CHICAGO, IL — April 4, 2024—In the spirit of Studs Terkel’s commitment to profound community storytelling, Public Narrative proudly announces the 2024 Community Media Awards Studs Terkel Award winners. These journalists have been recognized for their exceptional contribution to Chicago’s media landscape and community impact. They embody the tenacity, empathy, and impact that Studs championed throughout his career.

The 2024 Studs Terkel Community Media Award winners are:

  • Bill Healy, Invisible Institute, combines deep narratives with investigative insight, spotlighting Chicago’s vital issues and shaping public understanding.
  • Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, crafts stories that illuminate Chicago’s diverse human experiences and foster connection and dialogue.
  • Irene Romulo, Cicero Independiente, amplifies underrepresented voices through courageous and insightful grassroots journalism, enriching the media landscape.
  • Josh McGhee, MindSite News, excels in mental health reporting and investigative journalism, uncovering essential stories that foster public dialogue and community betterment.

The winners were selected by a committee of previous Studs Terkel awardees, who represent the highest ideals of community engagement and narrative journalism. Past Studs Terkel winners Britt Julious (’19) and Carlos Ballesteros (’23) joined Public Narrative on Instagram Live at noon Thursday for its tradition of announcing live the Studs Terkel winners ahead of the ceremony.

“This year’s honorees archive Chicago’s history in profound ways,” said Jhmira Alexander, President and Executive Director of Public Narrative. “Their direct and indirect contributions to the news cycle speak volumes about their impact on the evolution of Chicago’s media ecosystem.”

Now in its second year, our newest category, the People’s Choice Award, is based on the general public’s nominations for one youth media maker and one adult media maker. The winners leverage authentic connections with communities to produce stories that shift existing harmful narratives.

The deadline for nominations for the People’s Choice Award has been extended to 5:00 p.m. CT on Friday, April 12.

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

At the May ceremony, we will announce the winners who topped the public nominations of the emerging and established 2024 People’s Choice Awards subcategories.

Public Narrative will celebrate all of the winners, including those to be announced soon from the additional notable categories, the Ripple Effect and Uplifting Voices awards, at the 29th Annual Community Media Awards ceremony, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. CT on May 9, 2024, at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center.

Join us in celebrating the power of media to drive change and support and amplify diverse community voices. Reserve your tickets now and ensure you’re part of this memorable evening.

For tickets:

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 by exploring