Kogan Media Awards

2010 Herman Kogan Media Awards


Legendary Chicago newsmen, Walter Jacobson, left, and his former anchor partner Bill Kurtis.


Kurtis and Jacobson Deliver Perspectives on the News Business

By Michele M. Jochner
Editorial Board Member, The CBA Record


This year's Herman Kogan Media Awards, while spotlighting the best of Chicago's legal reporting, provided the setting for a reunion of two of Chicago's most well-known and respected newsmen: Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson, who owing to their 16-year television partnership, delivered their remarks together.

Kurtis spoke of how reporters can have "different perspectives on the truth," using as an example, coverage of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Kurtis was stationed at a vantage point from which he saw the demonstrators surge into the police line and that the police responded by using their batons to control the crowd. But another reporter, who was at a different vantage point observed that the crowd did not surge into police; rather, they recoiled away from the police line.

After sharing personal reflections of their time anchoring in Chicago, both Kurtis and Jacobson noted that the field of journalism is now experiencing significant changes wrought by advances in technology and shifts in society. Jacobson said that during the past few years, what has come to pass for news is more often non-substantive "fluff" and "entertainment." Much of this is attributable to the increase in cable television news channels, where 99% of the discussion may consist of opinion with the remaining 1% constituting "news."

Jacobson said that, for a time, news management believed that this is what viewers wanted, but they were proven wrong when rating and viewership dropped. He is optimistic that the pendulum may be swinging back in the opposite direction.

Kurtis echoed Jacobson's concerns, and noted that today television journalism is a business, subject to the same market pressures and layoffs as any other business.



Kogan Award winners at the 2010 Awards Luncheon held at Petterrino's Restaurant, Chicago, on May 4, 2010. Front row from left: R. David Donohue, Holland & Knight, LLP; Kimbriell Kelly, The Chicago Reporter, Rui Kaneya, The Chicago Reporter; Larry Yellen, WFLD TV; Robert Wildeboer, WBEZ-FM; and Diane Carbonara, WFLD-TV. Back row from left: Terri L. Mascherin, CBA President; Judge Michael Hyman, Kogan Committee Vice Chair; Angela Harkless, Kogan Award Committee Chair; Walter Jacobson, keynote speaker; Rick Kogan, guest; Timothy P. Smith, WFLD-TV; and Bill Kurtis, keynote speaker.


Winners of 2010 Herman Kogan Media Awards


Print Category


Kogan Winner

Kelly Virella, Rui Kaneya and Kimbriell Kelly
The Chicago Reporter
"Above the Law"


Meritorious Acheievement Awards

David Jackson, Gary Marx and Sam Roe
The Chicago Tribune
"Compromised Care"

Chris Fusco, Art Golab, Dave McKinney, and Tim Novak
The Chicago Sun-Times
"Pension Bonanza"



Online Category


Kogan Winner

R. David Donohue
Holland & Knight LLP
"Northern District of Illinois's New Local Paten Rules: Analysis and Commentary"



Broadcast Category


Kogan Winner

Larry Yellen, Diane Carbonara, Chuck Quinzio, Timothy P. Smith
WFLD-TV Channel 12
"Cindy Bishof Law" Investigation


Meritorious Achievement Award

Robert Wildeboer and Cate Cahan
"Money for Kids Not Going to Kids"