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Kurtis, Baim and Meyer to get Lifetime Achievement Awards
From a press release
2014-04-03

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Baim, front left, with Windy City Times crew circa 1986. Photo by M.J. Murphy


CHICAGO — The Chicago Headline Club, the largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter in the country, has announced the three winners of its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Master of Ceremonies for the 37th annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism will be Andy Shaw, the president and chief operating officer of the Better Government Association. To purchase tickets go to: www.headlineclub.org/component/content/article/402-buy-lisagor-tickets.html .

Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include veteran journalists Tracy Baim, Bill Kurtis and Karen Meyer who will be honored for their extraordinary work in Chicago journalism at the 37th annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism banquet on Friday, May 2. This year's awardees exemplify journalism at its best.

Here are the details about each of the winners:

Tracy Baim is publisher and executive editor at Windy City Media Group, which produces Windy City Times, Nightspots, and other gay media in Chicago. She co-founded Windy City Times in 1985 and Outlines newspaper in 1987. She has won numerous gay community and journalism honors, including the Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award in 2005. She started in Chicago gay journalism in 1984 at GayLife newspaper, one month after graduating with a news-editorial degree from Drake University.

Baim is the editor and co-author of Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America ( 2012 ), a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Top 10 selection from the American Library Association GLBT Round Table.

Bill Kurtis is a 46-year veteran and an acclaimed documentary host and producer, network and major market news anchor, multimedia production company president, and grass-fed cattle rancher. Kutris spent 30 years anchoring and covering the news at WBBM-TV CBS-2 and then established Kurtis Productions, traveling to the far ends of the earth for the Peabody Award-winning series The New Explorers, which aired on PBS.

Kurtis Productions also created programs for the A&E Television Network, including the long-running, award-winning Investigative Reports and Cold Case Files® as well as Investigating History for The History Channel. Kurtis has also served as the host of A&E's American Justice-the longest running non-fiction justice series on cable. Cold Case Files was nominated for 2004 and 2005 Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. Kurtis Productions helped launch the 'golden age' of documentaries on cable television and continues to produce such programming like American Greed on CNBC. Mr. Kurtis is the recipient of numerous humanitarian, journalism and broadcasting awards.

Karen Meyer from ABC 7 has been a feature reporter in 1991. Her segments, which deal with issues pertaining to people with disabilities, appear on the ABC 7 Sunday Morning News and on ABC7 Saturday Morning News. Profoundly deaf since birth, Meyer has been the president of Karen L. Meyer and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in disability issues, since 1992. She also directs DePaul University's Office of Students with Disabilities and has taught at DePaul since January 2003.

Previously, Meyer served as Executive Director of the National Center for Access Unlimited ( NCAU ), a firm that assists corporations in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act ( 1990-92 ). From 1988-90, she worked in the Illinois Attorney General's Office as deputy chief of the Disabled Persons Advocacy Division. A long-time advocate for the disabled, Meyer was appointed by President Clinton to be the Vice Chairperson of the President's Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities in 1994.

Meyer has earned accolades for her leadership and service, including a 2011 Emmy Award, 2009 MORE Award, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; 2008 Mike Flannery Community Service Award, NAMI Greater Chicago; 2007 Aftra Disability Awareness Award; the 2007 Distinguished Journalism Award, Epilepsy Foundation Greater Chicago; Excellence in Media Award, the National Rehabilitation Association, and the 2007 Dystonia Public Service Award.

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Chicago Headline Club will give out the Anne Keegan Award for Reporting on the Little Guy for the third year. That's the person award-winning columnist Anne Keegan preferred to write about. Ms. Keegan first reported on the little guy while working at the City News Bureau of Chicago. She honed her craft at United Press International before moving to the Chicago Tribune's front page. Ms. Keegan died May 18, 2011, at 68. This award honors print and online journalists who tell extraordinary stories about ordinary people. This year's Keegan winner will be announced at the Lisagor award dinner.

The Chicago Headline Club also will award its 2013 Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting and will announce the winners of the Lisagor awards, which are awarded Chicago-area journalists for their exemplary work and truly superior contributions to journalism in a variety of categories. Winners were selected for such attributes as enterprise, accuracy, scope, style and impact.

The Chicago Headline Club will also announce the recipient of the $3,000 Les H. Brownlee Scholarship to a Chicago-area journalism student and two $3,000 scholarships for journalism students who will have unpaid summer internships in the Chicago area.

The Awards dinner, which will honor work published in 2013, will be held Friday May 2, 2013, at The Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner and awards presentation is at 7 p.m. The cost to attend is $90 for Headline Club members, $105 for non-members and $900 for a table of 10. Tickets may be purchased online at headlineclub.org/ or email chc.spj@gmail.com . Reservations for the awards dinner must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, April 25. Direct link to tickets: www.headlineclub.org/component/content/article/402-buy-lisagor-tickets.html


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