CJA Announces Recipients of 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award, Chicago Breakout Journalist of the Year

(CHICAGO)— Former ABC 7 Chicago sports director and anchor, Jim Rose, will receive the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Tonia Hill, multimedia reporter for The TRiiBE, will be recognized as Chicago Breakout Journalist of the Year at the Chicago Journalists Association’s (CJA) annual awards ceremony, the organization announced Monday.

As one of the oldest organizations of journalists in Chicago, CJA will be presenting its 84th Anniversary Awards Ceremony on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Rettinger Hall of the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St. Tickets are $100 for non-journalists and $75 for journalists. Payments can be made at https://chicagojournalists.net/donations.

Annually recognizing excellence in Chicago journalism through several prestigious award competitions — including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dorothy Storck Award — the event is regularly attended by senior leadership, veteran reporters, columnists and editors at Chicago’s print, broadcast and digital news outlets.

CJA’s Lifetime Achievement Award annually honors an Illinois journalist exemplifying the highest levels of career achievement, courage and tenacity. Winners additionally personify the age-old journalistic mantra of using their gifts of pen and microphone to provide a voice for the voiceless.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jim Rose, former ABC 7 Chicago sports director and anchor, whose career spanned more than 40 years in the city. A household name to countless Chicagoans, Rose began his sports broadcasting career in the U.S. Army, where he acted as sports director for AFN-TV in Berlin, West Germany, from 1973 to 1975. He joined the ABC 7 team in 1982 and became the face of the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Throughout his career, Rose reported on some of the city’s biggest sports moments – from the Cubs and White Sox World Series titles to the Bears’ Super Bowl win and Blackhawks’ three Stanley Cups. There were also many Bulls championships and the famed moment when star player Michael Jordan doused him in champagne.

Rose, who retired in September, was also a contributor to the Emmy Award-winning “Our Chicago,” a series that celebrates the Black community in Chicago. Additionally, he was the co-host of The Chicago Auto Show and the Bud Billiken Parade, which is reportedly one of the largest Black parades in the U.S.

CJA will also honor an individual with the coveted title of Chicago Journalist of the Year. While the award recognizes a local journalist who has produced exemplary work, this year’s award once again features a slight twist — honoring a journalist who has demonstrated success while covering their beat and shown promise for much more great work to come. Tonia Hill, a multimedia reporter at The TRiiBE – an online news platform that is reshaping the narrative of Black Chicago – will receive the title of Chicago Breakout Journalist of the Year.

Hill is an award-winning journalist from the South Side of Chicago who is passionate about crafting narratives about the people and places in Chicago that inspire her. She primarily covers politics, and her thorough reporting has arguably further positioned The TRiiBE as a trusted, go-to resource for local political news and analysis. In addition to politics, Hill reports on various topics, including education, incarceration, cannabis and local nonprofits. Her writing has been featured in Slate, South Side Weekly, The Chicago Reader, WTTW, City Bureau and Belt Magazine.

Hosting the 84th anniversary event will be Brandon Pope, an award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated journalist, host, podcaster, media critic and columnist who has covered a range of topics from politics to sports. His work has been featured at CW26 Chicago, WBEZ, Entertainment Tonight, WGN Radio, WVON, WTTW, Ebony Magazine, Medium, REVOLT and the Chicago Sun-Times. Pope is currently the host of “On The Block: Powered by Block Club Chicago,” on CW26, and the MAKING podcast series from WBEZ and NPR. He is president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, where he focuses on shepherding in the next generation of journalists and raising money for scholarships. He’s also an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago.

Additionally, one lucky woman-presenting journalist in the Chicago area will take home the event’s $1,000 prize in the Dorothy Storck Award competition, named for the late syndicated newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner who died in August 2015. Three Dorothy Storck Award finalists will be announced next week.

A longtime member of the 84-year-old CJA, Storck’s family and her partner, former University of Illinois Chicago Political Science Professor Dick Simpson, in 2017 established the annual award to honor a Chicago area print, broadcast or digital journalist sharing Storck’s dedication, impact and commitment to craft.

Also being honored at the awards ceremony are 18 winners of the Sarah Brown Boyden Awards, selected as the best work this year in categories that range from arts and features to investigations, photography and sports. One of those 18 winners will take home a $500 prize awarded to the best of the best. Sarah Brown Boyden Award finalists will be announced the week before the awards ceremony.

Join the Chicago Journalists Association and an audience of local purveyors of journalism for this annual celebration, where we will hear from Rose, Hill, Pope and the Dorothy Storck Award winners.

For tickets: https://chicagojournalists.net/donations

For more information: chicagocja@gmail.com or 773-789-9488


The Chicago Journalists Association is a nonprofit organization boasting a storied membership of active/veteran print, broadcast and digital journalists, media and communications professionals, associated journalism educators and college journalism students in Illinois/Northwest Indiana. CJA’s core mission is the advocacy and rewarding of journalistic excellence through prestigious journalism award competitions; professional development of our members through ongoing training and newsmaker forums on industry issues; and support and mentoring of the next generation of journalists, through scholarships.