the Local Coverage category. Utne editors describe each issue of the Reporter as “hard-hitting, readable, and relevant.” The national award honors the best of independent journalism.

2005

The Reporter, along with The Residents' Journal, was honored with the New America Award, a new national award given by The Society of Professional Journalists, for "Deadly Moves" (July/August 2004). The award honors collaborative public service journalism by ethnic and mainstream news media working to explore issues of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States.

Sarah Karp was honored with the 2005 Sidney Hillman Foundation Award in the magazine category for her work in the 2004 Chicago Matters series, "Our Next Generation." The Hillman award is presented to reporting that investigates issues related to social justice and progressive public policy.

The Reporter, along with The Residents' Journal, was honored with the Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club, in the medial collaboration category for the July/August 2004 series on public housing.

2004

Alysia Tate earned the "You Make a Difference" award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights, Region V. The agency praised Tate for her "enormous contribution to the contemporary understanding of the role of race and poverty in the Chicago area" during its commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act.

Reporter staff members were honored twice with Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club. Sarah Karp and Leah Samuel won in in-depth reporting category for a series on ex-offenders (October 2003). In features category, Mick Dumke won for his profile, "Power to his people," (December 2003).

The National Association of Black Journalists Chicago Chapter awarded Sarah Karp and Mick Dumke the Award for Excellence in Print News for Karp's "Foster Case Ends in Disaster" (February 2003) and Dumke's "Power to his people," (December 2003).

Alysia Tate was one of 35 emerging leaders from metropolitan Chicago selected to participate in Leadership Greater Chicago’s 2004 Fellows Program. The yearlong program, which aims to increase civic participation, exposes a diverse group of leaders from different sectors to key issues facing the region and exposes them to people charged with addressing some of our most pressing challenges.

Alysia Tate was selected for the Poynter Institute's 2004 Ethics Fellows Class, a group of 17 journalists who will meet to explore key issues for producing ethical journalism over the year. The group will also explore ethical issues in articles or essays for Poynter Online and the Poynter Report, and develop techniques for coaching ethics back in their newsrooms.

2003

The Native American Journalists Association recognized Stephanie Williams' story, "Native Land: American Indians Leave Uptown Behind," (July/August 2002) with a 2nd Place award for best feature story by a non-native writer in their national 2003 Native Media Awards.

Alden K. Loury earned a national Unity Award in Media from Lincoln University of Missouri for investigative reporting in his three-part series on the War on Drugs (January, March, May 2002).

Brian J. Rogal was named a finalist in the 2002 Harry Chapin Media Awards, sponsored by World Hunger Year, for his series of stories on the CHA’s Service Connector program.

Five Reporter stories were named finalists in Peter Lisagor Awards, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club.

2002

Alysia Tate was named in the 2002 “40 Under 40” listing in Crain’s Chicago Business, which highlights the region’s top up-and-coming leaders.

Sarah Karp was named a runner-up in the 2002 Casey Medals for Distinguished Coverage of Children and Family Issues. Karp’s February 2002 story, “State Payments Fund Unlicensed Care for Poor Children,” focused on the effects of welfare reform on the region’s child-care system.

Stephanie Williams earned a first-place award in the personality profiles category from the National Federation of Press Women for her July/August 2001 story, “Giving Voice to the Anonymous.” The piece focused on Chicago Historical Society President Lonnie G. Bunch, the first African American to head one of the city’s non-ethnic museums.

Three Reporter staff members earned top honors in the 2002 Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest, sponsored by the Illinois Woman’s Press Association: Stephanie Williams for her profile of Chicago Historical Society President Lonnie G. Bunch, Rui Kaneya for his coverage of drug treatment in Cook County and Sarah Karp for her investigation of “crack babies.”

Reporter staff members were honored four times at Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club. Jim McGowan won for his layout and design of the 2001 Chicago Matters series, “Education Matters.” The annual series, sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust, also earned a public service award for staff members at the Reporter and its sister publication, CATALYST: Voices of Chicago School Reform. In the reporting category, Alden K. Loury, Micah Holmquist and Ellyn Ong won for the two-part “Juries and Justice” series. The series also earned a public service award for its online coverage, presented to Loury and Rui Kaneya.

The Reporter, along with sister publication CATALYST: Voices of Chicago School Reform, has been honored with the 2001 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Newsletter Journalism for the 2001 Chicago Matters series, "Education Matters" (April, May, June 2001). The national award, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, recognizes the work of Reporter writers Mick Dumke, Sarah Karp and Brian Rogal; and of Catalyst writers Liz Duffrin, Maureen Kelleher and Dan Weissmann.

Three Reporter stories were among those honored March 15 by Investigative Reporters and Editors. Named as 2001 IRE Award finalists in the magazine/specialty publications category were the two-part “Juries and Justice” series (April, July/August 2001) by Alden K. Loury, with interns Micah Holmquist, Vince Kong and Ellyn Ong contributing, and “Illinois FIRST: Swing Districts Favored Over Minority Areas” (November/December 2001) by writers Beth Musgrave and Jennifer Whitson, with reporter Pamela A. Lewis and intern Cyril Mychalejko contributing. The Reporter’s sister publication, CATALYST: Voices for Chicago School Reform, was the third finalist in the category, in which no winner was named.

2001

Laura Washington received a Trailblazer award by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists for her contributions to the industry and the role she has played in supporting and mentoring young journalists.

Sarah Karp earned a CABJ award, for her May 2000 story on the Illinois Juvenile Transfer Law. Karp earned first place in the Enterprise category for publications with circulations less than 150,000.

Mick Dumke, Brian Rogal and Sarah Karp, along with Dan Weissman, Maureen Kelleher, Bret Schaeffer and Elizabeth Duffrin of CATALYST: Voices of Chicago School Reform, were awarded the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for "Chicago Matters: Education Matters." The three-part series focused on inner-city schooling, children and families.

The Reporter staff was awarded two Chicago Bar Association Herman Kogan Media Awards for Meritorious Achievement. The associated sited the Reporter's exemplary reporting on legal affairs and justice issues, specifically its work on "Fighting the Odds: The Plight of Young Black Men" and "State Drug Law Hits City Teens, Minorites."

Chicago Headline Club honored the Reporter with two Peter Lisagor Awards. Jim McGowan of Desktop Edit Shop Inc. earned an award for his layout and design. Rui Kaneya and Pamela A. Lewis also won for "Transit Woes: The CTA's Aging Bus Fleet" in the Online Public Service Category.

Carlos Hernández Gómez, along with interns Kimiyo Naka and Ellyn M. Ong, earned Special Minority Fellowship Awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., a national professional group. The fellowships included annual memberships and grants to support their attendance at the IRE annual conference, held this year in Chicago from June 14 to 17.

Alysia Tate and Sarah Karp earned second place awards in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2001 Communications Contest. Tate was honored for her government and politics coverage in 2000 and Karp for her May 2000 article, “State Drug Law Hits City Teens, Minorities.”

The International Press Club of Chicago inducted Laura Washington into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame. The club honored six “living legends,” including Henry Kisor and Taylor Bell of the Chicago Sun-Times; Joel Daly of WLS-TV, Channel 7; Tim Weigel, WBBM-TV, Channel 2; and Edward Baumann, who has worked for several Chicago newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune.

The Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association honored Sarah Karp and former Reporter intern Leah Bobal with a first place award for the investigative report, “1,000 Feet,” the radio version of the May 2000 article, “State Drug Law Hits City Teens, Minorities,” which was produced in collaboration with WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Radio.

Laura S. Washington was among seven journalists honored at a Women in History Month celebration at the Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. She received the 5th Annual Women in History Month Award for her work in print media. The awards were sponsored by the Alpha Gamma Pi Organization, The Metropolitan Cluster, The National Hook-Up of Black Women Inc. and the Chicago Urban League.

2000

Alden K. Loury received the Crime and Communities Media Fellowship from the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute. The fellowship, which includes a $45,000 grant, will support Loury's work on a series on how African American men and their families have fared in the nation's "War on Drugs."

Sarah Karp received a Journalism Fellowship in Child and Family Policy from the University of Maryland's College of Journalism. Karp used her three-month fellowship and $5,000 award to examine the "crack babies" phenomenon for the Reporter.

The Chicago Chapter of the National Organization of Women presented its 2000 Excellence in Media Award to Laura S. Washington for "reporting on issues others often ignore, and because she covers issues with an understanding and respect for the people and places behind the stories."

Southwest Women Working Together, a community organization that focuses on domestic violence and other social issues, honored Washington and Tate with excellence awards for their work on women's rights and social justice.

The Reporter's staff won two First Place Awards from the Inland Press Association. One, the 2000 Community Leadership Award, was for thier "Special Report on Englewood," and the second, the Local News Writing Award for Investigative Journalism, was awarded to writer Rebecca Anderson for her report, "Policing their Own," an examination of police misconduct in Chicago.

A National Association of Black Journalists' Award was presented to the Reporter's Web site for Best Online News Project Award for New Media.

Rebecca Anderson won the first place prize in the Newsletter Journalism Award category from the National Press Club for the September 1999 story, "Policing their Own."

Chicago Women in Publishing presented the Reporter with two 2000 Excellence Awards, one for its December 1999 article "A Community's Trauma" and one for the December Web site's special section on Englewood.

The December 1999 Web site's special section on Englewood won first place in the National Association of Black Journalists' Best Online News Project Category for New Media.

Alysia Tate was honored with the 2000 Award in Excellence for "A Community's Trauma" in the Chicago Association of Black Journalists' magazine category.

The Reporter won four awards on April 28 in the Chicago Headline Club's annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism. Honors went to Jim McGowan of Desktop Edit Shop Inc. for his layout and design. The Reporter staff also won for “Chicago Matters: Examining Health” in the Public Service, Newsletter Category. And the December 1999 “A Special Report on Englewood” was honored in the Online Public Service General Interest Category
and the Reporting Newsletter Category.

On March 24 Editor and Publisher Laura S. Washington was honored with the 1999 Harry Chapin Media Awards for Lifetime Achievement. Established by the anti-hunger nonprofit group World Hunger Year, the award is given to journalists for their work on hunger and poverty-related issues. Washington was recognized for her 20-year journalism career devoted to “groundbreaking coverage of race and poverty.” The organization said of Washington, “Her work has led to policy reforms which have dramatically improved the lives of Chicago’s poor.”

1999

Danielle Gordon and Alysia Tate received second place honors in the Inland Press Association’s 1999 Local News Writing Contest. Gordon was recognized for her March story, “Death Behind Bars, ” and Tate won for the February report, “Daley Woos Minority Voters with Rich Rewards.”

Laura S. Washington was honored for her exemplary service, commitment and leadership in the non-profit sector by a 1999-2000 Community Service Fellowship from the Chicago Community Trust. Washington's fellowship includes a stipend of up to $100,000 to help examine ways to give a greater voice to low-income and minority communities.

The Reporter won the Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. The national award was won in the category of magazine series for the Reporter's 1998 series, "Chicago Matters: Our Region, Our Community."

The Reporter’s Web site was honored with an Excellence Award for Online Publications from Chicago Women in Publishing. Glenbard Graphics and Tim Prentiss of The Electronic Cottage created the site. Between February 1998 and March 1999, Managing Editor Eugenia Daniels oversaw its strategic planning and administration. In December 1998 Danielle Gordon took over creating content for the site.

Danielle Gordon was a finalist in the 1998 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists for the September 1998 story, "The Usual Suspects." The award program is sponsored by The Mollie Parnis Livingston Foundation of New York City.

The Reporter was named one of five finalists by the New York-based World Hunger Year’s 1998 Harry Chapin Media Award for its series, "The Transformation of Public Housing." The winner will be announced June 24.

The Reporter won four Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism on May 7 for stories published during 1998. They included a public service award for Natalie Pardo's "Sex Abuse Cases Decline, but Blacks Still Main Victims," an honor for features writing for "Evanston, Oak Park Struggle to Keep Racial Balance" by Alysia Tate and two awards for last year's three-part series "Chicago Matters: Our Region, Our Community."

The Reporter was recognized with two 1999 Unity Awards in Media, a national honor that recognizes outstanding coverage of minority issues, problems and concerns. The awards are sponsored by the Department of Communications at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., which has specialized in journalism education for 50 years. One award went to Natalie Pardo for her story on sex abuse against children. The second award was shared by Alysia Tate and Sofia Javed for their articles, "Wanted: Minority Voters for Governor's Race" and "Latinos do an about-face, support
Poshard," previewing race in last fall's election for Governor.

Laura S. Washington was honored on April 21 with the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop "in recognition of longstanding excellence in reporting about Chicago's diverse communities and encouraging citizens helping to shape the city's future."

Rui Kaneya won a fellowship from Investigative Reporters and Editors to cover the group’s annual conference June 3-6 in Kansas City.

1998

Inland Press Association Local Public Affairs News Award to Natalie Pardo for her investigation of the sexual abuse of women and children. The judges said the series "set a standard of excellence in its enterprise in uncovering the pattern of neglect toward minority victims of sexual assault in Chicago."

The Press Club of Atlantic City’s National Headliner Award to Burney Simpson for his June 1997 story, "Zoned Out," which looked at Chicago’s Empowerment Zone program.

Bernadine C. Washington Human Relations Award was presented to Laura S. Washington (no relation) by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Named for the African American radio pioneer, it goes to individuals who've made outstanding contributions to the improvement of human relations in the communications industry.

The Archdiocese of Chicago Communications Award to Natalie Pardo for her article on the problem of sexual assault and abuse of women and children. The judges said the article "helped us understand the disturbing facts, political realities and personal dimensions of this public issue."

Chicago Women in Publishing Award for Excellence in Writing to the 1997 series, "Chicago Matters: What's Working?" The series included an analysis of the "Invisible Jobless" and an investigation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service by Danielle Gordon, as well as Simpson’s "Zoned Out."

Two Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism,Chicago's most prestigious journalism contest. Third place went to "Zoned Out"
for public service and to the "Chicago Matters" series for layout/design.

National Association of Hispanic Journalists Award: Danielle Gordon’s story on the INS was a third place winner.

National Association of Black Journalists Award: "Zoned Out" earned a second place honor.

Vivian Castleberry Award finalist from the Association for Women Journalists Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter for Natalie Pardo's story on sexual assault.

1997

The Ray Bruner Science Writing Award from the American Public Health Association for Brian Rogal’s article on accidental deaths. It includes a $1,500 prize.

The Herman Kogan Media Award for Rekha Balu’s story, "Republican Judges: The New Minority," which examined the qualifications and political activities of judicial candidates vying in the March, 1996 Cook County judicial subcircuit races.

The National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award for Brian Rogal’s report. The NABJ judges wrote "Juvenile homicides grab most of the media attention, but Rogal in his disturbing story tells us about the alarming number of black children who die from unintentional injuries. ...It should be a call to arms for us to make our homes and communities safer for our young ones."

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism for Natalie Pardo’s series on lead poisoning among Chicago’s poorest children. Lauded for its public service, the series documented lead violations in Chicago’s public housing.

The Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago to Laura S. Washington. The award is presented annually to a woman who has "demonstrated commitment to promote racial justice and work toward the elimination of racism."

The Media Advocacy Award to Laura S. Washington and The Chicago Reporter from the Illinois Association of Non-Profit Organizations "for media support of the Illinois Non-Profit community."

Lincoln University's Unity Award for Brian Rogal's article "Death Comes by Accident in Poor, Black Neighborhoods." The article discovered higher rates of accidental death among minorities and the poor, especially young African Americans.

1996

National Press Club Journalism Award for Burney Simpson's voter registration series. The contest judges said Simpson "told a tale of ineptitude on the part of the Chicago Board of Elections. In a city that plays fast and loose with electioneering, Simpson found gross inaccuracies in voter count, especially in minority precincts." The series lead the Board to conduct an unprecedented canvass of the city's voters, purging 250,000 invalid names from the rolls.

Chicago Council of Lawyers' Special Recognition Award for the Reporter's coverage of the judiciary sub circuit elections in the Spring of 1996. The package of articles, "Republican Judges: The New Minority" was a comprehensive analysis of the system of electing judges by district that was first established in 1992. The articles were written by Rekha Balu.

Chicago Women in Publishing's Honorable Mention to the Reporter.

Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism for Natalie Pardo's series on lead poisoning. The award honors the distinguished coverage of disadvantaged at-risk children and their families. The contest judges said Pardo's series was "strong, traditional investigative reporting which shed light on the important problem of the risks of lead paint to children." After the articles ran, the Chicago Housing Authority announced major reforms in their lead prevention and education programs.

Inland Press Association's Local Public Affairs second prize to Natalie Pardo for her three-part series on the dangers of lead poisoning among Chicago children.

The Chicago Bar Association's Herman Kogan Media Awards honorary mention for Robert O'Neill's "Blacks, Hispanics Left Out Of Power Lunch." The article analyzed the byzantine dealings that surrounded the drawing of Chicago's current aldermanic map, and the lawsuit that followed.

Clarion Award from Women in Communications for "The Wrong Side of the Track." Danielle Gordon's article looked at deplorable living conditions for workers at Arlington International Racecourse. Subsequent to the article state lawmakers made money available for improving the living conditions of the "backstretch" workers.

Society of Professional Journalist's Sigma Delta Chi Award to Danielle Gordon for her story on poor living conditions at Arlington International Racecourse, "The Wrong Side of the Track."

Lincoln University's Unity Award to Burney Simpson's article "Voter Registration: Too Good to be True", which exposed inflated voter rolls at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

1995

Chicago Headline Club's Peter Lisagor Award to Danielle Gordon for "The Wrong Side of the Track," a story on the poor living conditions at Arlington International Racecourse.

Inland Press Association's Local Public Affairs First Prize Award for the "The Wrong Side of the Track" article.

Primary Care Journalism Award by the Pew Charitable Trust to Paul Cuadros for "The Pulse of Reform", his series on health care reform. The series looked at health care delivery to the poor and graduate medical education.

Matrix Award for Outstanding Achievement in Communications from Women in Communications to Laura Washington.

Chicago Association of Black Journalists' Award for Excellence in Journalism to Mary Abowd for her story "Trading Type for Bites." The article found that Chicago schools had used poverty funds to assemble more computers per students than suburban schools, but the city lagged behind the suburbs in instruction and quality of the computers.

The Archdiocese of Chicago Cardinal's Communication Award to Natalie Pardo for "State Neglects Cook County's Poor Kids", which showed how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services takes longer to deliver services to impoverished children in Cook County.

1994

Inland Press Association's Local Public Affairs News Contest awarded to The Chicago Reporter for "Beyond Chicago". The special issue looked at Chicago's suburbs and was written by Paul Cuadros, Paul Caine, Ray Quintanilla, and Helena Sundman, Sharon McGowan.

Archdiocese of Chicago's Communications Award to Ruth Richman for her story "Failure to Communicate", an examination of the availability of translating service at hospitals and clinics. The article found that few hospitals and clinics in the Chicago area use interpreters leaving many immigrants and refugees at medical risk.

Peter Lisagor Award for "Best Newsletter" to The Chicago Reporter for the 1993 documentary "The Cost of Racism", and for Paul Caine's "The Dream that Died." Caine's article looked at the decline and fall of the Federal Housing Program's loan program.

The Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta chi Award to The Chicago Reporter for "Beyond Chicago", a series on changes in race and poverty in the metropolitan area.

The Unity Award for investigative reporting from Lincoln University, in Columbia, Missouri, to The Chicago Reporter for the coverage of minority issues.

National Association of Black Journalists: two awards for "The Cost of Racism" special issue and Paul Caine's series on the Federal Housing Administration.

The Ohio State Award from Ohio State University for "The Cost of Racism" documentary, a joint effort by The Reporter and WTTW/Channel 11. The award is one of broadcast journalism's highest honors.

1993

Inland Press Association's Local Public Affairs News Contest to Thomas Corfman's article "New Police Plan Faces Obstacles," which found that the city's vaunted new community policing programs was threatened by an obsolete method of allocating patrol officers which favored white districts over minority ones. The judges praised Corfman for his "tenacity and enterprise in surmounting obstacles created by the police department's refusal to provide relevant records."

Illinois Ethnic Coalition's American Pluralism Award to Laura Washington for her "outstanding work as editor of The Chicago Reporter."

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist, Sigma Delta Chi, to Muriel Whetstone for the story "'Just say no' Program Says 'Yes' to Public Funds." The story revealed hundreds of thousands of public dollars had been given to a group promoting sexual abstinence in schools, but that state officials did not know how the money was being spent.

Asian American Bar Association's Public Affairs Award for "outstanding and reliable coverage of events and issues important to the Association and its members." Awarded to Thomas Corfman.

1992

The Chicago Bar Association 1992 Gavel Award for "Troubled Courts, Troubled Kids." Reporter Laurie Abraham's investigation documented how housands of children in the stare's care were denied the chance to grow up in stable, permanent homes.

The Archdiocese of Chicago Cardinal's Communication Awards for the series "Housing in Chicago" by Curtis Lawrence and Lisa Capitanini, and Rachel Jones' article on Illinois Medicaid hospice care program. Lawrence and Capitanini's two-part series examined problems at the Chicago Department of Housing. Jones' "State Budget Crisis Leaves Terminal Care for the Poor Hanging in the Balance" looked at the state's plans to eliminate a hospice program for the terminally ill and use that money to pay for some unpaid state bills.

The Chicago Bar Association 1992 Kogan Media Award for Laurie Abraham's comprehensive report: "Troubled Courts, Troubled Kids."

The Chicago Headline Club, Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' Peter Lisagor Awards to James Ylisela, Jr., Lisa Capitanini and Ted Pearson for their work on a series of stories looking at Commonwealth Edison. Ylisela and Capitanini's took a critical look at the giant utility's reliability in the city, and uncovered a secret confidentiality agreement the company had worked out with the city to avoid embarrassing disclosures regarding its service. Pearson looked at the utility's lackluster record in hiring minorities.

The Chicago Women in Publishing Award to Lisa Capitanini for her story "Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Epidemic in minority communities". The article found that sexually transmitted diseases had reached proportions among Chicago's minority populations.

1991

The National Hospice Organization's President's Award of Excellence to Rachel L. Jones for "State Budget Crisis Leaves Terminal Care for the Poor hanging in the Balance."

The Chicago Association of Black Journalists Print Media Award for Laurie Abraham's story, "City Balks as Billboards Overrun Poor Areas." Abraham found that billboard blight in poor and minority neighborhoods was in part due to the city's failure to enforce building and zoning laws.

The Peter Lisagor Award for Public Service Reporting, from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, for "City Balks as Billboards Overrun Poor Areas," by Laurie Abraham.

The Chicago Women In Publishing 18th Annual Award In Recognition of Excellence of Achievement In Publishing Arts was awarded to The Chicago Reporter.

The Women In Communications Clarion Award to Laurie Abraham for "City Balks as Billboards Overrun Poor Areas," and the series "Sick and Poor In Chicago." The series followed a West Side family during the course of a year, showing what it means to be both sick and poor in Chicago.

The Women In Communications Clarion Award for the story, "West Side Loses in Clout City," by Laura S. Washington and Curtis Lawrence. Looking beyond the myths and stereotypes, the story looked at Chicago's West Side and South Side black communities, finding real differences in income, economic development and clout with City Hall.

The Women In Communications Clarion Award for "Eighty Percent of Chicago Area Recruits are Minorities," by Rachel Jones. The article analyzed U.S. Armed Forces recruiting in the Chicago area on the eve of the Gulf War, and found the services drew heavily on minorities, especially in the city.

The Black Women Hall of Fame Foundation, Kizzy Image andAchievement Award was won by Laura S. Washington.

The July issue of the Dollars and Sense magazine honored Laura Washington as one of "America's Up & Coming Business and Professional Women."

The Utne Reader named the Reporter as a finalist in regional reporting in its Third Annual Alternative Press Award competition.

Independent Voters of Illinois, Harold Washington Award.

1989

The Chicago Women In Publishing 16th Annual Award In Recognition Of Excellence Of Achievement In Publishing Arts.

1988

The Peter Lisagor Award for Public Service Reporting, from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, for the story, "Enrollment Down, Taxes Up at Chicago City Colleges." Jean Franczyk and Valerie Phillips, looked at Chicago City Colleges and found enrollment had plummeted and buildings stood nearly empty as taxes soared.

1987

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the series, "Race in Chicago, What's Ahead?" Reporters John Schrag and Ben Joravsky looked at what lay ahead as Mayor Harold Washington began his second term. The two stories looked at the fractious issue of affirmative action and hiring by the city, and examined the possible rift within Washington's winning rainbow coalition as blacks took the lion's share of city jobs.

1986

The Jacob Scher Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting from Women in Communications, Inc., for Martha Allen's story, "Asbestos in CHA Apartments Poses Possible Health Hazards." The article found that thousands of residents at CHA's Ida B. Wells public housing development may have been a risk from crumbling pipe insulation containing asbestos.

1985

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for investigative reporting at a non-daily publication for Kevin Blackistone's enterprising stories on The Woodlawn Organization and "Racial Violence and Harassment Escalate in Chicago Area." Blackistone looked at The Woodlawn Organization as it celebrated 25 years of community service and found financial woes clouding the agency's silver anniversary. Blackistone's article on racial violence found firebombings and stoning attacks on the homes of black families living in white neighborhoods.

Trust Community Service Award for Excellence in Reporting, for Jorge Casuso and Eduardo Camacho's "Hispanics in Chicago." The four-part series profiled Chicago's various Hispanic communities, looking among others, at Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.

1984

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, for Education at South Shore High: A $4.5 Million Flop." Ann Grimes and Laura Washington, working in conjunction with CBS for a national documentary on education, spent eight hours a day for month at the high school and conducted exhaustive search of school records to document just how bad an average public school in Chicago was.

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, to Laura Washington and Cassiette A. West for "Gallant Voice for Justice Loses Battle Against Despair." The story examined the short life Leanita McClain, who became the first black member of The Chicago Tribune's editorial board at age 30. McClain committed suicide just two years later.

"Stick-O-Type" Award for "Education at South Shore High: A $4.5 Million Flop." Awarded to Ann Grimes and Laura Washington.

"Stick-O-Type" Award for Ann Grimes' story "Public Teachers Pick Private Schools For Own Kids." The article revealed that Chicago public school teachers were twice as likely to send their own children to private schools as Chicago parents.

Education Writers Association's National Award for Education Reporting for the "Education at South Shore High: A $4.5 Million Flop," by Laura Washington and Ann Grimes.

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the hicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, for the Reporter's four-part series on "Race & Poverty in Chicago," by Tom Brune, Eduardo Camacho, Ronnie Scheier and Willie Cole.

The Jacob Scher Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting from Women in Communications, Inc. for "Full Service-Less Service." Laura Washington and James Ylisela, Jr. exposed inequities in the Chicago Police Department's police deployment policies.

The Public Service Award from the Chicago Association of Black Journalists to the Reporter for "coverage that contributed to a better understanding of and had a significant impact on black communities in the Chicago area."

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best investigative reporting of 1983 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. The Guild cited Ben Joravsky's "Dumpers Swamp City's Southeast Side With Noxious, Toxic Waste." The investigation found a concentration of toxic waste dumps on Chicago's Southeast Side.

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best series in 1983 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. The award cited the Reporter's "Race & Poverty in Chicago" four-part series.

1983

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best business reporting in 1982 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. The award cited the Reporter's 7th annual corporate survey, "Top Firms' Minority Employment Drops Again, But Purchasing Up," by Joanna Brown, which found minority hiring in Chicago down for the second straight year.

1982

The Thomas & Eleanor Wright Award to the Reporter, for outstanding service to the people of Chicago from the City of Chicago's Commission on Human Relations.

Special recognition Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for Kevin Blackistone and Ronni Scheier's "Godfather in the Ghetto: State Lottery Win Bet On Minority Gamblers." The article found that the Daily Game, a lottery game akin to the "numbers" game, was most intensively marketed in minority Chicago neighborhoods.

Outstanding Public Service Award from the Chicago Association of Black Journalists to the Reporter.

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best investigative reporting in 1981 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. The award cited "Crisis Management: City Paramedics Must Gamble With Out- of-District Runs; Areas Left Unprotected While New Ambulances Sit Idle," by James Ylisela, Jr. The article found paramedics working within a system that was spread too thin, while brand new ambulances sat
idle in garages.

The Excellence in Journalism Award from the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance, to Acting Managing Editor Ronni Scheier for her reporting on abortion issues related to minorities and the poor. One article "Despite Obstacles, Most Poor Women Pay for their Abortions," found that despite reduced funding for abortions, many women, most black and in their teens, borrow, scrimp and even steal to finance the procedure.

1981

The Helen Cody Baker Award for Public Service from Social Service Communicators, Inc., to Ronni Scheier "in recognition of an outstanding contribution toward better understanding of the medical & social welfare services in metropolitan Chicago."

The Ray Bruner Science Writing Fellowship Award from the American Public Association for excellence in reporting public health issues to Ronni Scheier.

1980

The National Mass Media Medallion Award from the National Conference of Christians & Jews, to the reporter "for outstanding contributions to human rights and to intergroup understanding and cooperation in metropolitan Chicago."

The Jacob Scher Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting from Women in Communications, Inc., for Tom Brune and Lawrence J. Tell's article "City's Low-interest Home Loans Bypass Minority Communities; Blacks, Latinos Buy In White Area, Secure One-third of Loans." The article found that less than seven percent of a $100 million low-interest mortgage program were for home-purchases in black and Latino neighborhoods.

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, to Alfredo S. Lainier for "Attack On Cook County Hospital Threat To Chicago's Poor." Lainier looked at a proposal to settle Cook County Hospital's financial woes by shutting it down.

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best editorial writing in 1979 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. This award cited John McDermott's editorial on the changes in Chicago's race relations in the 1970s.

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best business reporting in 1979 for Lawrence J. Tell's "The Chicago Reporter's 1979 Annual Corporate Survey."

1979

The Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism from the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, for Sharon B. Gelder's articles about the high fire death rate in Chicago and the problems of the Chicago Fire Department. The series of articles found that fire deaths in the city's black areas were almost twice as high as deaths in white areas.

The Unity in Media Award from the Journalism School of Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri for Nancy Fischer Schulte's articles on the incidence and causes of high infant mortality in Chicago. The articles found that Chicago's newborn death rate was the second worst among the five largest cities in the U.S.

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best public service reporting in 1978 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. This award cited Sharon B. Gelder's articles on Chicago's fire deaths.

The "Stick-O-Type" Award for the best investigative reporting in 1978 from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. For Nancy Fischer Schulte's series on infant mortality.

1978

James P. McGuire Award from the Illinois Division of the American Civil Liberties Union to the Reporter for "thorough, incisive and courageous reporting on racial minority issues in the Chicago area."

1975

The James Brown IV Award of Excellence for Outstanding Community Service from the Chicago Trust, awarded the Reporter.

1974

The Michelle Clark Award from the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University for the Reporter's "outstanding contributions to race relations reporting."

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