The Chicago Tribune won 13 awards from the Chicago Headline Club Friday night, including top awards in investigative reporting, breaking news, and local news coverage.
The annual Peter Lisagor Awards ceremony hosted by the country's largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter honors work by reporters across the Chicago area. The Tribune's 13 awards led among news organizations across the region. WGN-TV, owned by the Tribune Company, also won four awards.
The "Fugitives from Justice" series by Gary Marx and David Jackson, which documented failings in the U.S. justice system that allowed fugitives to flee the country and avoid capture, won the "2011 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting." Marx and Jackson, along with Brian Boyer, Emily Chow, Abel Uribe and Steve Rosenberg were also recognized for their online presentation of the project. The series of stories was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting.
Tribune reporter Colleen Mastony won the first annual "Anne Keegan Award for Reporting on the Little Guy." Among her submissions: a feature on an Oak Park-River Forest wrestling coach with a debilitating muscle disease. Mastony also won for a separate feature story, "A Family Vision."
The Tribune's Breaking News Desk won an award for detailing a brutal gang beating that left a boy in a coma. He was not affiliated with a gang and police called it a case of mistaken identity. Six people helped break that story: Carlos Sadovi, David Elsner, Jeremy Gorner, Daniel Haar, Andrew Zuick of WGN-TV, and Liam Ford.
A collaboration between the Tribune and WGN-TV earned awards for investigative reporting on TV and among newspapers with circulation more than 250,000. Jason Grotto, Ray Long, Jodi S. Cohen and Joe Germuska of the Chicago Tribune and Marsha Bartel and Mark Suppelsa of WGN-TV explained how Springfield politics wreaked havoc on the state's pension system.
Two Tribune websites won top honors: ChicagoTribune.com for news and TribLocal.com for neighborhood/community news.
The Tribune was also recognized for its use of digital technology. Alex Bordens, Brian Boyer and Joe Germuska won for the 2011 Illinois school report card presentation.
Rick Tuma won an award for illustrations and John McCormick won an award for editorial writing.
Diane Rado and Duaa Eldeib shared an award for their reporting on windfall payments made to school bosses. Michael Hawthorne won for his exclusives on the environment in Chicago.
Jared Hopkins won for his work detailing health inspections, or a lack of inspections, at the rooftop establishments surrounding Wrigley Field.
The Chicago Sun-Times won nine awards, and the Associated Press in Chicago won four. NBC5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern and Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell both won lifetime achievement awards.
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