2016 Studs Terkel Community Media Awards and Scholarship Benefit
by Kai EL’Zabar
The 2016 Studs Terkel Community Media Awards are. . .
The 2016 Studs Terkel Community Media Award winners are:
• Lolly Bowean (Chicago Tribune)
• Sarah Karp (Better Government Association)
• Richard Steele (WBEZ Chicago Public Radio)
• Cecilia Vaisman (NPR, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism). This is the first
Terkel Award to be awarded posthumously.
The 2016 Studs Terkel Uplifting Voices Award winner—a supporter of innovative journalism, issues reporting, and storytelling to lift up community voices—is:
• Aurie Pennick (The Field Foundation of Illinois)
About the Studs Terkel Awards:
Public Narrative (formerly known as Community Media Workshop) is located at Columbia College Chicago and has been offering the Studs Terkel Community Media Awards for more than two decades. The the prestigious awards honor excellence in covering and reflecting Chicago’s diverse communities.
The legendary Terkel was an integral mentor to us and helped choose the winners until his death in 2008. Today a committee of previous Terkel winners makes choices from the nominations received through an open call.Terkel was clear that the award should spotlight those who take risks in covering community social issues — finding the people who are affected and offering new and unusual insights. The Terkel committee decided that these four journalists and one philanthropist were a perfect fit to join more than 70 previous winners.
- Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune general assignment reporter who focuses on urban affairs, youth culture, housing, and minority communities and relations.
- Sarah Karp, senior investigator at the Better Government Association responsible for covering public education and former reporter for Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago Reporter and the Daily Southtown. Karp’s stories led directly to the indictment of former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett for her role in a $23 million bribery scheme. Karp has covered education children and family issues for more than 15 years. She has won five Education Writers Association awards, three Society of Professional Journalism awards and the 2005 Sidney Hillman Award.
- Richard Steele, recently retired after 27 years, Chicago veteran broadcaster host at Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5. Steele joined WBEZ as a part-time jazz host in 1987, and went on to host a number of acclaimed programs, including: The Richard Steele Show, A Richard Steele Friday, Page Two, Performance Space andEight Forty-Eight. Most recently, Steele served as a contributor for WBEZ’s Morning Shift, Afternoon Shift, Worldview, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, wbez.org, vocalo.org and special programming, as well as hosting The Barber Shop Show.
- Cecilia Vaisman, late journalist and multimedia producer for NPR who taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, including audio documentary and bilingual reporting classes. Vaisman, who died last September, is the first Terkel Award recipient to be named posthumously.
- Winner of the 2016 Studs Terkel Uplifting Voices Award (presented to a supporter of innovative journalism, issues reporting, and storytelling to lift up community voices) is Aurie Pennick, executive director and treasurer of the Field Foundation of Illinois. A crusading attorney and philanthropist, she also directed Chicago’s first battered women’s shelter and worked as a leader in the fair housing movement.
More about Cecilia Vaisman,the first Terkel Award to be awarded posthumously:
Vaisman, who earned two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for reporting on the disadvantaged, among numerous other commendations, had her radio documentaries broadcast on WBEZ’s “This American Life,” National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Latino USA,” and other outlets.
“She was such a radio genius,” said Alan Weisman, co-founder of Homelands Productions, an independent media cooperative. “She was not only a good reporter working for radio, but her work was very richly produced. It was like setting news to music with lots of sound interwoven. She was a master at that.”
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in northern New Jersey, Vaisman was the youngest of four children. She earned a degree in Latin American studies from Barnard College in New York City and later joined the staff of NPR in Washington as a producer in 1986.