In April Cassandra West joined The Chicago Reporter as its new web editor. Her impressive credentials include 17 years of experience as an editor at the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.  Since 2010, she has served as a part-time contributing editor for Catalyst Chicago.

West is the founder of Seeding Chicago, a blog that reports on local urban agriculture and food security.

On May 3, the Reporter staff was honored with seven Peter Lisagor Awards, recognizing exemplary reporting, graphics, photography and TV programming in 2012. The awards, sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club, recognizes top-notch journalism in Chicago. Current and former staff members who received accolades included Angela Caputo, Jonathan Gibby, Rui Kaneya, Kimbriell Kelly, Christine Wachter, and María Inés Zamudio

Reporter staffers Lucio Villa, Yana Kunichoff and Zamudio were part of a team honored for “best storytelling with data visualization” at MigraHack, a marathon for hackers aimed at developing open-access data projects and learning new digital tools.

The Reporter rounded out its 40th anniversary celebration with three events: 

  • A May 13 town hall forum, “Still in the Shadows?” featured an interview with U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois’ 4th Congressional District, as well as testimony from community members and immigration experts. 

  • On June 13, a 40th anniversary fundraiser featured a reception and live taping of the popular National Public Radio show, “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” More than 215 people attended. 

  • Issues Visualized,” a photography exhibit, ran June 20 to 22 at DreamBox Foto Studio in Humboldt Park and showcased the work of photojournalism fellows Jonathan Gibby and Lucio Villa.