2021 Watchdog Award finalists announced

The Chicago Headline Club, thanks to the generous support of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, each is pleased to offer a cash prize for enterprising journalism that defends and protects everyday folks. The prize for work completed in 2021 will be presented at the Lisagor Awards banquet May 6, 2022. Get your tickets. This year’s finalists are:

“Improper Vaccinations, Financial Questions at Loretto Hospital” – Block Club Chicago & Better Government Association. Kelly Bauer, David Jackson

Judges said “The reporters found special favors and discovered financial mismanagement. Their investigation drew the attention of the FBI and the Illinois Attorney General, led city officials to seize vaccine doses and resulted in the resignation of the hospital’s chief operating officer. The series is a great example of how journalists truly served their communities as watchdogs for the public good.”

“The Ripple Effect of Anjanette Young: Uncovering Police Abuse and Trauma in Chicago” – WBBM-TV/CBS-Chicago. Dave Savini, Samah Assad, Michele Youngerman, Christopher Hacker

Judges said: “This project ticks off all the boxes of great watchdog work — It affected meaningful change, it stuck up for voiceless people, it revealed systemic injustice that otherwise would have gone unchallenged.”

“Buried Secrets” – WBEZ. Dan Mihalopoulos, Alex Keefe, Angela Rozas O’Toole

Judges said: “The investigation overcame court challenges and was the product of securing confidential documents to produce concrete results, including the resignations of the Chicago Park District chief executive, board president and other high-ranking officials. It represents the best kind of journalism that holds public leaders accountable.”

The Watchdog Award is sponsored by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The winner will be announced May 6 at the 45th annual Peter Lisagor Awards Dinner.