CHICAGO, IL – April 10, 2024 — In a significant development, Public Narrative has recognized two recipients for the 2024 Uplifting Voices Award and named a newsroom for the Ripple Effect Award, marking notable achievements within Chicago’s vibrant media scene.

City Cast Chicago’s Jacoby Cochran and True Star Media co-founders DeAnna McLeary-Sherman and Na-Tae’ Thompson stand out as this year’s Uplifting Voices awardees. They have been celebrated for their dynamic contributions to bolstering Chicago’s media narrative and fostering deep community connections.

Jacoby Cochran has captured attention with his vibrant delivery and dedication to narratives that resonate with the community. At the same time, True Star Media’s leadership is acclaimed for elevating young voices across the city, embodying the visionary spirit the Uplifting Voices Award intends to honor.

The Ripple Effect Award is conferred upon Borderless Magazine for its outstanding reportage and influence on immigration issues. Their work has made a considerable impact on public discourse regarding immigration, offering stories that are not only inclusive but also meticulously researched and presented as a balanced reflection of narrative storytelling and the essence of investigative journalism.

“At the continual rate of technological advancement, digital storytelling needs shining examples like awardees in our Uplifting Voices and Ripple Effect categories,” said Jhmira Alexander, President and Executive Director of Public Narrative. “They have stewarded the public’s trust in media institutions through engagement with their services, programs and coverage. Chicago is fortunate to have such committed storytellers pioneering the future of journalism in our city.”

With the Uplifting Voices and Ripple Effect Awards announced Public Narrative also reminds the public that the People’s Choice Award nominations are open through April 12. This extension offers a final chance to celebrate storytellers who have profoundly impacted our community.

The deadline for nominations for the People’s Choice Award has been extended to 5:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 12.

Learn more about the People’s Choice Award and place your nominations here:

About the Awards Ceremony:

The awardees will receive their honors at the illustrious 29th Annual Community Media Awards on May 9. This evening will underscore the breadth of journalistic excellence and the power of media to effect change and shift narratives.

Visit for additional details on the awards and the ceremony and to submit People’s Choice Award nominations.

Join Us in Honoring Excellence:

Take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the power of impactful journalism at the 2024 Community Media Awards. Register now to witness the award ceremony, support our honorees, and become a part of the narrative that shapes our city. Your presence will honor the dedication of those who elevate community voices and carry on the tradition of storytelling excellence.

Reserve your seats here and join us in this celebration of journalistic achievement.

Are you interested in sponsoring tickets for others or supporting Public Narrative? Please email us, and a Public Narrative team member will contact you.’

Interviews with Public Narrative or the winners may be arranged by contacting Olivia Obineme at

About Public Narrative

Public Narrative has championed narrative change for 35 years and has recognized impactful journalism through the Community Media Awards since 1994. Our mission includes supporting journalists and storytellers who make a difference in our communities and embody the spirit of the awards’ muse, Studs Terkel. Learn more at