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Kogan Media Awards



2015 Kogan Awards List of Honorees

The Herman Kogan Media Awards were presented at the annual Kogan Luncheon at Maggiano's Restaurant, Chicago, on May 6. Kogan Committee Chair Dennis Culloton was joined by President Daniel A. Cotter in honoring this year's awardees.


The awards are presented to journalists who cover topics related to the law, the courts, or the administration of justice. The top award in each category carries a $1000 prize in the form of a scholarship presented to the journalism or English program at the college or university of the winner's choice. The Kogan Award Competition, established in 1989, celebrates the career of Herman Kogan, whose career spanned more than 50 years and included experience as a reporter, feature and editorial writer, editor, author, historian, biographer, literary critic, radio host and television executive.


Kogan Winners for 2015 are:


  • Broadcast Category

    • Robert Wildeboer, Cate Cahan and Patrick Smith of WBEZ-FM, Chicago Public Media, for "Of Natural Causes: Death in Illinois Prisons." With data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, WBEZ reporters spent more than a year exploring the circumstances of the natural deaths that occur in Illinois prisons.

  • Print - Features and Series Category

    • David Bernstein and Noah Isackson of Chicago Magazine for "The Truth About Chicago's Crime Rates." The two-part series took a year to investigate and exposed the Chicago Police Department's underreporting of City crime statistics.

  • Print - Legal Beat Reporting Category

    • David Jackson, Gary Marx and Duaa Eldeib of the Chicago Tribune for "Harsh Treatment." The investigative team from the Tribune obtained rare access to records of juvenile offenders, department files and police reports to bring the public the story of sexual assault of minors in juvenile state wards and residential treatment centers.

  • Online Category

    • Brett Chase of the Better Government Association for "Next Up: Illinois Municipal Bankruptcy/Suburban Pension Peril." The reporter explains exactly the effect of the Illinois pension situation on small towns and suburban municipalities as many contemplate bankruptcy.


Meritorious Achievement Awards for 2015 were presented to:


  • Broadcast Category

    • Derek John and Natalie Moore of WBEZ-FM, Chicago Public Media, for "Why Are We Still Collecting Taxes to Prevent White Flight in Chicago?" Why are taxing entities developed under Mayor Washington's administration still operating and why do they appear to be unsupervised or monitored?

  • Print - Features and Series Category

    • Roy Strom of Chicago Lawyer Magazine for "Who Do They Belong To?" This detailed look at the Illinois court case involving control of frozen embryos after a couple's divorce, may have spurred the state legislature to change the law.

  • Print - Legal Beat Reporting Category

    • Cynthia Dizikes and Todd Lighty of the Chicago Tribune, for "Warrantless Searches: Threats, Missing Money and Planted Drugs." Starting their investigation based on a tip, these reporters uncovered systematic abuse of probationers' civil rights in the adult probation department of the Cook County Circuit Court.

    • Timothy P. O'Neill of The John Marshall Law School writing for The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, for his column "Discrimination in Justice System, Can Lead to Economic, Psychological Costs." In an original and thought-provoking piece, the columnist reveals the cycle of crime set in motion when the poor receive traffic tickets they can't pay and must hide from authorities and violate more ordinances as a result.


The Chicago Bar Association congratulates the 2015 honorees.


Related Files
Herman Kogan Entry Form 2015
Herman Kogan Entry Rules 2015