Four renowned Chicago journalists from print, broadcast and digital media, and a philanthropist who heads the Field Foundation of Illinois have been named winners of 2016 Studs Terkel Community Media Awards.
Presented by Public Narrative, the nonprofit organization formerly called Community Media Workshop, the prestigious awards honor excellence in covering and reflecting Chicago’s diverse communities. They’re named for Studs Terkel, the late author and broadcaster who was the group’s guiding spirit.
The five winners, announced Monday, are:
- Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune general assignment reporter who focuses on urban affairs, youth culture, housing, and minority communities and relations.
- Sarah Karp, senior investigator at the Better Government Association and former reporter for Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago Reporter and the Daily Southtown. Karp’s stories led directly to the indictment of former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett for her role in a $23 million bribery scheme.
- Richard Steele, veteran Chicago broadcaster who recently retired after 27 years as host at Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5.
- Cecilia Vaisman, late journalist and multimedia producer for NPR who taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, including audio documentary and bilingual reporting classes. Vaisman, who died last September, is the first Terkel Award recipient to be named posthumously.
- Winner of the 2016 Studs Terkel Uplifting Voices Award (presented to a supporter of innovative journalism, issues reporting, and storytelling to lift up community voices) is Aurie Pennick, executive director and treasurer of the Field Foundation of Illinois. A crusading attorney and philanthropist, she also directed Chicago’s first battered women’s shelter and worked as a leader in the fair housing movement.
“Studs would have loved this group,” Susy Schultz, president of Public Narrative, said in a statement. “These five winners have added in special ways to the discussion of such important issues as race, housing, education, culture and heritage. All have truly enhanced Chicago storytelling.
“They also show why it is crucial to support journalism in a city such as this, particularly in these pivotal times. Good, strong journalism is a foundation of democracy. It can help us find the truth and the issues that matter—and hear voices that might otherwise be forgotten."
The awards will be presented at a fundraiser April 7 at the National Hellenic Museum, 333 South Halsted Street.