CJA annual dinner honored Chicago-area journalists

Southern Illinois University student recipient of
$1,000 scholarship

Tribune big Boyden contest winner, John McCormick takes ‘Best of Best’ cash
The evening wasn’t complete until the following awards were presented by (L to R) CJA president Allen Rafalson to Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold, Lifetime Achievement; Associated Press national reporter Sharon Cohen, Chicago Journalist of the Year; Consulate General of Chicago ‘s Koji Kaneko who accepted the Daniel Pearl Award on behalf of the family of slain photojournalist Kenji Goto.

We promised guests who attended our Chicago Journalists Association’s 76th annual awards’ dinner an outstanding evening. They were not disappointed. A dozen of the city’s finest were named winners of the Sarah Brown Boyden competition and three other journalists recipients of “Special Awards.” The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Halsted and Madison Streets, Friday October 16.

Chicago Tribune journalists took 6 of the 12 Boyden honors.

Southern Illinois University’s Tyler Davis competed with 19 other college students for the $1,000 CJA Charitable Fund scholarship. The 21-year-old junior and his mother drove to the hotel that night from Carbondale to receive his prize.

Dave Hoekstra, former Sun-Times columnist and currently a weekend WGN radio host, was the evening’s emcee. He is also author of the recently published book, The People’s Place, Soul Food Restaurants and Reminisces From The Civil Rights Era To Today.

Judges on the journalism faculty at Gaylord College of Mass Communications, University of Oklahoma, chose the Tribune’s John McCormick to receive the $500 “Best of Best” award for his editorial on” a governor who tried to get this Boyden award winner fired for all but calling that governor a crook”. He is the newspaper’s deputy editorial page editor.

Bruce Dold supervises the Tribune’s opinion pages. He joined the newspaper in 1978 as a political reporter and appointed on the editorial board in 1990 He was named deputy editor in 2005. The newspaper received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing and was a finalist for the same award three consecutive years. Dold is recipient of a Pulitzer for his editorial writing.

Sharon Cohen has been one of the nation’s most versatile reporters since joining the Associated Press in Chicago three decades ago. She has reported entirely on urban, labor criminal justice and military issues. A winner of numerous awards, her news and feature assignments have taken her around the country covering disasters such as the Gulf oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, coverage of the 2012 political races, Iowas caucuses and Olympics.

A free-lance photojournalist, Kenji Goto was employed by a media production company after graduating from Hosel University in Tokyo in 1991. Five years later, he established the Independent Press. He has worked with United Nations organizations , including UNICEF and its refugee agency and has reported from war-torn countries around the world. In October 2014, he was captured after entering Syria in hopes of rescuing Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa Goto was executed by Islamic State militants on January 30 2015 and is survived by a wife and child. He is the first correspondent to receive the CJA Daniel Pearl Award posthumously.


Sarah Brown Boyden joined the Chicago Evening American after attending Northwestern University in the 1920s, later moving to the Chicago Daily News . Her last job was at the Chicago Sun, which merged with the Chicago Daily Times in 1948. Boyden died in 1989 at age 86. Her family established this fund in her honor.

Robert Herguth and Andrew Schroedter
Better Government Association/Chicago Sun-Times
“Accused of raping intern, cop still on force.”

Stefano Esposito
Chicago Sun-Times
“Can a cop killer go home again?”

Kristen Schorsch
Crain’s Chicago Business
Combined health/science topic with investigative techniques

Felicia Middlebrooks / WBBM-AM
Mini-reports focusing on everyday Cuban life

Kristen McQueary / Chicago Tribune
Nominated for her brisk, bright writing style

John McCormick / Chicago Tribune
‘Crooked’ governor tries to stem slaughter on city’s streets

Rosalind Rossi / Chicago Sun-Times
Description of noise residents must endure from O’Hare International Airport

Don Rose / Chicago Observer
Has tenacity and skill in fighting for unheard Chicago citizens

Becky Yerak / Chicago Tribune 
Uncovered insurance company proposing to collect medical data on its customers

Ray Long, Monique Garcia, Joe Mahr, Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune
Produced high-quality journalism under pressure of daily deadlines and microscopic of a tightly-contested gubernatorial race.

Scott Stantis / Chicago Tribune
Delivers strong messages in a limited amount of space

“Best of Best”, $500 Reward
John McCormick / Chicago Tribune