Chicago Journalists Association Announces 80th Anniversary Awards Dinner

ABC 7’s Cheryl Burton To Be Honored

Crain’s Chicago Business’ Jim Kirk To Keynote

(CHICAGO)— ABC 7 Chicago Anchor Cheryl Burton will receive the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Crain’s Chicago Business Publisher/Executive Editor Jim Kirk will keynote the Chicago Journalists Association’s 80th Anniversary Awards Dinner, the organization announced Monday.

As the oldest organization of journalists in Chicago, the Chicago Journalists Association will present its 80th Anniversary Awards Dinner on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, from 6:30-10:30PM, in the Plaza Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.

Annually recognizing Excellence in Chicago Journalism through several prestigious award competitions — including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Daniel Pearl Award and Dorothy Storck Award — the event is regularly attended by senior leadership and veteran reporters, columnists and editors at Chicago’s Print/Broadcast/Digital News outlets, as well as Newsmakers — political and civic leaders.

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One lucky Chicago area columnist will take home the $1,000 prize in the Dorothy Storck Award competition, named for the late syndicated newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winner who passed in August 2015. Three Dorothy Storck Award finalists will be announced Nov. 4.

A longtime member of the 80-year-old CJA, Storck’s family and her fiancé, University of Illinois at Chicago Political Science Professor Dick Simpson, in 2017 established the annual award to honor a Chicago area Print, Broadcast or Digital columnist sharing Storck’s dedication, impact and commitment to craft.

Also being honored at the dinner are 18 winners of the Sarah Brown Boyden Awards, selected as the best work this year in categories that range from arts, blogs, editorials and features, to investigations, photography, public service and sports. One of those 18 winners will take home a $500 prize awarded to the best of the best.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Chicago native and 12-time Emmy Award-winning Anchor/Reporter Cheryl Burton, who helms two of the #1 rated newscasts in Chicago — ABC 7 Eyewitness News at 5 PM and the station’s 10 PM newscast. Burton joined ABC 7 in 1992 as a weekend co-anchor and reporter.

Burton’s reporting has taken her to the heart of Chicago neighborhoods, across the United States, and around the globe. Whether she’s covering the opening of Oprah’s school for girls in South Africa, exposing the plight of one of Illinois’ poorest schools or assessing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Burton brings compelling stories home to Chicago. This veteran of Chicago’s vibrant news landscape is well-respected for her dedication to exposing injustices and bringing the stories of the underprivileged to the forefront.

Burton has received many honors for her work, including the 2009 Procter and Gamble Pioneer Award for community service; the 2008 Vernon Jarrett Par Excellence Award in journalism; and the Thurgood Marshall Award in 2004 and 2005.

Keynote speaker Jim Kirk, who oversees all business and editorial operations as Publisher/Executive Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, will provide industry perspective and speak on the challenges impacting the future of journalism.

Kirk is a respected veteran of Chicago journalism and publishing circles, rejoining Crain’s in October 2018 after serving as editor in chief of the Los Angeles Times. He joined Tribune Publishing in 2017 as senior vice president of strategic initiatives, and before that, served as senior vice president, editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times for five years.

Kirk, who started his journalism career in Chicago at Grocery Marketing magazine and Adweek magazine in the early 1990s, previously served as chief of editorial operations at Crain’s from 2011 to 2012. A native of the Chicago area, he has worked in the Washington bureau of Bloomberg News, overseeing coverage of the White House, Congress and federal agencies. Kirk is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and has served on the board of the Illinois Press Association and is a past president of Illinois Associated Press Media Editors.

Hosting the 80th anniversary event will be four-time Emmy Award winner Lourdes Duarte, Co-Anchor of WGN-TV’s evening news at 4 PM. Duarte, a 12-year veteran of WGN, previously co-anchored the top-rated WGN Morning News and reported for WGN News at Nine. Widely recognized for her volunteer work and engagement with Chicago’s minority communities, Duarte also hosts WGN’s public affairs program, “Adelante Chicago.”

Honored by DePaul University this year with the Distinguished Alumna Award for work that embodies the highest principles of journalism, Duarte started her journalism career as a reporter for Telemundo Chicago, going on to work in news markets throughout the country, including Miami, Indianapolis and Detroit before becoming one of WGN’s top investigative reporters.

Special guest Chaz Hammell-Smith Ebert, CEO of Ebert Digital LLC, will offer an “In Memoriam” tribute. The wife of the late famed movie critic Roger Ebert is publisher of the movie review site; produces television and movies, and heads the Ebertfest film festival, now in its 21st year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A graduate of the Chicago Public Schools’ Crane High School and DePaulUniversity College of Law — both beneficiaries of Ebert scholarships — the civil rights attorney is president of the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation; life trustee of the Art Institute, and member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Her work focuses on programs to help break the glass ceiling for women and people of color, and provide education and arts for women, children and families.

This year’s event is sponsored by American Airlines, Chicago Community Trust, McCormick Foundation, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Mary Ann Marsh/@ Properties, Matt Tierney/Guaranteed Rate, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Morris, DeSoto & State Communications, Inc., Hyatt Hotels and Ms. Linda Gerber.

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For more Information: or 773-789-9488.