Saturday, May 12, 2012

FWIW among this year's Kogan Award winners

The Chicago Bar Association's 23rd Annual Herman Kogan Media Awards were handed out Wednesday, May 9 at a luncheon at Petterinos in Chicago's Loop. WLS-TV anchor Ron Magers served as the keynote speaker.

Tribune reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx were honored in the print category for their series "Fugitives from Justice," about criminals who have fled overseas to avoid prosecution. In addition to the Kogan award, "Fugitives from Justice" has received the Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting from the Chicago Headline Club and a Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. "Fugitives from Justice" was also a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize in the investigative reporting category.

Mark Suppelsa and Marsha Bartel of WGN-TV received a Kogan Award for their broadcast series "Pension Games," a multimedia series (in conjunction with the Chicago Tribune) that exposed waste and fraud in the state pension system. The "Pension Games" series has also won two Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club and the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Investigative Reporting from the Better Government Association.

The third Kogan Award winner, in the online category, was yours truly. Photographic evidence is supplied above for the understandably skeptical. The particular post singled out was "In defense of the Supreme Court's recent practice of recalling appointed judges who've lost in a primary election."

In addition to the three Kogan Awards, the CBA gave out three Meritorious Achievement Awards on Wednesday.

John Marshall Law School Professor and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin columnist Timothy P. O'Neill was given a Meritorious Achievement Award for his anti-death penalty column, "Some Advice: Let's Leave Well Enough Alone."

Angela Caputo of the Chicago Reporter received a Meritorious Achievement Award for "Out at First," about the Chicago Housing Authority's "one strike policy" of seeking the eviction of families when any person residing with that family is accused of any crime. "Out at First" won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the category of Public Service in Magazine Journalism (Regional/Local Circulation) and a Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club in the category of general-interest publication, circulation less than 20,000.

The third Meritorious Achievement Award went to Cate Cahan and Robert Wildeboer of WBEZ Radio for the series, "Whatever Happened to Marcus?" This series also received a Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club in the radio category.

The Herman Kogan Media Awards are named for the late Chicago newsman Herman Kogan. A reporter, feature writer, columnist and editor at various times with the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, and the old Daily News, Kogan also won three Emmys during a mid-1960's stint as assistant general manager of news at WFLD. Along the way, Kogan also hosted two programs on WFMT radio, "Critics Choice" and "Writing and Writers."

Kogan was the author of several books on Chicago themes including Big Bill of Chicago, a biography of William Hale Thompson (with Lloyd Wendt); Lords of the Levee: the Story of Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink (also with Wendt -- also released under the title Bosses in Lusty Chicago: the Story of Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink) and The Great Fire, Chicago, 1871 (with Robert Cromie).

The First Century, the story of the Chicago Bar Association's first 100 years, was a solo effort.

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