2024 marks a momentous occasion for Public Narrative as we commemorate our 35th anniversary. In this landmark year, we invite nominations for the 29th Annual Community Media Awards, honoring the enduring spirit of community storytelling and journalism. Submit your nominations by February 29, 2024, for this grand in-person celebration scheduled for Thursday, May 9, 2024.

Reflecting on our journey since 1994, Public Narrative has proudly recognized nearly 130 media professionals who have profoundly connected with and served their communities through their work. Our upcoming awards, returning in person, promise to be a special reunion and recognition of journalistic excellence.

Click here to nominate someone for the Terkel Award, Uplifting Voices Award, Ripple Effect Award or People’s Choice before February 29, 2024.

At left: 2023 Community Media Award winners pose for a fun photo at the 28th annual awards ceremony. Photo: Davon Clark for Public Narrative.

The Studs Terkel Award, a cornerstone of our awards, continues to honor comprehensive journalistic work. Inspired by the legacy of Louis “Studs” Terkel, this award celebrates Chicago-area journalists who showcase compelling storytelling and a commitment to elevating voices. Once personally selected by Terkel, the award is now bestowed by a distinguished panel of past recipients, including luminaries like Tiffany Walden and Melissa Sanchez.

In its fourth year, the Uplifting Voices Award spotlights those amplifying underrepresented media voices. This award acknowledges the impact of individuals such as Jamie Nesbitt Golden and Aurie Pennick, who have brought community stories to the forefront of their careers.

The Ripple Effect Award, expanding storytelling recognition since 2019, honors journalists whose work resonates beyond Chicago, influencing discussions and actions across the country. This award, decided by the Public Narrative team, has recognized influential voices like Craig Dellimore and Jamie Kalven. Additional past Ripple Effect Awardees include Michelle Duster and Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Celebrating its second year, the People’s Choice Award, introduced in 2023, gives voice to the public in recognizing youth and adult media makers who have significantly impacted their communities. This award underscores our commitment to inclusive and diverse narratives in media.

As we look back on 35 years of Public Narrative’s journey, the 2024 Community Media Awards stand as a ceremony of recognition and a celebration of community media’s collective voice and power.

Visit publicnarrative.org/awards to see past ceremonies and nominate for the 2024 awards.