Chronicle Media earns 7 first-place awards at NINA contest

Chronicle Media

Jean Lotus earned four first-place and three second-place awards at the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association 2017 Newspaper Contest Oct. 26.

Chronicle Media brought home seven first-place awards from the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association 2017 Newspaper Contest dinner, which was held Oct. 26 at Northern Illinois University.

The Cook County Chronicle swept the Watchdog Reporting, non-daily category with Jean Lotus earning first place for her story “Morton College’s rogue president.” She also earned second place for her story “Lyons environmental hazards.”

Bill Dwyer earned third place for his story “Lawyers: Board never approved $7 million fire repair bills.”

Lotus also earned three other first-place awards.

She garnered first for Business/Financial/Consumer, non-daily for her Cook County Chronicle story “Vendors vexed by Lollapalooza pay wristband problems.”

Judges said of the story, “Fascinating look at how an elite group of 32 vendors at Lollapalooza dealt with what might or might not have been a problem with an app calculating sales through electronic-pay wristbands. Thorough reporting from multiple sources and points of view. This is an outstanding business story.”

Another first for Lotus was in the News Story Series, non-daily category for her Cook County Chronicle story “Criminal justice reform in Cook County.” Judges said, “I enjoyed the multi-faceted approach to a topic that deserves more ink.”

Lotus and Kelli Duncan finished first in the Best Multicultural/Immigration story, non-daily category for their series on “Undocumented immigrants in Cook County.” Judges said, “The Cook County Chronicle’s series on undocumented immigrants is riveting, emotional and multifaceted. The writing is very explanatory without being dry.”

Other first places were earned by Lynne Conner, Karie Angell Luc and Paul Johnson.

Conner won in the Religion story/Owen Phelps Award non-daily category for her Winnebago Chronicle story “Key to engaging youth in faith is keeping it fresh, fun, relevant.” Judges said, “Excellent explanation of modern youth ministry that respects the differences of millennials from other generations and does not fall into the trap of oversimplifying or demonizing the group.”

Luc won for her Cook County Chronicle video “Polar Express now boarding.” Judges said, “Nice editing with a variety of people and shots. I felt like I was there.”

Johnson won for his Suburban Chronicle story “First unbeaten season for proud Blackhawks since 1946.” Judges said, “Good, sharp quotes that go beyond the routine ho-hum. A ton of information packed into a regular-size story. The historical context and insider details lend the piece a real air of authority and commitment by the reporter. Sets the example for the rest of the field.”

Other second-place finishes for Cook County Chronicle came from Luc in the Video category, Lotus in the In-Depth News Story category and Education Reporting Category and the staff for its website.


— Chronicle Media earns 7 first-place awards at NINA contest —-