Chicago Headline Club honors four journalists with Lifetime Achievement Award

Chicago, IL – The Chicago Headline Club is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award: Dorothy Tucker, Rick Pearson, Phil Ponce and Chuck Neubauer. The award recognizes their exceptional contributions to journalism and tireless efforts to tell the truth about how Chicago really works.

All four will be celebrated Friday, May 12, at the Peter Lisagor Award banquet at the Union League Club. The banquet, named after the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, recognizes outstanding reporting by journalists in Illinois and surrounding states.

“These four extraordinary journalists have left an indelible mark on the field of journalism, and we are proud to honor them with this award,” said Mike Ewing, president of the Chicago Headline Club. “Their work has helped to hold our leaders accountable, shine a light on important issues, and make our communities stronger.” 

Each of these journalists has made a significant impact in the field of journalism and delivered impactful and meaningful stories to Chicago and Illinois. Chicago and Illinois are better off because of their work. 

Dorothy Tucker

Dorothy Tucker is a native of Chicago and has been a reporter for CBS-2 Chicago since 1984. She is a reporter on the station’s 2 Investigative team and president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Tucker has won several local Emmys, including Outstanding Achievement for News Gathering for a 2021 investigation that exposed how the state moratorium on evictions was leaving some landlords homeless. Tucker has been a reporter since 1979 and has worked for various television stations, including KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh and KWGN-TV in Denver. She graduated with honors from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Communications and is a former board member of the Northwestern Alumni Association.

Rick Pearson

Rick Pearson is a veteran political reporter for the Chicago Tribune who has covered seven governors, countless campaigns, and moderated multiple debates over three decades.

Before joining the Chicago Tribune in 1988, he started his career writing sports for various publications and worked for the United Press International wire service.

He has appeared on several national and international broadcasts and has hosted a weekly Sunday radio program on WGN Radio for seven years. He was also part of the Tribune team that detailed events leading up to the arrest, impeachment, and imprisonment of Rod Blagojevich.

Phil Ponce

Phil Ponce is the contributing anchor for WTTW’s flagship news and public affairs program, Chicago Tonight. He began his career in broadcast journalism at WRTV in Indianapolis and spent nine years as a reporter at WBBM-TV in Chicago.

Ponce grew up in East Chicago and has received several awards for his work, including Illinois Journalist of the Year, the Studs Terkel Award for Journalism, and the City Club of Chicago’s Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 2022, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle, recognizing professionals who have made significant contributions to the television industry and the community for 25 years or more. 

Chuck Neubauer

Chuck Neubauer is a Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter who has worked with the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, and Better Government Association. With a five-decade track record of breaking high-impact stories about public officials, he shared in a Pulitzer Prize for a series on abuses in federal housing programs.

Neubauer’s reporting has led to the convictions of powerful officials such as former Illinois Governor Dan Walker and former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski. He has also exposed conflicts of interests involving Senate and House leaders, such as Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California. 

About the Chicago Headline Club

The Chicago Headline Club has been recognizing exceptional journalists with its Lifetime Achievement Award for years, and this year’s recipients have all demonstrated an unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth and telling important stories. 

The Chicago Headline Club is a professional journalism organization that promotes excellence in the field of journalism through education, networking, and recognition of outstanding work. 

For more information about the Chicago Headline Club or the Lifetime Achievement Award, please visit