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2016 Studs Terkel Awards
5pm – 8pm, April 7, 2016

Please sponsor the event, buy your tickets now.


Studs Terkel was not just a name to us, he was a mentor and a guiding star.

In fact, Louis B. “Studs” Terkel was our patron saint from the founding of the organization in 1989, until he died in 2008.


Curtis Lawrence, then of the Chicago Sun-Times, now at Columbia College Chicago, and Don Terry, of the New York Times — two Studs Terkel Award winners, celebrate with the man himself.



For years, Studs Terkel chose the journalists who would receive this award. And for years, he gracefully and graciously led the annual tributes to the special kind of Chicago journalism these men and women excel at doing.

As Studs said in 2007, the award was meant for journalists who go the extra mile in reporting news “from the people who made Chicago, news that’s bottom up rather than up, down. … That’s what this is all about.”

For years, he closed the ceremony, leading the crowd in his favorite song, “This Land is Your Land,” by Woody Guthrie.

Today, the Terkel Awards are chosen by the men and women Studs’ singled out, a committee of past Terkel Award winners.



Presented annually, we honor outstanding media professionals for excellence in covering and reflecting Chicago’s diverse communities. These reporters, editors, producers, videographers and photographers take risks in covering social issues by offering new or unusual perspectives, from housing to race to violence to health to education and beyond.

The awards are given for a body of work rather than a single article or series, and go to journalists at any stage of their career.


Bill Kurtis presenting Scott Simon with his 2009 Studs Terkel award.
Bill Kurtis presenting Scott Simon with his 2009 Studs Terkel Award.


The scholarship and philanthropists

On award night, we also recognize promising student journalists at Columbia College Chicago, home to Public Narrative. Plus, we single out and give thanks to special philanthropists, who understand how important our work is to this city with the Uplifting Spirit Award.


The event

It’s a fun night to honor the Fourth Estate — but it is also a significant fundraiser for all our events and program at Public Narrative, where we teach and train journalists and nonprofits to tell better stories.


Stud Terkel Award winners



Maudlyne Ihejirika, Reporter & Journalist, Chicago Sun-Times

Monica Eng, Producer, Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ

Sharon Cohen, Reporter, The Associated Press

Darryl Holliday, Reporter & Producer, DNAInfo, and The Illustrated Press

Adele Simmons, Uplifting Voices Award winner

Columbia Links, Columbia College Chicago, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship Winner



Steve Bogira, Reporter & Blogger, Chicago Reader

Alejandro Escalona, Web Manager, Telemundo

Steve James, Producer, Kartemquin Films

Gordon Quinn, Producer, Kartemquin Films

Katie Kather, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner

Fred & Nikki Will Stein, Uplifting Voices Award winners


Tracy Baim and Studs Terkel.
Tracy Baim, of Windy City Media Group and a Studs Terkel Award winner, with Studs.


Megan Cottrell, Reporter, Chicago Reporter

Fernando Diaz, Managing Editor, Hoy Chicago

Dave Hoekstra, Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times

Lorne Clarkson, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner



Mick Dumke, Reporter, Chicago Reader

Maria Hinojosa, Anchor, PBS and Latino USA on National Public Radio

Chip Mitchell, Reporter, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Daniel Castro, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner



Linda Lenz, Founder and Publisher, Catalyst Chicago

Kari Lydersen, Freelance Reporter

Antonio Olivo, Reporter, Chicago Tribune

Devin Katayama, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner



Kate Grossman, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, Chicago Sun-Times

Natalie Moore, Public Affairs Reporter, Chicago Public Radio

Progress Illinois

Mitchell Wenkus, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner



David Jackson, Chicago Tribune

Alden Loury, Editor and Publisher, The Chicago Reporter

Scott Simon, National Public Radio

Thom Clark, Community Media Workshop

Hsin Yin Sung, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner



Tom McNamee, Chicago Sun Times

Radio Arte, 90.5 FM

Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune

Karla DiBenedetto, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner


Alex Kotlowitz, author, filmmaker and radio journalist, and Rick Kogan, of the Chicago Tribune and WGN-radio, — two Studs Terkel Award winners. 


Mary Helt Gavin, Publisher, The Evanston Roundtable

Stephen Franklin, Labor and Workplace Reporter, The Chicago Tribune

WRTO 1200 AM, La Tremenda (Univision Radio Network)

Lilia Markarova, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner



Mark Brown, columnist, Chicago Sun-Times

Renee Ferguson, reporter, WMAQ-TV/NBC5

Mary Johns and the Editorial Team, Residents’ Journal

Sean Patrick Fahey, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner


Tracy BaimWindy City Media

John ConroyChicago Reader

Mary SchmichChicago Tribune

James WeinsteinIn These Times

Angela Caputo, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner


Alex Kotlowitz, Journalist and Author

Linda LuttonDaily Southtown

Phil PonceChicago Tonight, WTTW

Suree Towfighnia, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner


Studs with four Studs Terkel Award winners; Laura Washington of The Chicago Reporter; Jon Anderson of the Chicago Tribune; John White of the Chicago Sun-Times and Harry Porterfield of WLS Channel 7 News.


Rick KoganChicago Tribune & WGN

Jorge MotaChannel 44, Telemundo

Tom WeinbergImage Union, WTTW

Geena Gintzig & Meghan Just, Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship winner


Shirley Jahad, WBEZ-FM

Phil KadnerDaily Southtown

Curtis LawrenceChicago Sun-Times

WVON-AM 1450


Cornelia GrummanChicago Tribune

Martha Irvine, The Associated Press

Salim MuwakkilIn These Times and Chicago Tribune


Lee BeyChicago Sun-Times

Ira Glass, WBEZ

Teresa PuenteChicago Tribune


Jon AndersonChicago Tribune

John WhiteChicago Sun-Times

Laura Washington, The Chicago Reporter

Harry Porterfield, WLS Channel 7 News


Eric ZornChicago Tribune

Ben HollisWild Chicago

Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Daily Defender


Don TerryNew York Times

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times

John McDermott, The Chicago Reporter


Ray Suarez, National Public Radio

Achy ObejasChicago Tribune

Carol MarinNBC Channel 5 News

Cheryl Corley, of WBEZ, receives her Studs Terkel Award from Studs.  


Vernon JarrettChicago Tribune and Sun Times

Charles NicodemusChicago Sun-Times

Ben JoravskyChicago Reader


W. NewmanChicago Daily News andSun-Times

David MobergIn These Times

Cheryl Corley, National Public Radio