Distinguished Alumni award for Chicago Tribune Editor

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The Indiana University School of Journalism will honor 10 former students this weekend with its Distinguished Alumni Awards, including Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern, who is a graduate of the Class of 1971.

Since becoming editor in 2008, Gerry Kern "has focused the Tribune and its website on local investigative reporting to expose political corruption, government mismanagement and consumer safety issues,” the department's website reads.

The watchdog emphasis, it continues, "has helped drive political reform in Illinois, and has changed the way consumer health and safety are regulated."

During a turbulent time for journalism, IU additionally points out Kern's work in overseeing the reorganization of the Tribune's news operation and adoption of new digital strategies. Last spring, Northern Illinois University also named Gerry the Illinois Journalist of the Year for dedication to investigative reporting, support of content sharing across 7 Tribune newsrooms, and pursuit of new initiatives that they said reflected a spirit of innovation in a challenging climate for the newspaper industry.

Kern directed the expansion and redesign of the Chicago Tribune in 2011, which added 44 more pages of news to the paper each week. The volume of news in the Tribune's printed edition is now greater than it was five years ago.

The Tribune has won numerous national and state awards during Kern’s tenure, including Mary Schmich's 2012 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. The paper has been a Pulitzer finalist eight times, including the past two years in investigative reporting.

Indiana University also will honor another Tribune alumnus: Timothy A. Franklin, a former Chicago Tribune senior editor who is now managing editor of Bloomberg News' Washington Bureau.

There's a full list of the honorees and their accomplishments here.

-- Trib Nation

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