It’s not too late!

If you didn’t make the January 11 deadline for Lisagor submissions, you still have time! We will accept entries through January 31, 2016, but at a higher rate. For members,  $50/entry and for non-members, $70/entry.

Nominations must be received online by January 31, 2016, for work between January and December, 2015. Nominated work should be entered at betternewspapercontest.com. The 39th annual Lisagor Awards presentation and dinner will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, at The Union League Club of Chicago. Finalists will be named in mid-March.

Questions? E-mail awards@headlineclub.org or call 872-267-2242.

Pre-Oscar Invite to view ‘SPOTLIGHT’

You, the public and fellow journalists are invited to view the acclaimed film, SPOTLIGHT, in the exclusive Lake Street Screening Room, followed by Q&A with journalists, investigators, film critics and clergy.

Monday, February 22 (Oscars winners to be announced Feb 28.)
Doors open at 6:45 p.m./Movie to start at 7 p.m.
at
The Lake Street Screening Room
70 E. Lake St., Chicago

This event, organized by the Chicago Headline Club Foundation and theChicago Film Critics Association, offers tickets for $30. Donations also accepted with proceeds benefiting the Chicago Headline Club and its foundation’s scholarship program.

Get your tickets via EventBrite:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spotlight-exclusive-chicago-screening-of-oscar-nominated-film-feb-22-tickets-21102885298

Nominated for five Oscars, SPOTLIGHT depicts The Boston Globe’s investigation into cases of widespread child sex abuse by numerous Catholic priests in the Boston area and the decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. It is based on a series of stories by the Globe’s Spotlight team that earned the paper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

SPOTLIGHT is inspiring students to go to journalism school–just as All The President’s Men did back in the day. In addition to encourage conversation about this film and the role of investigative journalism in our society, this event aims to help new journalists succeed.

Light refreshments will be served

Watchdog Award

Download our application form

Sponsored by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the CHC each year awards a cash prize for enterprising journalism that defends and protects everyday folks. The prize for work completed in 2015 will be presented at the Chicago Headline Club’s Lisagor Awards banquet in May 2016.
ABOUT THE WATCHDOG AWARD
The Watchdog Award honors Chicago area news reporting that calls attention to situations in which the public is being harmed or poorly served. Stories may involve public interest reporting at the local, state or national level. Stories may include coverage of the government, entities contracting with the government and public or private business.
The award is explicitly designed to encourage stories that stick up for the common person.
Subject matter should include outstanding reporting that highlights disparities in how the public is served or which highlights those public activities that disproportionately affect certain segments of the population.
Judges should consider reporting enterprise, barriers to obtaining the information, accuracy, clarity of analysis, writing style. Judges may consider civic impact and evaluate the circumstances prompting the coverage and results achieved.
The Watchdog Award is funded by a grant from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and is administered by the Chicago Headline Club and the Chicago Headline Club Foundation.
Contest Rules:
Nominations must be e-mailed by January 11, 2016, to Watchdog Awards Chair Alejandra Cancino at watchdog@headlineclub.org.
Reports must have been published, aired or posted between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015.
Entries must be the original work of journalists based in the Chicago area or who work for Chicago area news media. The contest covers Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will counties in Illinois and Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties in Indiana. Nominations may be made by the author or by any other person. Nominees need not be members of the Chicago Headline Club.
All nominations must meet standards set forth in the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics.
Entries should include all related corrections, clarifications or retractions.
Each entry must include a nomination form with the name of the entry, names of nominees, dates of publication or broadcast, and an inventory of attached materials; submission contact, title, address, phone number and e-mail address; and an attached letter stating the project’s goals, obstacles and results. Please list all staff members to be named on a team entry and include any others who should be acknowledged as contributors.
Only named nominees will be awarded a cash prize to be divided among named nominees. Up to three individuals may be named on a team entry; otherwise the nomination must be made in the name of newsroom staff.
The Chicago Headline Club and the Chicago Headline Club Foundation are not responsible for errors or omissions in the nomination materials.
The Chicago Headline Club will appoint a panel of judges to solicit and review nominations and select a slate of finalists. The final award will be approved by majority vote of the Chicago Headline Club Board of Directors.
***
Congratulations to our previous winners:

2014

The 2014 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting went to Tim Novak, Chris Fusco and Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun-Times for their series, “A Little Justice for David.” David Koschman died in 2004 after a single punch by Richard “R.J.” Vanecko, the nephew of former longtime Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, during a late-night drunken encounter. The Sun-Times’ dogged pursuit of the story prompted officials to re-open the case, ultimately leading to Vanecko’s conviction nearly 10 years after Koschman’s death.
The 2013 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting went to Tim Novak, Chris Fusco and Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun-Times for their series, “A Little Justice for David.” David Koschman died in 2004 after a single punch by Richard “R.J.” Vanecko, the nephew of former longtime Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, during a late-night drunken encounter. The Sun-Times’ dogged pursuit of the story prompted officials to re-open the case, ultimately leading to Vanecko’s conviction nearly 10 years after Koschman’s death.

2013
The 2013 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting went to Dan Mihalopoulos of the Chicago Sun-Times for “Clout in Session,” a series of stories on the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) and its misuse of public funding. What made Mr. Mihalopoulos’ submission stand out among the 17 entries from a wide spectrum of media outlets was the relentless pressure of his coverage according to one of the judges. Mr. Mihalopoulos didn’t quit digging when UNO made cosmetic changes and spun a show of reform.
2012
The 2012 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting went to Christy Gutowski and Bill Ruthhart of the Chicago Tribune for their “Children at Risk” series. Their package of stories shined a light on new, treacherous risks to one of the must vulnerable populations and led to an overhaul of the state agency charged with protecting children.
2011
Gary Marx and David Jackson of the Chicago Tribune where honored for work on “Fugitives from Justice” a series which documented failings in the U.S. justice system that allowed fugitives to flee the country and avoid capture.
2010
Sam Roe and Jared S. Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune were honored for work on their “Deadly Neglect” series. This Tribune investigation, uncovered a pattern of harmful care at the Alden Village North, a home for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Thirteen times in the last decade residents have died under circumstances that led to state citations for neglect or failure to investigate.
2009
Jodi Cohen, Stacy St. Clair and Tara Malone of the Chicago Tribune were honored for their work on “Clout Goes to College.” The series of investigations uncovered how some applicants to the University of Illinois received special consideration for acceptance between 2005 and 2009, despite having sub-par qualifications.
2008
Dan Mihalopoulos, Robert Becker, Darnell Little, Todd Lighty and Laurie Cohen of the Chicago Tribune were honored for “Neighborhoods for Sale.” The series documented the correlation between millions of dollars in political contributions from developers and zoning changes granted by Chicago aldermen.

January Happy Hour

Stuck in the winter doldrums? Looking for some inspiration for a story? Just want to warm your innards with food, beverages and good company?
Want some money to do investigative journalism?
Come join your fellow journalists for a happy hour Jan. 27 at Rockit Bar & Grill for a happy hour hosted by the Chicago Headline Club.
In addition to good company, the Headline Club’s Alejandra Cancino will be on hand to talk about how you — yes, you — can get some cash to do investigative reporting.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Rockit Bar and Grill, 22 W. Hubbard St., Chicago

McCormick Foundation awards FOIAFest grant

The Chicago Headline Club has received a two-year, $25,000 grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to support FOIAFest. The Headline Club’s annual daylong conference leads up to Sunshine Week and aims to celebrate the importance of access to public information.

“This grant will allow the Headline Club to broaden its work to educate journalists on how to access information and how to keep government accountable,” Headline Club President Odette Yousef said. “This is critical work, and we are pleased and honored to have financial support from the McCormick Foundation for it.”

The Chicago-based foundation supports a variety of endeavors, from journalism and the First Amendment to early childhood education and civic engagement.

Save the date for this year’s FOIAFest: March 12 at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower campus. Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the watchdog group the Better Government Association, is a keynote speaker. More than a dozen panels and workshops are in the works on everything from uncovering police misconduct and public officials using private emails to conduct public business, to digging for data and crafting a public records request.

Stay tuned at headlineclub.org and foiaillinois.org, our website dedicated to FOIA issues, for more details.

Want a FREE TICKET to FOIAFest? Become a Headline Club member by Jan. 15. Contact membership@headlineclub.org to get this limited-time offer

Covering Black Lives Matter

 Protests in the streets. Clashes in the legal system.
Activists of color across the country are drawing attention as they protest perceived injustice from politicians, law enforcement and the legal system.
As media outlets cover actions from Black Lives Matter and other groups, how can they ensure they’re accurately capturing what’s happening both on the streets and in the courtroom?
Join the Chicago Headline Club and the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists for a panel discussion Jan. 13 on how to cover the Black Lives Matter movement.
Panelists include: 
Darryl Holliday, City Bureau editorial director
Maudlyne Ihejirika, Sun-Times urban affairs reporter
Damon Williams, member of the Let Us Breathe Collective
Moderator: Kathy Chaney, WBEZ reporter/producer
When: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 6 p.m.
Where: American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark St.
How much: Free admission

Headline Club gift to you

Give yourself the gift of knowledge this holiday season: Become a member of the Chicago Headline Club now through Jan. 15 and get a free ticket to our fourth annual FOIA Fest, a daylong conference dedicated to access to public information.

Come hear from Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the watchdog group the Better Government Association. And come learn from more than a dozen panels and workshops on everything from how to uncover misconduct and develop sources to digging into data and crafting a public records request. FOIA Fest will be held on March 12 at Loyola University Chicago.

Interested in this great offer? Contact membership@headlineclub.org.

The Lisagors Go Statewide! Entries due by Jan. 11, 2016

Download the 39th ANNUAL LISAGOR ENTRY FORM!

CHICAGO, November 23, 2015 – Journalists, critics and bloggers from across Illinois will be eligible for the first time to compete this year for the prestigious Lisagor prizes awarded by the Chicago Headline Club, one of the largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter in the U.S.

The awards for exemplary journalism, named after Peter Lisagor, a former Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Daily News, have been presented by the Headline Club since 1977.  Their purpose is to inspire journalists to follow Lisagor’s example of excellence.  

Until this year, the awards were limited to nominees based in Chicago and northwest Indiana. The Headline Club now is extending its recognition to the best journalism from the full state of Illinois in 2015.

“This is a state that needs and produces superb journalism, and those efforts need to be highlighted and encouraged,” said Odette Yousef, Headline Club president and a reporter at WBEZ 91.5FM.

Lisagor was an influential newspaper correspondent and columnist in the 1960s and ‘70s who regularly appeared on Meet the Press and Face the Nation. When he won a Peabody Award in 1973, the organization called him a “master of incisive interrogation” and said he was inspired by an editor who advised reporters to “walk down the middle of the street and shoot the windows out on both sides.”  

The Lisagor contest includes 128 awards in seven categories, including general interest, broadcast TV and radio, both daily and non-daily print, online, specialty/trade and documentaries. The Headline Club added two new awards this year: Best Data Journalism and Best Design.

The club also awards three special prizes: The Watchdog Award, for excellence in public interest reporting; The Anne Keegan Award, named after a former Chicago Tribune reporter who highlighted the plight and achievements of the common man; and The Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nominations must be received online by January 11, 2016, for work between January and December, 2015. Nominated work should be entered at betternewspapercontest.com. The 39th annual Lisagor Awards presentation and dinner will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, at The Union League Club of Chicago. Finalists will be named in mid-March.  

Questions? E-mail awards@headlineclub.org or call 872-267-2242.

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Build your personal brand!

Come join us Saturday for a half-day workshop all about building your brand!

The Chicago Headline Club has teamed up with the Chicago chapter of the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) to help you learn the tricks of the trade! Find out what you need to create a website to showcase your work, and which social media tool will attract the greatest audience. Get the edge from those who do this every day — and get results.

Where:
ABA Journal, 321 N. Clark St. (21st floor), in downtown Chicago.

When: 9am-noon, Saturday Nov. 7

Cost:
$10 for members of the Headline Club and/or JAWS
$15 for non-members
$5 for students who show ID
* FREE for new members who join between now and Nov. 7! Join now!
For tickets, go to Eventbrite.

Building Your Personal Brand! Agenda:

9-10 a.m.
Where do you showcase your work? Learn the nuts and bolts of setting up your own website with Ed Scott, UX consultant and adjunct professor of communication at the Illinois Institute of Technology. (Laptops are not required, but encouraged)

10-11 a.m.
Facebook. Instagram. Periscope. So many social media tools! Learn what works best with Ali Trumbull, social media coordinator for Crain’s Chicago Business, where she focuses on social strategy for both the editorial and business sides of the magazine. Previously, she was community news manager at Aggrego, where she managed three then-Sun-Times Media newspapers online and their social media channels.

11-noon
Now that you have some tools under your belt, snag some tips and insight from those who have built their brand well, featuring:

  • Alex Garcia, an award-winning independent photographer and former staffer at the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Press-Telegram (Long Beach, Calif.). He is the author of “Depth of Field: Tips on Photojournalism and Creativity,” based on his popular “Assignment Chicago” blog at the Chicago Tribune.
  • Rex Huppke, a columnist at the Chicago Tribune, where he writes a syndicated humor column as well as a workplace column that runs in papers across the country. He once declared himself “America’s most-beloved workplace advice columnist,” thus becoming an expert at branding.
  • Angelica Atondo, author of “El Secreto Para Lograrlo,” a guide for youth that has sold more than 200,000 copies in the United States and in Mexico. She was an anchor for Univision’s affiliate in Illinois from 2010 to 2014. Most recently, she was the voice for Ragu’s 2015 National Campaign and Cricket’s 2015 National Campaign. She’s also the official endorsement personality for the Money Transfers’ company Pangea and for Apoyo Medical Legal.
  • Moderator Alejandra Cancino, a fellow at The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago. Cancino spent six years at the Chicago Tribune, where her beats included labor and manufacturing. Before the Tribune, Cancino was a web producer and multimedia reporter at La Palma, a Spanish-language weekly, and covered crime for the Palm Beach Post. She’s on the Chicago Headline Club board of directors and is co-captain for JAWS’ Chicago chapter.

 

Exclusive preview: “Spotlight” Nov. 2

See “Spotlight,”the film about the Boston Globe’s exposé of the Catholic Church pedophile cover up, before it opens to the general public!

WHAT: Sneak preview of “Spotlight” with the Headline Club!
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 2 at 7p.m.
WHERE: Lake Street Screening Room, 70 E Lake St. on the 16th floor
TICKETS: Buy your tickets ahead of time here!
Headline Club members + 1 guest, $10 each
Non-Members, $15
New members, FREE with paid membership before or at the screening! Please bring receipt to show as proof.

“It’s the ‘All the President’s Men’ for the 21st century,” says Dann Gire, Headline Club board member, Chicago Film Critics Association president, and Daily Herald movie reviewer.

Boston Globe editor Robby Robinson sat on their story about the Catholic Church’s pedophile cover-up until a final “i” got dotted, even though a rival newspaper was about to stumble over the story, rendering months of work at the Globe a waste.

“Spotlight” opens in theaters Nov. 6.

Open Road has decided to push all of the members of its large ensemble — among them Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci — in the supporting categories for the Oscars.