Five named to Chicago Women’s Journalism Hall of Fame

Ida B. Wells

Five notable Chicago women — including a mother and her daughter — have been named the first honorees in the new Chicago Women’s Journalism Hall of Fame.

All five will be inducted Wednesday by the Association for Women Journalists Chicago, founder of the online tribute to “individuals who have made outstanding career contributions to Chicago journalism in areas which uplift and support women.”

The five inaugural inductees are:

Tracy Baim, editor and publisher of Windy City Times, which she co-founded in 1985. Baim also was managing editor of Gay Life Newspaper and executive director of Chicago Gay History Project.

Joy Darrow, writer, teacher, photojournalist, reporter for the Chicago Tribune and managing editor of the Chicago Defender, as well as human rights and racial justice activist. Darrow, who died in 1996, was Tracy Baim’s mother.

Ellen Warren, columnist for the Chicago Tribune whose career at three Chicago newspapers stretched from City Hall to the White House and from the presidential campaign trail to the Middle East.

Laura Washington, columnist for the Sun-Times, political analyst for ABC 7, former editor and publisher of the Chicago Reporter and former Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor at DePaul University. Washington also served as deputy press secretary to the late Mayor Harold Washington (no relation).

Ida B. Wells, investigative journalist famed as a civil rights activist, anti-lynching crusader, suffragist and urban reformer. Wells, who died in 1931, recently was memorialized by the Chicago City Council, which voted to rename a portion of Congress Parkway for her.

The Chicago Women’s Journalism Hall of Fame, billed as an “online museum and monument,” was conceived and developed through a crowdfunding initiative.

AWJ Chicago

The Hall of Fame also will present a Distinguished Achievement Award to honor journalists who “demonstrate extraordinary work in furthering the recognition of female journalists, shows outstanding skill in a specific project, and is a stellar example of professional integrity within the Chicago journalism community.”

Amy Guth, president of the Association for Women Journalists Chicago, said in a statement: “In an era when the work done by journalists is more important than ever in our country, and when women are suddenly making space to have public conversations that we’ve had to have behind closed doors for too long, it’s important to recognize and honor the outstanding work women have been doing in the field of journalism all along that has made a significant impact on the industry and the city.”

The inaugural class of honorees will be inducted at the Association for Women Journalists Chicago’s annual picnic Wednesday at Mars Gallery, 1139 West Fulton Market Street. (Here is the link for tickets.)

Monday’s comment of the day: Rick M. Singel: Whenever an equity firm buys your company, run for the hills. This is sad news. The newspapers will be stripped down for max profit and in a couple of years, they won't be recognizable.