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September-October 2020

IT'S CONVENTION TIME! The IPA/IPF Convention is Sept. 14-18! This edition includes information about all of the virtual programming planned and about this year's winners of the Distiguished Service Award.

Rediscovering history The photo shows Mary Wallace behind the wheel of an old-style CTA bus, the one folks once called the "Green Limousine" because of its color, with its soft seats and big fishbowl front window. It's June 1974 and Wallace is about to make history as the first woman to drive a CTA bus. Almost 50 years later, Wallace is a part of Chicago history again. The photograph, capturing a small milestone in women's rights, is among roughly 5 million historic Sun-Times images rescued from near-oblivion and now being restored, digitized and placed online by the Chicago History Museum. PAGE 26


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It's finally time for the annual convention!

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veryone understands the unprecedented changes we all have been forced to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it’s in our personal or professional lives. At the Illinois Press Association, we postponed our convention that was originally scheduled in May to an alternate date in October. Then we came to the realization that things weren’t going to improve to the point of being able to have an in-person convention – so we went virtual. It’s a decision that every association in the newspaper world is facing. Not to brag,

but we are pretty good at doing the in-person variety, but have no experience going virtual. So now we’re set to try something starting on Sept 14 that we hope will be of great benefit to our members. Our hope is that we are able to attract more folks to participate in our programming offerings. There is no registration fee, and no travel or hotel costs. The only commitment you have to make is your time. As I said, this is all new and we had to take a crash course in learning when it comes to all things virtual, or in our case the complete ins and outs of Zoom.

Thanks go to the IPA staff for their efforts on making this technological leap. Cindy Bedolli always keeps everyone on task when it comes to putting the convention together and had the added responsibility of transitioning it to the new format. Jeff Rogers has been putting the editorial program together as well as preparing the various slide shows and videos for the programming. Sandy Pistole lended her experience in putting the ad side of the virtual convention together. We hope to see as many of you as possible virtually September 14-18. Even if it’s, virtual we are all better by association.

SAM FISHER President & CEO

Dorothy Leavell joins Illinois Press Association board Dorothy Leavell

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Press Association Board Chairman Scott Stone is pleased to announce that Dorothy Leavell, editor and publisher of the Crusader Group, is joining the IPA Board. Since 1968, Leavell has served as editor and publisher of the Crusader Newspaper Group in Chicago and Gary, Indiana, after the death of her first husband, Balm L. Leavell Jr., co-founder of both publications in 1940

and 1961, respectively. Once at the helm of the company, Leavell instituted modern changes to enhance the production and effectiveness of the newspapers. She also stabilized her holdings by purchasing and upgrading the buildings, which housed its editorial and production facilities. Since their inception, the Chicago Crusader and Gary Crusader have never missed a single issue. In September 2018, she became chairman

OFFICERS

900 Community Drive Springfield, IL 62703 Ph. 217-241-1300 Fax 217-241-1301 www.illinoispress.org

Stefanie Anderson Paddock Publications Inc./Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group

Don Bricker | Vice-Chair Shaw Media, Sterling

David Bauer Hearst Newspapers, Jacksonville

Ron Wallace | Immediate Past Chair Quincy Herald-Whig

See LEAVELL on Page 3

DIRECTORS

Scott Stone | Chair Daily Herald Media Group, Arlington Heights

Sue Walker | Treasurer Herald Newspapers, Inc., Chicago

of the board of STM Reader LLC, publishers of the Chicago Reader newspaper. She has been chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association on three occasions and has served as its foundation chair as well. The NNPA is the only Black newspaper trade organization and has a combined readership of more than 15 million.

Chris Fusco Chicago Sun-Times Darrell Garth Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group

Margaret Holt Chicago Tribune Media Group, Chicago Dorothy Leavell Crusader Group, Chicago Sandy Macfarland Law Bulletin Media, Chicago Jim Slonoff The Hinsdalean, Hinsdale Wendy Martin Mason County Democrat, Havana

IPA STAFF | PHONE 217-241-1300 Sam Fisher, President & CEO Ext. 222 – sfisher@illinoispress.org

Sandy Pistole, Director of Revenue Ext. 238 - spistole@illinoispress.org

Ron Kline, Technology & Online Coordinator Ext. 239 - rkline@illinoispress.org

Tracy Spoonmore, Chief Financial Officer Ext. 237 - tspoonmore@illinoispress.org

Cindy Bedolli, Member Relations Ext. 226 - cbedolli@illinoispress.org

Jeff Rogers, Director of Foundation Ext. 286 – jrogers@illinoispress.org

ILLINOIS PRESSLINES is published bimonthly for $30 per year for Illinois Press Association members by the Illinois Press Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Jeff Rogers, Editor © Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. Volume 26 September/October 2020 Number 5 Date of Issue: 9/8/2020


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We all long for a return to normal

drove 685 miles yesterday. Well, not actually yesterday as you read this, but yesterday in relation to as I’m writing. Anyway, my travels took me to the northwest and northeast “corners” of the state from Springfield, with a stop in between all the traveling for a haircut - I needed one - and an additional stop closer to home. I was making rounds in preparation for the upcoming Illinois Press Association/Foundation convention, which is being held virtually Sept. 14-18. I was helping to make sure we had all of the traveling trophies in hand before convention begins. (Normally, the previous year’s winners bring them back to convention to be handed to the current year’s winners. If there’s a way to do that virtually, let me know!) I was also out making visits where the reporter of the year and the editor of the year work. There will be video announcements of the inaugural winners of those awards during the convention. Make sure to be watching! Two IPA colleagues, Sandy Pistole and Cindy Bedolli, had made similar trips to sites for advertising award presentations. And we all noticed the same thing: Newspaper employees miss being around each other. Sandy and Cindy visited a location that cannot be disclosed until when the award for advertising sales representative of the year is announced, it was the first time members of that newspaper’s advertising staff had been together in one place in many months. As I was watching the video they took of the award winner being surprised by her colleagues, the interactions between staff members seemed more emotional than I expected. I asked Cindy, who shot the video, if the staffers hadn’t seen

each other in a while. “Since, I think, March,” Cindy said. That explained it. They missed each other. I had the same experience surprising the reporter of the year award winner yesterday. (Also at a location that cannot be disclosed.) In the time between when the newspaper closed its office because of the COVID-19 panJEFF ROGERS demic and now, an editor and two reporters had been hired. Director of Foundation They hadn’t yet met most of their colleagues in person until the gathering that was arranged to surprise the reporter of the year - Who was definitely surprised! Again, you’ll have to watch the presentation on Thursday, Sept. 17, during our virtual convention! It was obvious by the interactions I saw during the get-together in the newspaper’s parking lot that people were catching up on conversations they’d longed to have with each other but really can’t via Zoom. Editors and reporters were talking with each other. Management and staff were conversing, and laughing. With the exception of the presence of face masks that everyone was wearing, it was a refreshing half-hour slice of normal. There’s no telling when, or even if, newspaper offices will return to “normal” operations. We’re going through the same things at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation that you are. We’re all working from, and communicating with each almost exclusively via Zoom, email and phone. The in-person interactions are rare.

We miss them, too. Newspaper offices are weird and wonderful places. The people who work on them are weird and wonderful. The conversations and activity in a newspaper office are difficult to replicate in a virtual meeting. It might be convenient to work from home. But I’m guessing many of you miss the weird and wonderful things that happen daily at a newspaper office. So, as we prepare to all meet virtually during the convention in a few days, I wanted simply to acknowledge that I appreciate what you’re going through. Know that while we think the virtual convention will be fun and informative in addition to being FREE and livestreamed into your home office, it’s not the same as being in person. Here’s to hoping that we return to our offices, and in-person conventions, soon!

LEAVELL Continued from Page 2 During her tenure, she increased the visibility and international stature of the organization. Leavell led a 20-member delegation to Nigeria to investigate its political crisis. She also was a staunch and visible supporter for the controversial and delayed confirmation of Alexis Herman as U.S. secretary of labor, attending the swearing-in ceremony in 1997.

As the NNPA Foundation chairman, she led a committee to pardon the Wilmington Ten – nine young men and a woman wrongfully convicted in North Carolina of arson and conspiracy. They were pardoned in 2013. Leavell has been featured in news stories and television programs, discussing such topics as women in business, the strength of the Black

press, cultural diversity and its impact on business, and several human and civil rights issues. Leavell is a lifelong supporter of the arts, and has been honored and recognized for her philanthropic and civic contributions. She most recently was presented with the Corporate Award of Excellence by the Gary branch of the NAACP, the

Ida B. Wells Legacy Award and the Katie Hall Public Service Award, all in 2019. Sam Fisher, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Press Association, asked all to welcome Leavell to the IPA board. “Her background and experience will be of great benefit to both the board and Association,” he said.


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Look who's talking! A quick look at who is scheduled to present virtual programs during convention SELLING IN TOUGH TIMES: HOW DO THEY DO IT? 9-10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14 Sales reps from Illinois newspapers share how they keep it positive in tough times, and how they keep going when everything around them is unknown and changing. They will share how they continued driving sales in the past six months during the COVID-19 pandemic, how they respond to “nobody reads the newspaper”, what they see in the future of newspaper and digital advertising sales, and more. Jay Dickerson, advertising manager at The Galena Gazette, will lead the group of sales reps during this 60-minute session. There will be time for a short Q & A. Also participating will be Kristine Ressler, Mike Bonnell, Kathy Metcalf, Monica Pedroza and Brandon Goodenough. About the moderator: Jay Dickerson is the advertising manager of the Galena Gazette in Galena, Illinois. Jay and his wife, Hillary, the Galena Gazette’s editor, have three daughters, Lilly (18), Maya (16) and Ruby (14). A 1999 graduate of Monmouth College, he was a reporter in

Lancaster, Wis.; the editor of the Tri-County Press in Cuba City, Wis.; and a features publications editor at the Gaylord Herald Times in Gaylord, Mich. In 2003, Dickerson became editor of The Galena Gazette, a position he held for eight years. He’s been the advertising manager since 2011. In his time at the Gazette, Jay Dickerson he’s covered murder trials, mentored college interns, sold award-winning ad campaigns and grown to understand the importance of quality community journalism. He’s active in events through the Galena Center for the Arts, and has volunteered through the Galena Historical Society in the annual cemetery walk. Additionally, he’s the president of the Galena Center for the Arts board, the president of the Kiwanis Club of Galena, a former president of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association and the secretary of the Galena Area Chamber of Commerce. Just this year he started the Galena Podcast.

TAKING THE NON-PROFIT LEAP 1:30-2:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14 Dan Haley is the editor and publisher of four weekly newspapers - three in near west suburban Chicago and one on Chicago's West Side. In the past year, Haley and his team made the bold move of shifting the papers to a nonprofit model. About the same time, the Chicago Reader was making its own Dan Hailey Tracy Baim transition into a nonprofit news organization. Haley will talk about how the change has worked for their operations. Publisher Tracy Baim will tell the story of the Reader's transformation. Is this a model of the future for more Illinois newspapers? Listen in during this 60-minute session. There will be time for a Q&A after the presentation.

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RE-IGNITING THE POST-COVID-19 SALES CONVERSATION WITH ADVERTISERS 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 COVID-19 was devastating for most local and regional business owners. So, how do we as sales pros sympathize, but get back to that much-needed marketing conversation? Media sales coach Ryan Dohrn will share 7 ways to re-ignite the conversation with style, ideas, and realistic expectations. From handling objections like “COVID has killed our business,” Ryan Dohrn to the objection of “I am too busy now,” to explaining the “marketing bump” to email templates, to perfect post-COVID prospecting times, to revised pricing options. Come prepared to laugh and learn from a media sales pro who still sells today and has touched over half a billion dollars in ad sales over his 30-year career. About the speaker: Ryan Dohrn is the founder of media sales strategy firm Brain Swell Media and the creator of the 360 Ad Sales System taught to over 20,000 ad sales reps in 7 countries. Ryan works with over 125 newspapers per year and has a deep passion for the newspaper business. Ryan’s 25-year media sales

and marketing career includes leadership roles at PennWell Publishing, Morris Publishing, Disney/ABC TV and The NY Times Company. He is an Emmy Award winner, business book author and has been featured in USA Today and on Forbes.com. Ryan currently works monthly with over 50 media companies and their related sales and management teams. DATA JOURNALISM SESSION 1:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 Brant Houston, professor and Knight chair of Investigative Reporting Journalism Department, College of Media University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will be the presenter. This session will offer both an introduction to basic data analysis and visualization using spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel) and to telling stories with data. The session will include recommendations for local and regional databases that can provide tips, context and depth to quick turnaround stories or longer projects. This session is sponsored by the Mid-America Press Institute.. About the speaker: Professor Brant Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. Houston teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at Illinois.

He also oversees the online newsroom at Illinois, CU-CitizenAccess.org, which serves as a lab for digital innovation and data journalism. Houston became the chair in 2007 after serving for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a 5,000-member organization, and as a Brant Huston professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years. Houston is the author of four editions of the textbook, “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide,” and co-author of the fourth edition and fifth edition of “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook.” He co-founded the Global Investigative Journalism Network in 2003 and serves as chair of its board of directors. He has taught and spoken about investigative and computer-assisted reporting at newsrooms and universities in 25 countries. Currently he is working on projects involving nonprofit journalism newsrooms, digital tools for news-gathering, and new business models for journalism.

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SPORTS COVERAGE THAT CONNECTS WITH STUDENTS, PARENTS 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 This session will be presented by Joe Gisondi, author of Field Guide to Covering Sports. Live prep sports coverage often gets overlooked by professional sports publications while student run publications struggle to reach their audience for different reasons related to high school athletics. Prep sports are read not only by students, but by parents and grandparents as well. Tune in to learn how to improve your coverage and on how to help writers improve their skills. About the speaker: Joe Gisondi, a journalism professor at Eastern Illinois UniJoe Gisondi versity, is the author of the Field Guide To Writing Sports and the editor/publisher of ColesCountySports.com, a website dedicated to local sports coverage in East Central Illinois. He can be reached at @joegisondi on Twitter and more tips and advice can be found at SportsFieldGuide.org. He worked at several newspapers across Florida for more than 20 years, mostly in sports – Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today, Clearwater Sun, Fort Myers News-Press – before coming to Eastern in 2002. He advised the Daily Eastern News from 2004 to 2008, during which it also earned several national ACP Pacemaker Award nominations for its print and online editions. He has been co-host for a sports media podcast at WEIU-FM for the past two years.

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HELPING BUSINESS OWNERS FIND THEIR “UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION” 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 Mike Centorani, director of sales training for Gannett Media, will present the programming. All newspaper sales reps attempt to sell advertising space to business owners, regardless of whether it’s print, digital, or a combination of both. However, what percentage of the time does that result in helping the business owner tell their best story? Every business should have specific reasons why a potential customer, client, or patient, etc. should choose its business over one of its competitors. Unfortunately, very few businesses ever achieve this goal. In addition, very few media sales reps have ever been properly trained to help businesses develop powerful advertising messages for their clients. During this sales training program, we’ll discuss how to help small and medium-sized business owners better tell their story, while also helping sales reps to make more sales, larger sales, and sales that last

longer…because their ad programs work! This session will provide real-world tips and ideas on how to think about any business from “their customer’s perspective.” A media sales rep who learns how to master this sales approach will achieve a better prospecting-to-appointment (and closing) percentage, as well as give Mike Centorani themselves a better opportunity to achieve “trusted-media advisor” status. About the speaker: Mike Centorani is the Director of Sales Training for Gannett Media. Mike brings over 25 years of traditional media experience combined with over 15 years of digital marketing expertise. He was chosen by Google to offer sales training to their Google Premier SMB Partners in 2011 and was one of Google’s Certified “Micro-moments” Speakers in 2016. Mike has worked with 46 media companies in 22 countries and is a frequent speaker at many newspaper conferences as well as the Local Media Association and BIA Kelsey conferences.

ASSOCIATED PRESS UPDATE/IAPME AWARDS 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 Advancing the Power of Facts: AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee discusses how the cooperative is simultaneously covering a global pandemic, worldwide protests over racial injustice and a presidential election. Following Buzbee’s session, AP Midwest regional director Kia Breaux presents the top Sally Buzbee Illinois APME awards. About the speakers: Sally Buzbee is the Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of The Associated Press. She oversees global news operations and news content in text, photos and video from journalists based in 250 locations worldwide. Previously Buzbee served as Washington bureau chief for six

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years, where she led AP’s coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and elections of Donald Trump and the 2012 election, including oversight of polling and investigative units, as well as coverage of institutions such as the White House, Congress and the Pentagon. Buzbee joined AP in 1988 as a reporter in Kansas and also worked as a reporter in Los Angeles and Washington. For five years beginning in November 2004 Buzbee served as AP’s Middle East regional editor based in Cairo. In that position she led AP’s news coverage across media formats during the Iraq war, and managed personnel, logistics, budgets and Kia Breaux security for AP’s Middle East region. Kia Breaux is the Midwest regional director for The Associated Press. As regional director, she is responsible for business development and managing strategic partnerships. Breaux joined AP in 1997 as a reporter in the Kansas City bureau. She was promoted to correspondent in the AP’s Roanoke, Va., bureau and later was named news editor for Nebraska operations, based in Omaha. She returned to Kansas City in 2005 as assistant chief of bureau for Missouri and Kansas and

was promoted to bureau chief in 2010. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and was recently selected for inclusion in the Missouri Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame. AGRICULTURE 201 1:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 Jeff Brown, director of news and communications, and DeAnne Bloomberg, director of issues management, of Illinois Farm Bureau will present this program. Your reporters know the basics of agribusiness – planting and harvest updates, the futures markets, the weather, and trends like family farming. Illinois Farm Bureau is a great resource for the information beyond “Ag 101.” This is an opportunity to meet with Illinois Farm Bureau staff about finding sources on everything from the many different products Illinois farmers produce to the importance of conservation, politics and farming and how the “eat local” movement is boosting small-town economies across the state. Illinois Farm Bureau can connect you with experts on: n Sustainability and the environment n Nutrition and the food supply chain

n Technology and current

farming practices n Financial planning for farmers and non-farm families n Agricultural tourism n Specialty ag products, from fruits and vegetables to DeAnne Bloomberg pumpkins to things you didn’t know we grew in Illinois, like rice. REVENUE IDEA EXCHANGE: THAT'S MY IDEA? 9-9:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 You will get some great advertising revenue ideas during this 45-minute session. We will share entries from newspapers around the state and announce the top four winners of $50 each. Sandy Pistole, director of revenue for the Illinois Press Association, will moderate.

Jeff Brown

Sandy Pistole

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Tucker Kennedy

Brian Bretsch

POWER UP YOUR UTILITIES COVERAGE 10:30-11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 Tucker Kennedy, director of communications, and Brian Bretsch, media relations, from Ameren Illinois will present this program. There’s been a major storm and there’s a power outage in your coverage area. For many news organizations in Illinois, that means you’ll be seeking information from Ameren Illinois, which delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.2 million customers in downstate Illinois. Who should you talk to? How do you reach them? And did you know that informational session will help make the work of your

reporters and editors more efficient the next time there’s a weather event in your area.

ILLINOIS PRESS ASSOCIATION BEST OF THE PRESS AWARDS 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 BUILDING A WATCHDOG CULTURE IN YOUR NEWSROOM 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 Think you don't have enough time for watchdog journalism? Stretched way too thin for investigations? Overwhelmed with keeping the daily machine running? We've all been there. Chris Coates, the

Central Illinois editor for Lee Enterprises Inc., will offer practical advice for creating a newsroom culture that values public service and accountability reporting, no matter the staff size. About the speaker: Chris Coates Chris Coates is Central Illinois editor for Lee Enterprises Inc., overseeing newsgathering staff in Bloomington, Decatur, Mattoon and Eureka. A Trenton, Michigan, native, he is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and has been

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DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD HONOREES 2020: Don Craven, Gerald Taylor, Jon Whitney (see pages 14-16) 2019: Dale Barker, Cass County Star-Gazette, Beardstown 2019: Mike Kramer, Law Bulletin Media, Chicago 2019: Charles Wheeler, Public Affairs Reporting program, UIS 2018: John Galer, Hillsboro Journal Inc. 2018: Jim Slonoff, The Hinsdalean 2017: Tom Oakley, Quincy Media, Quincy 2017: Tom Shaw, Shaw Media, Sterling 2017: Cheryl Wormley, Woodstock Independent 2017: Bill Garth (posthumous), Citizen Newspapers, Chicago 2016: Jeff Farren, Kendall County Record, Yorkville 2016: Kathy Farren, Kendall County Record, Yorkville 2016: John Foreman, News-Gazette Media, Champaign 2016: Carter Newton, The Galena Gazette.

2015: Sandy Macfarland, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 2015: Patrick Coburn, State Journal-Register, Springfield 2015: Howard Hay, Chicago Tribune 2015: Doug Ray, Paddock Publications, Arlington Heights 2015: Clyde Wills, Metropolis Planet 2009:Bruce Sagan, Hyde Park Herald, Chicago 2005: Charles Richards, Regional Publishing Company, Palos Heights 2003: Wayne Woltman, Press-Republican Newspapers, St. Charles 1999: Jack R. Kubik, Sr., LIFE Newspapers, Berwyn 1996: Lanning Macfarland, Jr., Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 1995: Jerry Reppert, The Gazette Democrat, Anna 1994: Thomas (Tom) Phillips, Pana News-Palladium 1991: Robert (Bob) Best, The News Progress, Sullivan 1990: Joseph (Joe) Ferstl, Pulitzer/Lerner Newspaper, Morton Grove

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a business reporter in Los Angeles, managing editor of Illinois publications for the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis and editor of the Sioux City Journal in northwestern Iowa. He also was watchdog-investigations editor for The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, part of the USA Today Network. Chris is the 2014 Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication Chamberlin Fellow and one of Editor & Publisher’s “25 under 35” for 2013.

Jim Rossow

SPECIAL SECTIONS, SPECIAL EFFORTS 9-9:45 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18 Jim Rossow, vice president of news, and Jeff D’Alessio, editor, of The News-Gazette of Champaign will present this program. In a year when the newspaper’s staff was reduced significantly, The News-GaJeff D'Alessio zette upped the ante in terms

of compelling, revenue-producing special sections. It was able to pull it off only by relying as much on guest contributors as staff writers, starting with a 40-page, list-filled Best of the Decade tab and continuing throughout the year with a special section showcasing first responders during the pandemic and, most recently, an 18-page, quick-turn broadsheet tribute to the University of Illinois' all-time winningest basketball coach, the late Lou Henson

ILLINOIS PRESS ASSOCIATION ADVERTISING AWARDS 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 CHICAGO INDEPENDENT MEDIA ALLIANCE – BETTER TOGETHER IN CHICAGO 1:30-2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 Yazmin Dominquez, CIMA project coordinator, and others will present this program Facing drops of revenue as high as 85 percent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 43 independent Chicago media outlets joined forces in the spring as the Chicago Independent Media

Alliance to raise funds. The for-profit and nonprofit organizations represent a wide cross-section of authentic community media in the city and nearby suburbs. A key goal going forward is to create a pooled journalism fund featuring multiple funding streams, including public and private foundations, private donors, Yazmin Dominguez and government. Dominguez and others will tell CIMA's story. Is shared fundraising efforts something other news organizations could consider? About the speaker: Yazmin Dominguez is the media partnerships coordinator for CIMA at the Chicago Reader. A former reporter for City Bureau she has reported on issues pertaining to policing and community events in Chicago. For the past year, she has assembled all 66 members of the alliance under the guidance of Reader leadership. Currently, she is responsible for coordinating projects and maintaining partnerships for the Chicago Independent Media Alliance. She hopes to continue structuring the alliance internally with other leaders of Chicago media in order to ensure the prosperity of journalism in Chicago.


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Meet this year's Distinguished Service Award winners The Illinois Press Association is honoring three longtime IPA members this year. Because the convention is virtual, recognition of this year's winners is planned for the 2021 convention. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes IPA members for their exceptional service, involvement and support of the IPA, the Illinois Press Foundation and the Illinois First Amendment Center.

DON CRAVEN

GERALD TAYLOR

JON WHITNEY

By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association

By ROGER RUTHHART For Illinois Press Association

By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association

SPRINGFIELD — As legal counsel for 400plus newspapers throughout Illinois, Don Craven’s work is more important than ever as young reporters are greener and greener behind the gills when it comes to media law. “Writing ability and those aspects of the job are still being taught, but media law and how to work your way through a bureaucracy is not a Level 1 course,” he said. “It’s hard to teach.” Don Craven Good thing he’s still enjoying it. “Is it still thrilling? Yes,” he said. “Do I get giddy about it? Not anymore. But they still do, and that’s the fun part.” Craven’s labor of love are being recognized this year as he receives a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Press Association along with two others. The honor isn’t a close to a career — it’s just a milestone. “I’m going to continue to practice as long as it’s fun — and it’s still fun,” he said. “The nature of my practice is I come into the office in the morning, look at the computer, and there’s not a morning that goes by that there isn’t an email from some reporter, some editor around the state, on an important issue.” Law talk was commonplace at Craven’s childhood home, his father Jim Craven then a judge on an appellate court and his mother the state legislative chairwoman for the League of Women Voters — during Equal Rights Amendment days in Illinois, no less. Craven thinks he would have gone into law regardless of his pedigree, and after getting his law degree from Southern Illinois-Carbondale in 1981, he soon set up shop in Springfield with his father. Jim Craven befriended a local radio man, Bill Miller, who had taken over running the Public Affairs Reporting program at what was then San-

MOLINE — Gerald J. Taylor, longtime editor and publisher of The Dispatch, The Rock Island Argus and other Quad-Cities based publications, retired in 2017 following the sale of the newspapers by the Small Newspaper Group. His is among three people given a Distinguished Service Award this year by the Illinois Press Association. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes IPA mem¬bers for Gerald Taylor their exceptional service, involvement and support of the IPA, the Illinois Press Foundation and the Illinois First Amendment Center. In 1975, Jerry Taylor came to The Dispatch in Moline as city editor from Salt Lake City, Utah, by way of a stint with the Associated Press in Chicago. He would advance to managing editor, general manager and editor/publisher. The Quad-Cities is where he and his wife, Martha, chose to raise their 7 children. “In my 24 years as its executive director, I can easily say Jerry was the most outstanding board member and board president I knew,” said former Illinois Press Association executive Dave Bennett. “He was generous with his time and resources, he was dedicated to the welfare of all newspapers in Illinois, he was a crusader for protecting First Amendment rights, and he was personally involved with all the legislative battles that made IPA a successful lobbying force during his tenure.” In 1986 the Small Newspaper Group purchased The Rock Island Argus – a masthead dating to before the Civil War. At the same time The Leader, a weekly serving neighboring Scott County, Iowa, and a number of other niche publications were born. The two dailies were soon converted from afternoon to morning publication under Taylor’s leadership. In the early 1990s the newspapers were among

THOMSON — Jon Whitney didn’t finish college at Northern Iowa University, but he completed his education in Springfield. “I learned newspapering by going to the Illinois Press Association conventions — learning, reading, meeting the publishers and talking to people there,” said Whitney, who at 75 and still going strong is the longtime owner, publisher and author of the Carroll County Review. Jon Whitney “That’s really how I learned.” Obviously, he learned well. Whitney is one of three people being honored this year as a Distinguished Service Award winner by the Illinois Press Association. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes IPA mem¬bers for their exceptional service, involvement and support of the IPA, the Illinois Press Foundation and the Illinois First Amendment Center. These days, down a writer, Whitney said he’s still putting in 70 to 80 hours a week to fill up the weekly newspaper. The IPA’s executive director, Sam Fisher, admires Whitney. He ought to, seeing as how to a certain extent he orchestrated Fisher’s career path. “He actually talked to Dave Bennett about getting me on the [IPA] board,” Fisher said. “Jon runs a great newspaper. From an editorial standpoint, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better small newspaper. He makes a real commitment to the news product. What he’s created is what every small newspaper should be.” Whitney served as president of the IPA board in 1985. “I’m very flattered, humbled and honored,” he said. Whitney is looking for someone to buy the paper, but he won’t sell it to some big corporation or a fly-by-night upstart that won’t continue its legacy.

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WHITNEY Continued from Page 14 That sort of pride has been a double-edged sword throughout his career — leaving him with a mixed sense of pride and dissatisfaction. “I’ve never felt we’ve done an adequate job,” he said. “We’ve done a good job, but for every story we write, there’s another one we could have written. We’ve done the best we can with the resources we have. Because of that, I think we’ve done some remarkable stuff.” These days he uses a couple of parttime photographers to get the visuals. Then he scours box scores and talks to coaches to write the sports copy. He still pounds the pavement to cover all the government meetings he can. He inherited that passion from his father, Kenneth, who literally lived at the Chadwick Review in the downtown of the sleepy town “He had a tiny two-burner coal stove he’d cook over and a little rickety cot he slept on,” Whitney said. Whitney said his father was an extremely good speller, and he urged his son to take typing in high school — when boys didn’t take typing. He taught him to run the small press, hand-set type and melt lead. During summer breaks from UNI,

Jon Whitney, longtime owner, publisher and editor of the Carroll County Review weekly newspaper, was the president of the Illinois Press Association Board in 1985. He is currently a member of the Illinois Press Foundation Board. (Photo submitted) where Whitney played college basketball as a freshman, he sold ads and worked in production. His dad mortgaged his house so they could buy the paper in 1967, and Jon and his wife Nancy — who is also a driving force at the paper, “always at my side,” Whitney said — lived in a mobile home in Thomson and somehow made ends meet.

The business of owning a newspaper had a steep, slippery learning curve. “I didn’t know we had to have such things as operating capital,” Whitney said. “We based our salaries on the subscription revenue that came in — and we’re still doing that.” He said while he’s concerned for the future of print media at large, he suspects small papers will be OK, as

big-city issues could scurry residents to rural America, where news will always be invaluable. “We cover the issues and give our readers something they can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “But papers need to find new revenue streams. Where that revenue is going to come from, I’m not sure.” He’s always taken great pride in working for his community and giving back whenever possible and appropriate. He said that labor of love has brought many honors and taken him many places — including to the White House, where he’s met five presidents. Sure, he’d love to retire and get back to his hobbies. He’s got a full woodworking shop in the back of the building, where the press used to be. He used to read five books a day and now struggles to find the time and energy to crack a cover. He’d love to see his two granddaughters more. Good thing his work is worth it — not to mention still enjoyable. “I’m still going to my hobby,” he said of making newspapers. “There are very few people in the world who can say they’re not going to work. They’re going to their hobby.”

CRAVEN Continued from Page 14 gamon State University, now the University of Illinois at Springfield — “teaching all these reporters how to raise hell, cause trouble and annoy people,” as Don described it. Miller started referring the drove of questions the students were asking to the Cravens. “That led to establishing a sort of First Amendment hotline for reporters,” Craven said. His father enjoyed retirement on the West Coast until he passed in 2015. But retirement was a slow process, and while living across the country he’d still poke his boy about itches that needed scratching. “He never lost the itch,” Craven said. “Even after getting the hell out of Illinois, and Illinois politics, he’d call and say, ‘You know, Don, I’ve been thinking about it and we ought to do this,’ and he’d describe some very complicated piece of litigation

that we should undertake. “I’d often respond, ‘Dad, who the hell is we?’” He said he still sees that sort of doggedness in reporters, young and grizzled alike. “It’s nice to see in this era where everyone thinks journalism is a dying profession, that folks are still digging away,” Craven said. He and his wife, Denise, have been married 45 years, and one of those watchdogs is their son, Joseph, who practices in Texas. Their younger son, David, is a Springfield police officer. As comforting it is to get questions from watchdogs during their puppy years, he often has to curb their enthusiasm. “We try to be responsive as we can, but trying to tell a gung-ho reporter how it works, you have to be teaching young reporters that if they’re going to

use FOIA to request documents, you’d better not be working on a time-sensitive story,” he said. “Some of these questions take five minutes, and some of the FOIA cases take 9 years,” Craven said. One of Craven’s greatest feats is toeing the line of legal counsel and friend to his colleagues. “He’s been a steady and stable force, and honestly I count him as a friend,” said Sam Fisher, president and CEO of the Illinois Press Association. “It is invaluable to have him on the other end of the phone. He knows the players in Springfield and the players in our industry.” Craven doesn’t know who nominated him for his honor. There are so many who could have done it. “It means a lot, obviously,” Craven said. “They’re not clients. They’re friends and colleagues.”


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TAYLOR Continued from Page 14 the first in the nation to post stories to an online bulletin board. By 1999, under Taylor’s leadership, antennas were placed around town and a federally licensed high-speed, high-capacity voice and data Internet transmission system for the Moline-Davenport and Rockford markets was launched – before telephone and satellite companies joined the fray. He was also the driving force behind a very successful partnership with WQAD-TV, one of four TV stations in the market. The newspaper’s staff reported stories on air from the Rock Island newsroom while TV reporters contributed stories to print until a change in the station’s management ended the joint project. Besides hosting the staff of the newspapers and niche publications, the Quad-Cities was also home to the Small Newspaper Group’s editing hub, the SNG ad layout staff, the group’s national accounts sales team and SNG’s Internet operation Internet Innovations. Taylor’s newspapers also played a key role in the launch of cameras in Illinois courtrooms. A program which had operated successfully for years in Scott County, Iowa, was replicated in Illinois’ 14th judicial circuit. That pilot project became the blueprint for expanding coverage in other circuit courts around Illinois. News and photo staff provided guidance to other news outlets

and courts statewide. Taylor served on the board of the Illinois Press Association from 1997 to 2005, and as its president in 2004. “I believe he was on the board during the following battles,” Bennett noted: “rewrite of Freedom of Information Act, establishment of the Access Counselor in the Attorney General’s office; protecting independent contractors; establishment of "verbatim records" provision in Open Meetings Act; and, of course, the protection of public notice publication in newspapers, which was ongoing, forever, every year.” Taylor also served on the board of the Development Association of Rock Island, the Music Guild theater group and was Rotarian of the Year in 2012. He served for many years on the Illinois Quad-City Chamber of Commerce board, including helping to direct it through its merger with its Iowa Q-C counterpart in 2010. “I remember Jerry also as an outstanding family man,” added Bennett. “Those who have known him personally know he has many children and he is dedicated to them all. I think he brought that spirit of family devotion to his work as a newspaperman, and as an exceptional board member with the IPA. He gave of himself in so many personal ways and the IPA, as well as all newspapers throughout the state, are the beneficiaries of his generosity.”

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Resources to reach new audiences Report For America places 11 journalists in Illinois newsrooms “All I’ve ever heard about is how the violence is prevalent in [East St. Louis],” said Paige, who grew up in the west Chicago suburbs and graduated from the University of Kansas. DeAsia Paige “I also knew there were stories in the city that needed to be told.” One of her favorites she’s written is on a 6-year-old Black girl who, when relegated to e-learning and unable to go to school, started an outdoor community movie night and opened a lemonade stand. “There’s more to a city than the crime in the area, and I’m highlighting other aspects of the city,” Paige said. “This is a very tight-knit community. Everybody looks out for everyone.” Jeffry Couch, the BND’s editor and general manager, said the paper has long wanted to spotlight the good things happening in East St. Louis. “What we’ve been covering in those areas is crime, sports and some investigative work,” he said. “We needed a more holistic approach to covering those places and the issues that are important to the people there. We just needed the resources to do that.”

By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association For underserved communities and strapped local media outlets that historically couldn’t cover them, something of a cavalry has arrived in the form of 226 rising journalists placed in newsrooms coast-to-coast by Report for America. That’s a nearly 400 percent increase from the 2019-2020 corps. Illinois, with its 11 burgeoning reporters, has the third-most RFA corps members. “It’s amazing,” said Kim Kleman, RFA’s national director. “We got a lot of great applications from Illinois — from both newsrooms and reporters.” Supported by a $5 million grant over five years from the Knight Foundation to The Kim Kleman GroundTruth Project, RFA pays up to half of the reporters' salaries for the first year, which runs June through May; local newsrooms and their supporters pay the other half. RFA also provides training and counsel for reporters and the newsrooms that hire them. Some newspapers’ plans to add an RFA reporter fell through because COVID-19 wreaked havoc on local fundraising. But, Kleman said, many more newsrooms were actually able to tap into their communities in a way they might not have been able to do before the pandemic. “We also had other newsrooms that stepped forward saying they were getting more contributions,” she said. “COVID has made it clear that local news is so essential. When your local newsroom is not strong, and when there are glaring coverage gaps and news holes, the community feels it.”

Roads less traveled Zoe Howlett, 6, stands by her lemonade stand. Zoe’s mother, Tiara Moore, and their family are working together to have a lemonade stand and movie night in their community. The story was reported by Belleville News-Democrat reporter DeAsia Page, who came to the BND via the Report For America program. (Photo submitted by Tiara Moore)

More ‘holistic’ coverage The Belleville News-Democrat brought two RFA reporters on board: Megan Valley, 24, who covers education, and 21-year-old DeAsia Paige, who covers East St. Louis — a massi-

vely undercovered community that, by all media accounts, is rife with violent crime. RFA reporters are tasked with covering those sort of often overlooked, misrepresented communities.

While the reporters are employees of their respective media outlets, RFA provides training and support in each of its five regions. A training program is tailored for each beat, so reporters regularly attend Zoom meetings featuring experts on the subjects they cover. Along with Valley and Paige, Juanpablo Ramirez, a 26-year-old corps member covering social justice for

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RESOURCES Continued from Page 17 DeKalb’s NPR affiliate WNIJ, had a training session on budgets on a Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, he interviewed DeKalb’s city manager regarding the city’s plan to sell its old City Hall meeting, a conversation that centered around – you might have guessed it – the city’s budget. “Just because of those Juanpablo Ramirez two hours listening to an expert budget guy, I was able to have a killer conversation,” Ramirez said. RFA also offers pop-up training on pressing topics — such as a pandemic or civil rights upheaval. Two days after protests erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death, reporters were trained on how to cover those volatile scenes — right down to what to bring, what not to bring, and where to stand. Reporters working in the path of Hurricane Isaias also got invaluable training. “If you’re in Florida, you’re going to cover a hurricane at some point in your life,” Kleman said. Beyond providing training, RFA has given Ramirez his dream job, more or less. He grew up in Rockford, where he has exhaustively covered protests. “I’m from Rockford, so this is my home,” he said. “This is all I’ve wanted to do. These are the stories I get to work on, are the ones I want to see broadcast.” He graduated from Knox College, and felt regret as he looked down at his bachelor’s degree in international relations. He can laugh now. “I graduated college, and I was like, ‘Fudge. I want to be a journalist, and I didn’t take a single journalism class,’ ” he said. He worked internships, including a prime opportunity as a reporting fellow for City Bureau in Chicago, but he needed an opportunity like the one RFA provided — a chance

Bored at home during COVID-19 pandemic, East St. Louis six-year-old Zoe Howlett, has enlisted the help of her family to run a lemonade stand and Zoe's 6 Feet in the Street Community Movie Night that caters to children ages 2 through 10. (Belleville News-Democrat photo by Derik Holtmann) to work full-time, reporting in the field, while also getting invaluable training. RFA has provided not just that, but also a contact that reporters can call at any time — which of course is key while corps members scarcely set foot in their new offices. “I’ve been to the studio like once,” Ramirez said. “I record my stories in my shed.” Valley is also something of a nontraditional corps member. She was covering education — her same beat at the BND — at the Quad City-Times, but in earning degrees in English and liberal studies, like Ramirez she didn’t take any J-school courses. And newsrooms such as the QC-Times don’t have the resources to do extensive training. Having determined grad school wasn’t an option, Valley jumped at the chance to become an RFA corps member. She said she appreciates RFA’s con-

stant contact in such a strange time. “You’re trying to build relationships with administrators, but your first phone call is, ‘Hi, it’s nice to meet you. How are you holding Megan Valley up during this unprecedented time?’ ” she said, while laughing. “It’s all very weird.”

Capitol gain Because of the pandemic, the Illinois Press Foundation initially backed out of adding an RFA reporter who would cover ethnic, minority and rural community issues for its statehouse news bureau, Capitol News Illinois – a beat Florida transplant Raymon Troncoso was excited to work. “It was pretty much everything I’d been looking for in a position,” he said. A couple of months later, however, thanks to a contribution by the

Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Capitol News Illinois was able to bring Troncoso on board. He’s thriving, and points to statehouse training with Steve Raymon Troncoso Bousquet, a columnist who’s covering the Florida statehouse, as game-changing. “The guy’s basically a master,” he said. RFA also trains its newsroom partners on how to raise funds – a foreign concept to longtime editors such as Couch. “This is new for me, asking for contributions,” he said. “It’s hard as a journalist. You’re not used to doing that. But in the new world of community-supported journalism, that’s part of our job.” Besides, it reveals a comforting reminder. “People are by and large supportive,” Couch said. “They want local journalism.”


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How to cover uncovered communities SIU professor, young reporters weigh in on handling distrust in media By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association DeKALB — Hundreds, if not thousands, of DeKalb residents are about to be evicted from their homes when the state’s extension of the eviction moratorium expires. The local homeless shelter is getting about 30 calls a day, according to Juanpablo Ramirez, a Report for America corps member who covers social justice for DeKalb’s NPR affiliate, WNIJ. “And that’s just those who are calling,” he said. The local tenants’ association has been protesting for weeks. Yet local media can’t get its members to do an interview on the record. “I can sympathize,” Ramirez said. “There is a fractured relationship between the media and whom the media covers. We’re trying to improve coverage with the communities that haven’t been covered and don’t trust us.” That’s a common steep-hill climb for RFA reporters. The agency works with its newsroom partners to put the corps members on beats that are underserved. By and large, that means communities that have been oppressed and misrepresented. “I understand why there’s distrust there,” said DeAsia Paige, a 21-year-old RFA reporter who covers poverty-stricken East St. Louis for the Belleville News-Democrat. She and the BND’s editor and general manager, Jeffry Couch, both said the lion’s share of the community’s coverage has related to crime, violence, and prep sports. “When they don’t want to talk to the media, it’s pretty valid,” she said. “If you’re used to being misrepresented, you obviously wouldn’t want to talk to anybody in the field.” So the $64,000 question becomes

Personal Touch Boutique owner, Derrick Maxwell, credits his customers and his community in East St. Louis for making his business what it is today. Maxwell began selling items from a car and now 30 years later his business has matured and prospered. Maxwell's story was one of those Belleville News-Democrat reporter DeAsia Paige wrote as a journalist in the Report For America program. (Belleville News Democrat photo by Derik Holtmann) how to break through distrust that’s been ingrained for generations? “It’s a very good question. African-Americans don’t feel as though the traditional William Freivogel media is telling their story correctly,” said William Freivogel, who’s covered the greater St. Louis for half a century, with most of those years primarily dedicated to civil rights issues. Compounding that is the fact activists feel they can tell their story not just more accurately, but faster, Freivogel said. They have boots, and cellphones, on the ground in a way they never did before. For instance, Michael Brown was shot and killed in

Ferguson on Aug. 9, 2014, a Saturday. “Cable news didn’t cover the story until Monday, after there were millions of tweets by activists,” Freivogel said. “They were able to get their story to the world above the heads of traditional media. There’s a feeling in Black community that it’s their story, and that they should be the ones to tell it. Or Black journalists should be telling their story.” The roots of distrust with the media are so deep that even Paige, who is Black, will struggle, Freivogel said. But he has advice for her or any journalist covering misrepresented communities. First and foremost, honesty is the best policy. Simple as the concept is, reporting accurately is paramount. “You need to be seen as an honest

broker of facts,” Freivogel said. “You need to be trustworthy, and be as close to the truth and the facts as you can be.” More specifically, how do we do that? Freivogel has some tips.

Get out there Pandemic be damned, reporters can’t cover a marginalized community from the office, or over the phone. Freivogel has been the director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University since 2006, after spending about 35 years at the St. Louis Dispatch, including nearly 10 years as deputy editor of its editorial board. But he began, as most all of us did, as a green reporter.

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COMMUNITIES Continued from Page 19 He learned his greatest lessons in the field. “Get out and talk to the community — all parts of the community,” Freivogel said. “You need to get out to community events — and not just community events where a Black person was shot by a cop.” Paige has made massive in-roads by pounding the pavement. She shared the story of a 9-year-old Black girl who’s brought the community together with a socially distanced lemonade stand, and outdoor movie nights. She also did a lengthy, thought-provoking piece on Blackowned businesses and their owners’ bond with the community.

Ask them Rather than operating under the pretense that we know what needs covering, Freivogel said we need to ask people in the community what the media should be covering. “It’s so simple when you think about it,” he said. “They know what’s going on in their community. Nobody knows that better than the people living there.” Paige has had success soliciting story ideas via social media, but she understands that, most often, the fastest way to tell someone’s story is asking for permission in person, face-to-face. “I’m doing my best to get out there,” Paige said. “It’s about starting with an honest, casual conversation.”

Don’t tip your hand

Be patient

Freivogel said, to Paige’s point, approaching a potential source casually and having a candid conversation often lays the foundation for comprehensive, compelling reporting. But whereas Paige can tuck her reporter notebook in her back pocket, Ramirez’s equipment is impossible to conceal. “You come in with giant headphones and a giant machine hanging around your neck, and a huge microphone you’re going to put into somebody’s face,” he said, laughing. “In that way, you’re literally trying to get as close to somebody’s face as possible.” So he goes into the field with the mindset that he won’t be coming away with a story that day. Not a produced, airwaves-ready one, at least. “We have to be there when things are happening, and it might just mean you have to show up without a microphone and know you’re not leaving with a story,” he said. He credits his editors at WNIJ with understanding that the most compelling stories are built on relationships that take time to grow. “I’m really lucky to have landed in an ideal newsroom,” he said. “It gives me peace of mind knowing that I have time. He grew up in Rockford, so the stories are downright personal. “I just have to keep kicking until we break through,” he said.

It took Freivogel years as a burgeoning reporter to engender trust with Percy Green, an activist who in 1964 climbed the St. Louis arch to protest for African-Americans — primarily for equality in the workforce. Green is also a founder of the Action Council to Improve Opportunities for Negroes. ACTION has orchestrated countless demonstrations and protests, including the unmasking of the Veiled Prophet in 1972. The all-white Veiled Prophet Organization held its annual ball each December, and some activists found the veil worn by the VP — in 1972, it was the CEO of Monsanto — eerily reminiscent of the Klu Klux Klan. “I know that Percy Green was very skeptical of me as a member of the media,” Freivogel said. “I think it took 50 years for me to develop a real relationship of trust with him. He saw me as being associated with the man — the Post-Dispatch. I love the P-D, but it did an awful job of covering civil rights. I needed to show him I was different.” Most recently Green contributed articles on both of the above demonstrations, to “The 1857 Project”, an edition of the quarterly magazine put out by Gateway Journalism Review — over which Freivogel presides. Freivogel conceded that RFA corps members, whose one-year contract goes through May 2021, are on the clock.

“How do you develop trust in a year?” he said. “It’s very hard to do that.”

Don’t be written off Freivogel said the trapping of being an empathetic reporter is listening when someone tells you that you’re not the one to tell their story. “I understand where distrust comes from, and the feeling that Black people should be telling the stories of the Black community, but civil rights has always been very important to me, and it’s actually all of our story,” he said. “It’s something we all need to work at to get past where this nation was, and where it continues to be, for that matter.” He rattled off a number of his colleagues at the Post-Dispatch who weren’t necessarily champions of civil rights, but who experienced an awakening during the nation’s reckonings and emerged as pre-eminent voices telling stories of the need for change. “I would encourage white reporters to be really sensitive,” Freivogel said. “But at the same time, there will always be a role for us here.” He concedes that coverage that engenders trust, even serves as an agent of change, is hard work. “For any reporter, developing trust and understanding people whose backgrounds are different from your own, that’s a very tough job for a reporter. It always has been, and it always will be.”

17 partners join Solving for Chicago journalism collaborative funded by GNI The Local Media Association has launched a collaborative journalism effort in the Chicago area called Solving for Chicago. It will kick off its reporting with a collaborative of 17 participants in the Google News Initiative-funded journalism and business transformation project. The first stories from Solving for Chicago are being published in August and focus on the impact of COVID-19 on essential workers. Local media partners in Solving for Chicago include: Block Club Chicago, Chicago Reader, WBEZ,

La Raza, Injustice Watch, Chalkbeat Chicago, WTTW, Shaw Media, Inside Publications, Loop North News, Chicago Public Square, Windy City Times, South Side Weekly, Austin Weekly New, Hyde Park Herald, Borderless Magazine, Chicago Music Guide “The participants in Solving for Chicago represent a diverse mix of local news outlets, among the most respected in the region,” said Nancy Lane, LMA chief executive officer. “Collaboration is essential to the sustainability of local news, and

we are excited to bring together trusted journalists from 17 different organizations, all skilled at telling well-sourced, important stories that might otherwise go untold.” In addition to sharing reporting, the media partners will choose monthly operational topics to pursue in an effort to transform business strategies in meaningful ways, such as growing reader revenue. Solving for Chicago also plans to apply for 501(c) (3) non-profit status.


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‘HUSH-HUSH’ NO LONGER SIU students, professor unveil region’s racist past in magazine By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association Nearly 200 people were lynched in Missouri and Illinois between 1836 and 1943. In 20 of those incidents, you can’t say the victims’ names. They’re unknown. In another 15, you can’t say their full names. Only the first names

are available. On Page 52 of “The 1857 Project”, a gutsy, gutting 80-page magazine published by Gateway Journalism Review based at Southern Illinois University –Carbondale, is a chronological list of the 126 lynchings. On the following page are 126 dots on a map of the two states, showing where they happened.

Amelia Blakely, 22, who graduated from SIU this past spring with dual degrees in journalism and philosophy, scoured historical documents, old newspapers and oral histories to unearth the incidents. She made a point of stopping and living with the names, dates and

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MAGAZINE Continued from Page 21 locations before passing them along to Gateway’s design chief, 23-year-old 2019 SIU graduate Abbey La Tour. “I took each individual name and had a moment with that person,” Blakely said. “This was a soul. A person. A unique spirit with hopes, dreams and a story. We need to look at that in its entirety and feel it.” The biggest cluster of dots is in greater St. Louis. There’s another that stretches from Blakely’s hometown of Anna through the southeastern tip of Missouri. She’s long known about the region’s dark past. “To hear stories about what little a white man had to do to get a black man lynched,” she said. “You just had to make a minor complaint.” She said it makes her shudder as a white person. “I hate it,” she said. “It’s absolutely terrifying. It makes me tremble.” In addition to serving as contributing editor, Blakely wrote about early freedom lawsuits Black people brought — and won, in some instances. She also wrote on the misperception that slavery didn’t exist in the free state of Illinois. “There were still a lot of people in Illinois who had slaves,” said William Freivogel, director of SIU-Carbondale’s School of Journalism and Gateway’s publisher. “And even after they weren’t supposed to have slaves, they had slaves who agreed to be indentured servants for life.” The magazine leads off with three essays penned by Freivogel, who grew up in the western St. Louis suburb Kirkwood, and has covered civil rights in the area for half a century. Before taking his post at SIU in 2006, he worked 34 years at the Post-Dispatch, the last 9 years as deputy editor of its editorial board. “I felt like I was very much a witness to history on how civil rights have played out in the past 50 years,” he said. “I tried to be as fair and balanced as possible while telling the story, and sharing lessons of history. But racism and segregation is a long-running operation. Those sort of things aren’t up for debate.” Freivogel’s essays are titled “The 1857 Project: Extracting the poison of racism from America’s soul”, “The Land of Dred Scott: Scenes from our racist history”, and “Press flubs first draft of history of race.” They’re a comprehensive, often stomach-turning dissertation on the whole story of racism in the region. “I’ve always known how weird race is in Southern Illinois,” Blakely said. “People who aren’t from here don’t realize how racist it is. It’s not talked about. It’s hush-hush. These things didn’t happen

Amelia Blakely (left) and Abbey La Tour (above) long ago.” Freivogel said Blakely brought him many details even he wasn’t aware of. “If you’re going to talk about St. Louis, you’ve got to talk about the Mississippi River and Cairo,” Blakely said. “You’re opening a can of worms, and I was really into it.” In Cairo, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover used its Counterintelligence Program to cover up a civil rights investigation, to plant anti-Martin Luther King Jr. editorials, and undercut Black liberators in myriad ways, including psychological warfare. La Tour was shocked at Blakely’s knowledge about such heinous acts. “As soon as I heard her talk, I knew there was something different about her — in a good way,” La Tour said. “She continues to inspire me. She’s so passionate about journalism, and she looks at the world in a different way that everyone else. Working with people like her is the number one reason why I work in journalism.” La Tour shoehorned the pagination into a frenetic 2 weeks, while she worked her full-time job for The News-Enterprise in Kentucky. “I’d wake up and work on the magazine, then work my regular newspaper job, get done with that and work on the magazine some more,” she said. “Wash, rinse, repeat. By the end, I was kind of losing it.” In the end, she’s immensely proud. “It’s one of my proudest accomplishments,” she said. “Not only was it a big feat as a designer. Almost everything in this magazine was from the history of the area I was in. I didn’t learn this in my public school education at all. It’s ridiculous that we’re not being taught this. It’s important that we as a publication are bringing it to light.” Freivogel enlisted local activists to contribute,

including Percy Green, who wrote an article on how in 1964, he climbed the St. Louis arch to protest for African-Americans — primarily for equality in the workforce. Green is also a founder of the Action Council to Improve Opportunities for Negroes. ACTION has orchestrated countless demonstrations and protests, and Green penned an article on the unmasking of the Veiled Prophet in 1972. The all-white Veiled Prophet Organization held its annual ball each December, and some activists found the veil worn by the VP — in 1972, it was the VP of Monsanto — eerily reminiscent of the Klu Klux Klan. Freivogel’s former Post-Dispatch colleague, Dick Weiss, contributed an article juxtaposing affluent, 78 percent white Clayton County and the 95 percent Black city of North St. Louis. The former has a 4 percent unemployment rate and an average median salary of $50,000, compared to 24 percent and $15,000 in North St. Louis. La Tour deftly incorporated pull quotes, graphics and pictures into the design to visualize the hardto-swallow truths. The back end of the magazine includes essays from 13 high school students from University City High School and Kirkwood High. A centerpiece of the magazine is a sort of firsthand reenactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates by Freivogel and Kayla Chamness, who graduated in the spring. “We all think of the debates as being these high-minded, democratic debates,” Freivogel said. They were in a way, but when you read some of the things both men say in those debates, it’s a little bit shocking.” It’s common knowledge Douglas was hell-bent on keeping slavery, a “house divided”, as Lincoln

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PRESS PEOPLE

Tribune's John Kass fires back at 'cancel culture' critics CHICAGO – Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass responded forcefully to critics ­including members of the Chicago Tribune Guild ­who accused him of invoking an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in a column about billionaire George Soros. Kass broke his silence Aug. 5 with a column John Kass headlined: "What happened to an America where you could freely speak your mind?" "I will not apologize for writing about Soros,” he wrote. “I will not bow to those who've wrongly defamed me. I will continue writing my column. The left doesn't like my politics. I get that. I don't like theirs much, either. … I will not soil my name by groveling to anyone in this or any other newsroom. … The larger question is not about me, or the political left that hopes to silence people like me, but about America and its young. Those of us targeted by cancel culture are not only victims. We are

examples, as French revolutionaries once said, in order to encourage the others." Aug. 5 also marked the first time that his column did not appear on Page 2. Losing his status as the paper's "lead columnist" after 23 years, Kass was moved further back along with other columnists to an op-ed page labeled "Tribune Voices." In multiple interviews, Tribune editor-in-chief Colin McMahon declined to comment on the substance of Kass's column or the letter from the Chicago Tribune Guild. He emphasized that the decision to move Kass and other columnists had been in the works for several months.

Longtime employee leaving Elliott Publishing CAMP POINT – Gina Maddox of Camp Point has taken a new position and is leaving the employ of Elliott Publishing, Inc. Gina has been employed at Elliott Publishing, Inc. in their Camp Point office for 22 years and has played a vital role with the company as its bookkeeper and receptionist, along with other duties.

Sherri Bradley, an Elliott Publishing employee at its Liberty office, will take over the bookkeeping, and Lisa Newell of Camp Point will pick up Gina's other duties. Elliott Publishing, Inc. publishes the following weekly newspapers: The Camp Point Journal, The Mendon Dispatch-Times, Golden Clayton New Era and The Liberty Bee-Times. The company also offers a large variety of printing services, from business cards, brochures, booklets and envelopes to all types of business forms and specialty products.

Ex-Tribune Publishing CEO to lead McClatchy CHICAGO – Former Tribune Publishing CEO Tony Hunter will become CEO of McClatchy Co. when the newspaper chain emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, its new hedge fund owner announced last month. A longtime Chicago Tribune executive who helped guide Tribune Publishing out of bankruptcy as CEO from 2011 to 2014, Hunter will inherit a similar situation at McClatchy under Chatham Asset Management. The New Jersey hedge fund acquired McClatc-

hy, which publishes the Miami Herald and other major newspapers, for about $312 million at a bankruptcy auction in July. The sale, which was approved by a New York bankruptcy court Aug. Tony Hunter 11, is expected to close in September. Hunter, 59, joined Tribune Co.in 1994 and became publisher and CEO of the Chicago Tribune in 2008, just as its parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He added the role of CEO of Tribune Publishing in 2011. Hunter was replaced as CEO in 2014 when Tribune Publishing spun off from its broadcast parent company, but remained publisher of the Chicago Tribune until 2016. Hunter will succeed Craig Forman, McClatchy's CEO, who will leave the company. McClatchy's portfolio of 30 newspapers includes the Kansas City (Missouri) Star, the Sacramento (California) Bee and the Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer. In 2006, McClatchy acquired the Knight Ridder newspaper chain in a $4.5 billion cash and stock deal that added the Herald and dozens of other titles to its portfolio.

MAGAZINE Continued from Page 21 described. But “Honest Abe’s” comments are unsettling as well, Freivogel said.. In their fourth of seven debates for the U.S. Senate, Lincoln is quoted telling the crowd in Charleston, “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people. And I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” That’s the sort of detail that needs to be taught in school, Blakely said, and reforming education to include it is a hot-button topic prompted by “The 1619 Project” essay written by Nicole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times.

The piece and the call for reform have been refuted by the GOP, who point out that Hannah-Jones inaccurately stated the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery. “There’s some conservative criticism that Hanna Jones had overstated some of her claims in her editorial,” Freivogel said. Nonetheless, he said the essay inspired Gateway’s magazine. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting helped make it happen — including financially. In fact, La Tour said it’s ponied up even more funds in order to produce more copies and get them into students’ hands. “Change might be starting to happen,” La Tour said. In order for that to be the case, publications like

“The 1857 Project” need to make it into the right people’s hands. “From an educational standpoint, I care more about teaching the younger generations the truth, as opposed to having to justify the truth to people who are so indoctrinated that they won’t change their mind until something major happens to them that will change their mind,” she said. Blakely contemplates what it would mean to her if the “The 1619 Project” or “The 1857 Project” resulted in curriculum reform that included the whole story of racism in America. “I’d be humbled. Good job. Now let’s move on to another thing to help change along. It’s not a oneand-done deal. That’s not how that works.”


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Reacting to Daily Herald cyberattack By NEIL HOLDWAY Daily Herald assistant managing editor ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – I work second shift, so I sleep from about 3:30 to 11:30 a.m. On July 21, my boss called me at 11 a.m. or so: A cyberattack had taken down all the company's servers, and I was selected for a team to determine how to get the paper out. We were to meet in an hour – via Zoom, of course. OK. I guess I'll get up. The team included sharp people in charge of various parts of the company: advertising, editorial, classifieds, niche publications, press production, our Town Square commercial publication team. The priority became the next day's Daily Herald. We use Adobe InDesign to create our pages. But that requires licenses on a server that we all access remotely. Now that server was down. So, first question: Do we have any spare copies of InDesign on actual office or personal computers? The Town Square team came through with nine. A few people had personal copies. A good start. Now, can we re-create a standard Daily Herald page with the correct size, the correct custom typefaces, the correct settings to facilitate production? We need our page templates. Do we have any saved on any hard drive anywhere? It turned out

Newspaper's operating and phone systems impacted for days ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – The Daily Herald's computerized operating systems were the target early July 21 of a sophisticated cyberattack. According to a story published in the July 22 edition, management was working with several cyber security experts to analyze and resolve the issue. The July 22 newspaper had fewer sections and pages than usual. The cyberattack also shut down the paper’s phone system, including the line to its customer service department. After enduring several days of major technological challenges brought on by the cyberattack, the Daily Herald was back to normal production Aug. 2. a few of us, over a few departments, saved backups. We're in business. Now, all of the 15 or so people producing pages need copies of all the fonts, normally all accessible from the company server. Who has copies of those? Yes, a couple of people had saved backups of those, too. We learned not every computer handles fonts quite the same way, so not every font appeared properly on all our pages, as you may have noticed. But really the worst part was having to set a lot of the type "by hand," having to change it for headlines and even the page numbers, when usually it's automated. Next, pictures. Photographers usu-

According to an Aug. 2 Daily Herald report, its staff worked exhaustively and collaboratively to return operating systems to full functionality, which helped restore normal communications, deadlines, delivery and design. All the functions of the replica edition were restored, as well. Although the cyberattack made production of the paper a challenge each day, it did not compromise reader and advertisers information, which is stored elsewhere, according to the report. The report adds that the Daily Herald plans to use its renewed functionality to keep improving the newspaper and to make it as useful and essential as possible.

ally place them all in our computer system. Without that system, photos had to somehow get to all the people in their home offices. We decided to use email and Google Drive. We had writers and editors email their stories around, too. Ultimately they were sent to everyone who might put them on pages plus publish them on our website. Which, by the way, also was harder. Our web editors posted each article by completing a complicated form "on the back end." And, hey, how about the advertisements? Our ad department has its own system for automatically placing ads on our pages. That was down, too. So like pictures, ads had to be

placed in Google Drive for us to grab. All in all, we basically had to learn how to ride a bike again. We improved some settings and got better with practice, and we got some advice from artists in other departments, but we never gained full efficiency and the full Daily Herald look. Thanks to an IT team that worked basically 24/7 for a week, including over a weekend, to revive our servers, the Daily Herald is back to normal. This was our Apollo 13 moment – the successful failure. Several determined people made it happen. It was amazing to be a part of it.

PRESS PEOPLE

Fisher named editor in Franklin County WEST FRANKFORT – Nate Fisher, formerly a professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University, has been named editor of the Franklin County Gazette. Fisher was born and raised

in Pinckneyville, and is a local first-generation college student, receiving his first degree in English from John A. Logan College. He holds two professional degrees in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and the University of Idaho-Moscow, and has worked as an investigative reporter at the Pinckneyville Press

and for the greater Southern Illinois area in some capacity for the past 10 years.

Sitki takes over as St. Elmo Banner editor ST. ELMO – The St. Elmo Banner has announced the addition of Caris-

sa Sitki as its new editor. Sitki is originally from New Berlin, a small community near Springfield. She studied art at Lincoln Land Community College and then transferred to SIUE in Edwardsville in 2017. There, she graduated in mass communications in the spring of 2020.


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Newspapers create FAQ videos on COVID-19 MOLINE – The Quad-City Times and Dispatch-Argus partnered with local health experts in putting together a two-part video that answers some basic questions about COVID-19 risks now that school and sports are starting back up. Moderated by Andrea Olson, CEO of the Idea Factory, questions were provided to Dr. Louis Katz of the Scott County Health Department, Nita Ludwig of the Rock Island County Health Department, and Emily Gordon, a counselor at Family Resources, Inc. The videos, which are about 20 minutes each, were posted Aug. 14 on the websites of the Quad-City Times and the Dispatch-Argus. The topics included the best way to protect oneself and family, the upcoming school year, sports, and elective surgeries, among others. When it comes to protecting yourself and family from the virus, Ludwig stressed wearing a face covering or mask in public, washing your hands and using a hand sanitizer when handwashing is not available. "And make sure you keep your distance, at least 6 feet between yourself and others when possible," Ludwig said. Katz added that those simple interventions applied diligently had allowed some countries, such as China and members of the European Union, to safely reopen, "in substantial contrast to the United States where we haven't been diligent and reopening has been associated with surges even beyond the rates we saw in March and April."

Dealing with children With summer about to end and school beginning, kids may want to attend sleepovers with their friends. Gordon said every family was going to have to make its own decisions about a lot of these issues, “and I think discussing what needs to happen is key, so that might mean you have some sort of more structured

that tennis is OK, but being face-toface on a football field might not be. Ludwig said local school districts were "working diligently on their plans and making sure the school environment is as safe as can be."

Dealing with others

Panelists (clockwise from left) Andrea Olson, CEO of the Idea Factor; Emily Gordon, counselor at Family Resources Inc.; Nita Ludwig of the Rock Island County Health Department; and Dr. Louis Katz of the Scott County (Iowa) Health Department talk during an "Ask The Experts" video produced and published by The Quad-City Times and Dispatch Argus newspapers.

family meeting or just some basic communication around what's going to happen with the people in your household and other support people that you might be around." Children need to be talked to and instructed about the virus at an age-appropriate level, she said. They need to be told how to protect themselves. While some children may be afraid to go back to school, Katz said that "even if they get infected they're unlikely to get very ill. The majority of kids, school age, K-12, don't get very sick at all, and our concern more centers on their ability to give it to somebody else than if they're going to get terribly sick."

Children in the fourth, fifth or sixth grades can be provided that message in a way that is tailored to their understanding, Katz said.

Dealing with safety Another question that came up is elective surgery. Katz said he wouldn't have a nose job done now, but if he needed a hip replaced he would be willing to have that done at a place that "passed muster from an infection-control standpoint." "We know how to control risk in health care settings pretty damn well," he said. With sports starting, Katz also said

Not all people are working from home. Ludwig said that in those places that don't require masks people can still take it upon themselves to wear a mask and practice social distancing. While people may be suffering from cabin fever, Katz said it is not a good idea to mix households, bringing other family members into the home. It is better to meet at a place where social distancing can be practiced. As far as bringing others into the household, he warned that, "you better have a really good reason before you take the risk." As far as those who might need to be hospitalized with the disease, Ludwig said the vast majority of cases recover at home with over-thecounter remedies, while only about 10 percent of the cases will have to have more serious treatment. Katz said hospital care was primarily supportive in nature, such as keeping people breathing effectively to prevent things like blood clots and keep them well¬ hydrated and nourished. "There are a few specific treatments for the infection that look promising," he added. There is good data on dexamethasone, a steroid, that when give to critically ill patients results in better outcomes. There is less good data on drugs that work against the virus itself, such as Remdesivir, he added. The data is very suggestive, but there is not the high quality of data doctors would like. The videos also contain information about ways to handle the stress that has come with the pandemic, and more advice on how to deal with the issues surrounding the disease.


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SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2020

Dixon collector finds, then sells Sun-Times photo collection to Chicago museum DIXON – A treasure trove of priceless moments across more than 60 years of Chicago's history came to Dixon collector Leo Bauby in a large moving truck. "It was like eating an elephant: Where do you begin?" said Bauby, 54, a longtime collector of Chicago White Sox photos. Inside were more than 200 boxes containing about 5 million photo negatives from the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as hard drives of digitized photos. Bauby, who turned his collecting hobby into an eBay business called Sox Photos about two decades ago and works out of an office in Dixon, acquired the collection from the founder of Historic Images, a Memphis-based photo-selling company. He was mainly looking for White Sox photos. When he saw what he had, he realized the collection belonged somewhere where anyone could view it. "I could see that it wasn't the type of material for eBay; it was more of Chicago history that really belonged to a museum," Bauby said. Bauby didn't have time to focus on the massive collection – his wife and business partner Delia was undergoing treatments for ovarian cancer, an illness that took her life in July 2018 at the age of 42. He was put in contact with the Chicago History Museum and received a visit in late 2017 from John Russick, the museum's vice president of interpretation and education. He went through the collection, which Bauby had placed in a secure, climate-controlled storage unit at All-Safe Storage in Dixon. "I took a look and was just blown away with what I saw," Russick said. "It was box after box after box of negatives, upward of 5 million." In 2009, the Sun-Times sold its archive to Arkansas sports memora-

Dixon collector Leo Bauby sorts through old photographs at his office in the Lee County city. Bauby, 54, came across hundreds of boxes of photo negatives and hard drives of digitized photos from the Chicago Sun-Times that were in a large moving truck. The treasure trove was an unexpected yield from Bauby's purchase of a collection from a Memphis-based photo-selling company. (Photos by Alex T. Paschal of Sauk Valley Media bilia collector John Rogers with the agreement that Rogers would digitize the photos and the newspaper would keep the copyrights. It turned out to be a scheme that Rogers repeated at several large newspapers. In December 2017, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a $23 million sports memorabilia fraud. The collections were sold off, and many newspapers didn't have the chance to buy them back, Russick said. "An archive like the Sun-Times is a real treasure and a real rarity in the pantheon of material a museum could collect," he said. "A lot of peop-

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COLLECTION Continued from Page 26 le thought it was lost or gone forever." In 2018, the museum bought the collection from Bauby for $125,000, and now 150 iconic photos are on display in the recently opened exhibit "Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection." Digitized photos also can be viewed online at images.chicagohistory.org. A massive effort is underway to digitize the collection; it will take years, Russick said. It's one of the largest newspaper photograph collec-

tions ever acquired by an American museum. Before the purchase, the museum's photo collection was somewhere around 1 million to 1.5 million pieces. The photos span from the 1940s to 2004, when the newspaper switched to all-digital photography. Notable photographed figures include Michael Jordan, Elvis, The Beatles, Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali, as well as former President Barack Obama early in his political career.

There are also historic photos of construction on Lake Shore Drive, people on the beach, national elections, parades, protests and examples of everyday life in the city. "It's a highlight reel of Chicago's greatest moments," Russick said. It's the capture of day-to-day reality that Russick enjoys most. "I think it's just a beautiful place," he said. "It paints a really fantastic and complicated image of life in America."

Bauby, an engineer at Woods Equipment, is a Steward native who worked in Chicago for many years and moved to Dixon about 6 years ago. He's glad the collection has found a home where the public can view them. "I think this is the best way that all of these images can be shared, and it looks like they've done a great job," he said. Go to chicagohistory.org for more information about the exhibit.

AROUND THE STATE

Tribune Publishing enters talks to leave Prudential Plaza offices CHICAGO – The Chicago Tribune's offices could be on the move for the second time in less than three years, as the newspaper's parent company seeks an exit from Prudential Plaza amid the coronavirus pandemic. Tribune Publishing is in talks with Prudential Plaza owner Sterling Bay for a buyout of its approximately 137,000-square-foot lease in the office complex overlooking Millennium Park, according to real estate sources. Sterling Bay and Tribune Publishing's brokers from Jones Lang LaSalle have begun informally marketing the entire space to potential tenants in anticipation of the company's exit, according to sources. The newspaper company, whose other titles include the Baltimore Sun and New York Daily News, hadn't made rent payments at most of the properties it leases since March, according to a regulatory filing. It's unclear where the Chicago Tribune's newsroom and offices, as well as the corporate parent's headquarters, would relocate. The Freedom

Center printing facility along the Chicago River has some office space, but real estate experts are unsure the building is large or modern enough to accommodate even a scaled-down Tribune office. The negotiations come a little more than two years after the Tribune moved from Tribune Tower to One Prudential Plaza in June 2018. That ended a 93-year run in the landmark tower on North Michigan Avenue, which was sold in 2016 and is being converted into condominiums.

Tribune shutters newsroom at Aurora Beacon-News CHICAGO – Tribune Publishing have permanently closed the offices of the Aurora Beacon-News, effective Aug. 28, affecting more than a dozen reporters and editors of the Beacon-News, Elgin Courier-News and Naperville Sun. "Their managers will work with them to determine the best location for them to be assigned," the company said in an email to employees. A Tribune Publishing spokesman also confirmed the closing of newsrooms at the New York DailyNews, the Orlando Sentinel, The Morning

Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and two newspapers in Maryland ¬ the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, and the Carroll County Times in Westminster.

Public ibrary digitizes Blue Island newspaper BLUE ISLAND – The Blue Island Public Library is finishing a grant-funded digitization project that will soon allow public access to editions of the Sun-Standard newspaper from 1911 to 1990 and provide a valuable resource for genealogists, researchers and homeowners. Micah Rademacher, the library's head of adult and technical services, oversaw the digitization effort that was made possible through a nearly $2,000 grant from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board and matching funds from Friends of the Blue Island Public Library. The defunct Sun-Standard's pages have been inaccessible to the public for many years. The library's print copies were disintegrating and microfilm rolls were deteriorating, said library director Anna Wassenaar. Blue Island was settled in 1836 and incorporated in 1872. The

Sun-Standard was formed in 1918 when the Blue Island Sun, established in 1891, merged with the Blue Island Standard, which originated in 1876, according to a U.S. newspaper directory maintained by the Library of Congress.

Lee program offers businesses marketing support DAVENPORT, Iowa – Lee Enterprises Inc. announced Aug. 11 that the company has launched a local business stimulus program aimed at helping local businesses adapt and thrive in a rapidly evolving economic environment. The program will be available to locally owned and operated businesses and will provide matching advertising credits for use in print and digital products, as well as the company's broad suite of digital services such as website design, text marketing, managed email marketing and more. The company will make up to $5 million available to local businesses through monthly grants ranging from $250 to $15,000. The grants will be awarded in August, September and October of this year.


28 ILLINOIS PRESSLINES



SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2020

AROUND THE STATE

Austin Weekly, Block Club launch West Side newsletter OAK PARK – Growing Community Media announced one of its weeklies, Austin Weekly News, has partnered with Block Club Chicago to launch a new free newsletter for readers on the West Side. The newsletter, which debuted the week of July 20, is sent via email on Wednesdays and Fridays, and aims to be a one-stop shop for Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park news and events. Austin Weekly News Editor Michael Romain and Block Club West Side reporter Pascal Sabino will co¬curate the newsletter. It will also routinely highlight crucial stories being told by other West Side-based or ¬focused newsrooms, including The Triibe, Austin Talks, Free Spirit Media and City Bureau. Austin Weekly routinely republishes Block Club's West Side stories each week, and Sabino and Romain coordinate to ensure they are covering unique stories about the West Side instead of competing.

Tribune Publishing adopts takeover defense CHICAGO – The Tribune Publishing board adopted a so-called "poison pill" plan July 27 to thwart any potential hostile takeover of the company. The shareholder rights agreement, filed July 28 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, creates one share of preferred stock for each outstanding share of common stock as of Aug. 7. The plan, which gives existing shareholders the right to buy newly issued shares at a substantial discount, would kick in if an entity acquires 10 percent or more of the outstanding common shares of Tribune Publishing without board approval. A poison pill effectively dilutes a buyer's holdings, making a takeover much more expensive. The plan expi-

res July 27, 2021. The adoption of the rights agreement follows the addition last month of Alden Global Capital co-founder Randall Smith to the newspaper company's board. The hedge fund, which is Tribune Publishing's largest

shareholder at 32 percent, now has three of seven seats on the board. Alden, a New York-based hedge fund with a reputation for sweeping layoffs at its newspaper properties, got the additional seat after extending a standstill agreement that restricts

its ability to buy additional shares of Tribune Publishing. The Alden standstill agreement expires after Tribune Publishing's next annual shareholder meeting, which can take place no later than June 15, 2021.

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Federal bill aims to sustain local newspapers WASHINGTON, D.C. – Subscribing to the local newspaper or running advertisements in its pages could lower your tax bill if sponsors of a bill now before the U.S. House get their way. At press time, 55 U.S. representatives are sponsoring the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, a bill that would encourage support of hometown newspapers, many of which were already struggling before COVID¬-19 but even more so during the pandemic.

Subscribers to local newspapers would receive a tax credit of up to 80 percent of their subscription (print and online) costs for the first year, followed by 50 percent each of the following four years. Annual, non¬refundable credits would be capped at $250. Local businesses that advertise in local newspapers would be eligible for non¬refundable tax credits of up to $5,000 the first year and no more than $2,500 in each of the next four years.

Up to 80 percent of advertising dollars spent the first year would be credited, and after that the ceiling would be 50 percent. Only advertisers with fewer than 1,000 employees would qualify. Local newspapers would receive direct support in the form of a refundable payroll tax credit worth no more than $50,000 during each of the bill's five years. Publications would be able to claim a credit of up to $25,000 per journalist in the first year and up to $15,000 each

in the next four years. It would cover no more than half of a newspaper employee's salary the first year and would max out at 30 percent the next four years. The act defines "local" media as print or online publications with a majority of readership located in their state or within 200 miles. The Illinois Press Association supports the bill and is asking members to contact their representatives to enlist their support.

AROUND THE STATE

Bloomington Pantagraph introduces new calendar BLOOMINGTON – The Bloomington Pantagraph has launched a new calendar system at pantagraph.com. The system was created through a partnership with Evvnt, an online promotion service. Event organizers create an account and submit information, which pops up in digital channels and the system used for organizing the newspaper. A basic listing is free. The calendar system is replacing previous ways for submitting calendar information. For readers, the calendar is simple to navigate and easier to access. It’s a resource for finding out about community events, concerts, entertainment and activities across the region.

Fulton Democrat turns 165 FULTON – The Fulton Democrat of Lewistown marked its 165th year in July. The newspaper was founded in 1855 by James Monroe Davidson, with the help of his younger brother, William Taylor Davidson. Three years after it was started, W. T. became sole proprietor and ran the paper for nearly 60 years. W. T.'s son, William Gilman Davidson, ran the paper for 38 years himself, putting one Davids-

on or another at the helm of the paper for 98 of the first 108 years. Although James left the Fulton Democrat, he continued a successful newspaper career, which included association with three newspapers that are predecessors of the Mason County Democrat – the other newspaper published by Bob Martin, great-great nephew of both men. At age 27, James M. Davidson left a successful career as a music teacher to become a newspaperman, and subsequently an innovator and trendsetter in the world of newspaper publishing. James called on his brother, William Taylor Davidson, 10 years his junior, to help with the first edition because of his experience setting type. In fact, brother Bill was helping to launch the Peoria Transcript at the time. That paper would later become the Peoria Journal Star.

Martin Publishing makes changes in press operations FULTON – Bob Martin, publisher of the Fulton Democrat, announced in mid-July that the big newspaper press in Havana that has entertained generations of school children while printing newspapers for dozens of publications has gone silent. The Democrat and most of the other papers that had been printed in

Havana will be printed at P&P Press in Peoria. Although the Fulton Democrat and sister publication the Mason County Democrat will no longer be printed in Havana, they remain owned by the Martin family. Additionally, all other printing will continue, including raffle tickets, brochures, flyers, posters, cook books, yard signs and banners, and all of the other job work printing they have done over the years. The Mason County Democrat nameplate has been in continuous publication since 1878 and that paper is 142 years old, but can trace its history back to 1849. Two of the predecessor papers in the 1850s were owned by family members as well.

Tribune reformat separates news, opinion content CHICAGO – The Chicago Tribune’s layout has been changed to make clearer what is news reporting and what is opinion writing. Columnists and other staffers who write opinion pieces have been moved to a shared page that will appear adjacent to the editorial pages in the back of the first section. The change has been in the works for months, according to a Tribune report. In letters, surveys, on social media and through firsthand exchan-

ges, readers said the Tribune has been less than clear about what is news reporting and what is opinion writing. The new commentary page or pages will be called "Tribune Voices." The change does not affect the Editorial Board or the editorial and op-ed pages. Those pages remain as they are today, separate from the news pages and edited and curated by a team that works independently of the newsroom.

Chicago Reader partnering with Community Foundation OAK PARK – The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation has signed on as the Chicago Reader's fiscal sponsor as the biweekly newspaper transitions to 501(c)3 non¬profit status. The partnership allows the Reader to receive foundation grants so that its staff and freelancers can continue reporting on arts, culture and politics in Chicago. Multiple news organizations throughout the country, including Growing Community Media, owner of Wednesday Journal in Oak Park, have converted or are in the process of converting to non¬profit models. Tracy Baim, Chicago Reader publisher, said using the traditional corporate media model has continuously proven to be a "bad idea."


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William R. Neikirk CHICAGO – Bill Neikirk, a longtime Washington-based journalist who covered the White House and the economy for the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune, died Aug. 27, 2020, after a long illness. He was 82. Born in Irvine, Kentucky, he joined the AP's Washington William R. Neikirk Bureau in 1969 after having worked for the wire service in Louisville, Lexington, and Frankfort, Kentucky, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He moved to the Tribune's Washington bureau in 1974. He also served as the newspaper's Washington news editor, and later worked in Chicago as assistant managing editor for financial news. He was a syndicated columnist, and became a frequent guest on CNN and other TV outlets. He also wrote three books: “¬Volcker: Portrait of the Money Man”, about the inflation-battling former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker; “The Work Revolution” (written with Gail Garfield Schwartz), which described the impact of the technological revolution on jobs held by low-skilled workers; and “The Copperhead Club”, a fictional thriller. Mr. Neikirk received numerous awards and honors during his 48-year journalistic career. He won the prestigious Merriman Smith Award in 1995 for his presidential reporting, and the Loeb Award for business writing in 1979, and was a runner-up for a Pulitzer Prize that year for a newspaper series on the impact of world trade. In 2007, he was elected president of the Gridiron Club, a select group of Washington journalists. He is survived by the former Ruth Ann Clary, his wife of 59 years; two sons, John (Lisa) and Greg (Jeannette), a daughter, Christa (Kevin Chang), and two grandchildren, Matthew and Isabella (John). The family asks that in lieu of

flowers,contributions be sent to the William R. Neikirk Scholarship Fund, University of Kentucky, at the Gift Receiving Office, 210 Malabu Drive,Suite 200, Lexington, KY 40502, or at https://bit.ly/2xwienB.

Joan Ricki Williams WEST FRANKFORT – Joan Ricki Williams, 71, died suddenly Aug. 24, 2020, at her residence. Ms. Williams, a longtime West Frankfort resident, was executive vice president and chief financial officer, director, and a founding member of Community Media Group, Inc. and affiliatJoan Ricki Williams ed companies including Community Magazine Group, Champaign Multi Media Group and Timmus Company. Ms. Williams was born Nov. 2, 1948, in Herrin, and attended local schools, graduating from Frankfort Community High School, class of 1966. She attended Southern Illinois University at the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses. She began her long newspaper publishing career in St. Charles, Missouri, and returned to West Frankfort and began her association with the then local Daily American. The numerous newspapers she was associated with over the years included the Chicago Sun-Times and more recently the Champaign News-Gazette. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, reading and listening to modern jazz music. She was devoted to and loved all animals, including her Great Dane dogs. She is survived by her daughter, Cathy (Tom Clansen); and grandsons, Bradley and Riley Clansen of Santa Ana, California, Wesley Romack of Cape Girardeau, Missouri; niece, Roxanne Davis of Bloomington; and nephew, Chris Williams of Lake of Egypt; cousins, Bill (Shirley) Griggs, Phyllis Crader, Martha (Mark) Speers and Lisa Mercer. She was preceded in death by her

husband, Brad Williams; her daughter, Christina Williams Woods; her parents, Vernie and Ann (Simko) Mercer; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Eddie Ray and Kathlee Williams; and her brother-in-law, Don R. Williams. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Friends of Franklin County Animal Shelter. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Jim Kendall ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – Jim Kendall, a business marketing expert who authored a column on the topic for the Daily Herald and the Daily Herald Business Ledger over the past 16 years, died suddenly July 23, 2020. By his own count, Kendall, 81, wrote a total of 740 columns for Jim Kendall the two Daily Herald Media Group publications. His "On Small Business" columns focused on guiding small business owners and entrepreneurs through complex issues. He tapped into the expertise of suburban experts, many times sharing their personal stories of how they were able to overcome obstacles. The Wheaton resident was a consummate networker and a regular attendee at suburban chamber and business association events, including the Business Ledger's Newsmakers Forums and award ceremonies. It was through that networking, he once said, that he found inspiration for many of his columns. "When he first approached me with the idea of doing a business marketing column, I was leery," said Daily Herald Deputy City Editor James Kane, who was the paper's business editor when he agreed to run Kendall's column in 2005. "But he quickly won me over with the quality of his advice and of his writing. He proceeded to reliably turn out a weekly column with useful marketing tips,

regularly quoting and giving credit to others, never trying to use the column to promote himself or his friends. “He was a genuine nice guy, a class act and a straight shooter." Kendall was president of Kendall Communications, a public relations, marketing and communications consulting firm. Before starting his own business, he had been with the U.S. League of Savings Associations as director of public relations and senior editor of Savings Institutions magazine. Prior to that, he was with IGA Food Stores Corporation as editor of IGA Grocergram magazine. "After decades of working with small savings and loan institutions, my dad was pleased to share thoughts and resources with small business owners in all industries through his column," said his daughter, Tracey Coleman. Kendall retired his Daily Herald column in September 2019, but that retirement was short-lived as he returned to do a monthly column in the Business Ledger last March. His final column ran in the Business Ledger's July issue. "While I hope there has been a benefit to readers, I've reaped perhaps the most important benefits: Getting to know, and appreciate, literally hundreds of small business owners ¬among the finest business people anywhere; getting to work with some of the best journalism professionals you or I or anyone else will find anywhere; and at the same time getting to enjoy the freedom to choose my own column topics," he wrote in his column last September. He is survived by his wife Sharon, daughter Tracey, son-in-law Robert, and granddaughters Melinda and Gretchen. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Mary Kendall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Kendall's name may be made to the Bradley Fund, Bradley University, or to the Friends of the Wheaton Municipal Band.


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Walter F. Haase, II WORDEN – Walter F. Haase, II, 81, of rural Worden, died on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at his residence. Mr. Haase was born Feb. 20, 1939, in Litchfield, to Walter "Mick" and Erna (Comfer) Haase. He married Carol (Hopper) Thomason on Dec. 17, 2004, and she survives. Walter F. Haase II He attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Staunton High School with the class of 1957. He then attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to study journalism. He graduated from Washburn Trade School in Chicago, where he learned Linotype operation. Mr. Haase began working with his father, who was half-owner of the Staunton Star-Times in 1959. He later became a partner and publisher in 1963 and sole owner in 1975. He worked at the newspaper for 60 years, retiring on Dec. 31, 2019, when he sold the company. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing golf and doing yard work. He was especially passionate about old cars and spent many hours restoring them. He always had an old car or truck that he enjoyed driving around. Mr. Haase was a member of Staunton Masonic Lodge #177 A.F. & A.M., Forrest Lake Fishing Club, and took a leadership role in many civic organizations in Staunton throughout the years. He was also a member of St. Paul United Church in Staunton and had been attending New Hope Baptist Church in Worden. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three stepchildren, Lindsey (Jeremy) Heigert and Adam (Kristen) Thomason, both of Litchfield, and Nathan Thomason of Worden; four grandchildren, Gretchen, Josiah, Gabe and Noah Heigert; and his first wife, Nancy Haase of Hamel. Mr.

Haase was preceded in death by his parents. Memorials may be directed to a charity of the donor's choice. Online condolences to the family may be left at www. Williamsonfh.com.

Imogene Stoneking ROCHELLE – Imogene L. Stoneking died Thursday, July 30, 2020, at the age of 81 in Rochelle. Imogene was born to Daniel and Violet Vancil on July 12, 1939, in Galesburg. She married Marlin Stoneking on Nov. 4, 1957. Together, they raised three children, Craig, Kyle Imogene Stoneking and Kim. A staunch supporter of higher education, she received an accounting degree in 1985 and a Bachelor of Arts from Western Illinois University in 2000. Imogene worked several jobs through her years, but most notably worked at the Nashville Banner newspaper as an executive assistant. In her later years, she worked as a substitute teacher. Imogene had a great passion for gardening and plants that was only superseded by her love for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Imogene also had a great fondness for dogs and lived her remaining years with her best friend and loyal companion, Marley, in Rochelle. Imogene's curiosity led her to avidly read and to try and learn new skills or hobbies. One of her proudest accomplishments was learning to swim at an older age. She was preceded in death by her husband, Marlin; her parents; and her sister, Beverly She is survived by her sisters, Alice Wilson, Sharon Talinger, Dorothy Tank and Linda Eastburg; her children, Craig Stoneking, Kyle (Shari) Stoneking, and Kim (Troy) Williams; her grandchildren, Daniel (Stephanie) Williams, Cassandra Palmer (Zack), Shawn (Liz) Stoneking,

Kirsten (Mark) Guzman, Kurtis Stoneking, Madison and Dustin; and 10 great-grandchildren. In lieu of lowers, donations to the Daniel & Stephanie Williams Fund for the Arts can be made in Imogene's name. Checks can be mailed to The Rochelle Area Community Foundation P.O. Box 74 Rochelle, IL 61068.

David A. Smith CANTON – David A. Smith, of Canton, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 1, from complications of Parkinson's Disease. He was 77. He was born Aug. 5, 1942, at Graham Hospital to James E. and Dorothy (Drake) Smith. They preceded him in death. David A. Smith Dave graduated from Canton High School in 1962, and attended Spoon River College. He spent his entire life in newspaper publishing, beginning as a paperboy for the Canton Daily Ledger, which was then owned by Winsor Communications. He later became the advertising manager, business manager and then publisher of the newspaper. He was once called by a friend the "world's oldest living paperboy." In 1986, Dave, Dana and Scott moved to Austin, Texas, where Dave became the business manager of another Winsor Communication publication, the Austin Business Journal. In 1988, he became a regional vice president for Westward Communications, and managed five weekly newspapers surrounding the Austin, Texas, area before leaving in 1995 to become advertising manager for the Cincinnati Business Journal and then business manager for the Business News in Dayton, Ohio. In 1997, Dave and Dana returned to Austin and purchased the Senior Advocate, a specialty newspaper for seniors in the Austin metro area.

Together they built the newspaper into an award-winning publication before selling it and returning home to Canton in 2007, where he retired from the Fulton Democrat. Dave loved woodworking, fishing with his brother, and being outdoors in the yard. Those who knew him well will always remember his wicked sense of humor, and his willingness to offer a helping hand. He was deeply involved in the community during his tenure at the Daily Ledger, and he served as an ambassador for the Canton Area Chamber of Commerce for many years. He was regarded as a man who brought people together to accomplish a goal or task, and who made the hard work fun. Most of all, he loved his family. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 42 years and a loving brother. He was deeply proud of his son and daughter, and cherished his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were the heart of his life. He is survived by his wife, Dana (Morrison) Smith, whom he married in 1978; his daughter, Michelle (Mike) Bair of Canton; his son Scott (Sherrie) Smith of Austin, Texas; one brother, Chuck (Sheri) Smith and niece Jennifer, all of Canton; grandchildren, Emily (Randall) Koch, Ashlee (Clint) Shaffer, Halle Bair, all of Canton; Truett Smith and Megan Vardo of Austin, Texas; and Shelby Smith of Huntington, Indiana. He also is survived by two great-grandsons, Kolton and Kason Koch of Canton. He was preceded in death by one great-grandson, Kaden Koch, and his step¬mother, Marvis (Ferro) Smith. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials may be made to the David A. Smith Family Education Fund at MidAmerica National Bank. Funds will be used to further the education of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To leave online condolences please visit www.oakshinesfuneralhome.com.


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Arthur J. Bilek WAUCONDA – Arthur J. Bilek died peacefully in his sleep the evening of Aug. 13, 2020, holding hands with his beloved wife, Mary Ann Greco, after having lived every minute of his 90-year life to the fullest. His last nine years were filled with the joy, love, and romance of William Colosimo his twilight marriage to MaryAnn, singing and laughing until his last day. He found his last love while still grieving the loss of Ellen Holden Clark, with whom he spent the 16 years until she died, in a marriage filled with shared passions from Zydeco to opera. Art's first love was Angela (Vignola) Bilek, to whom he was married for 37 years and with whom he raised his four children. Art Bilek grew up in Rogers Park, the only child of Arthur and Marcella (Nohren) Bilek. While attending Loyola Academy's then-lakefront campus, he befriended the firefighters of Engine Company 70, following them to fires on the streetcar, learning what it means to be a first responder, and recording these adventures on his Speed Graphic camera. Before long, he was riding on the engine to the fires, helping with the hoses when needed, and selling pictures of the fires to the Chicago newspapers. Art was the first nonstaffer to have a photo printed in the Chicago Daily News and eventually was signed by the City News Bureau to provide fire and crime photos for the Chicago papers. Young Art's knowledge of Chicago was extensive. He led Grey Line Bus Tours of the city and to his dying day could draw you a detailed map of any section of the city. More importantly, his knowledge of the city made him a valuable asset to the News Bureau and soon, while still in school, Art was the legman for Len O'Connor at NBC News, moving from following fires to investigative

reporting of the criminal activities of the city. At Loyola University, where Art was editor of the school newspaper, he met and was smitten by a beautiful young reporter, Angela Vignola. Art and Angela fell deeply in love, sharing a deep faith and a commitment to doing what is right no matter the consequences. Angela transferred from Loyola to Rosary College in River Forest, where she made her mark in the Theater Department, and upon her graduation, the two were married. While investigating and photographing crimes for local news reports, Art was getting a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University. Following graduation, Art was sworn in as a patrol officer in the Chicago Police Department, working the beat in his home territory of Rogers Park. His strong drive to serve and defend compelled him to enlist in the U.S. Army while on the force, fueled by his pride in the country's efforts during World War II to end the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Art's acumen and obvious character led the Army to choose him for the Counter Intelligence Corps and assign him to serve in what was then the hottest spot in the U.S., Birmingham, Alabama, where Russian spies were inciting civil rights protesters to violence in an attempt to unsettle our democracy. Art and his partner, Kenneth Hammond, spent many long nights exposing Soviet efforts to disrupt peaceful protests and ensuring that African-American civil rights leaders were free from the interference of Communist and violent influences. After his tour of duty,Art returned to the Chicago Police force, where he became a special investigator for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Reaching the rank of lieutenant while going to law school, he met Richard B. Ogilvie, the head of a U.S. Justice Department unit fighting organized crime in Chicago. Art worked with Ogilvie and became the first Chicago police officer dedicated to busting organized crime in Chicago. When Ogilvie was elected

to the political post of Cook County sheriff, his first action in office was appointing Art as chief of Cook County police with the expectation that Art's drive, unbendable integrity, and strong leadership skills were needed to turn around one of the most corrupt police forces in the country and to take on the organized criminal elements that were preying on the city and suburbs. Art immediately fired 14 of his 16 direct reports, and with the help of the two remaining, Tony Usavicius and James T. McGuire, rebuilt the once rag-tag force into a model organization. From taking over the policing of the city of Cicero from their corrupt police corps, to protecting civil rights marchers in that city from Klansman and violent anti-civil rights insurgents, to breaking up gambling joints and illegal drug operations throughout the unincorporated areas of Cook County, Chief Bilek and his county police force became the scourge of organized crime and social miscreants. He left front line police work to institute the world's first criminal justice college curriculum as department chair at the University of Illinois, shuttling weekly between the Chicago Circle and Champaign-Urbana campuses. When Ogilvie became governor of Illinois, he brought Art with him, creating and naming Art to lead the Illinois Law Enforcement Commission, where he implemented educational programs and did planning and research to upgrade and improve local police departments and enact uniform requirements across the state. A series of break-ins and assaults at hotels across the country led Barron Hilton on a hunt for the world's first director of security for a major hotel chain. Hilton's first and only call was to Art Bilek, and the cause of public safety (and the need to support his kids through college) lured Art out of academia. Art designed many of the protocols for safety and security in

the hospitality business, professionalizing and systematizing the work of private security. When Hilton moved its corporate headquarters to Beverly Hills in 1974, Art and his family chose to remain in Chicago where Art joined the famed Pinkerton Corporation as vice president of Product Development and Government Affairs. After that, he re-joined the Cook County Police as an investigative analyst and broke up the large Mexican kidnap-for-profit ring that had been operating in the county. Art returned again to teaching, now at his alma mater, Loyola University, while writing books about the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and "Big Jim" Colosimo, but it was not long before the Chicago Crime Commission lured him back into fighting crime. Dec. 31, 2014, was proclaimed Arthur J. Bilek Day in the City of Chicago as a recognition and appreciation for his 60 years of contributions to law enforcement in the city and the state of Illinois. Art's passing is mourned and his life is celebrated by his children, Mary Lucille Bilek, Arthur John Bilek III, Judith Anne Zoromski, and Mark Joseph Bilek; their spouses, Aaron Marcu, Linda Bilek, Ron Zoromski and Maureen Bilek; his grandchildren who gave him so much joy, Allison Zoromski, Katherine Bilek Florack (Michael), Amy Bilek, Michelle Gardner-Bilek (Melissa), Adam and Benjamin Marcu, and Mark (MJ), Matthew and Luke Bilek; and his great-grandchildren, Teresa and Julie Florack. Joining them in sorrow and love are Christopher and Deanna Clark, Thomas and Molly Clark, Michael and Rosanne Greco, Patrick and Melody Greco, Neil and Brigitte Greco, Chris and Katie Rueb, and all their children, because Art enthusiastically embraced his wives' children and grandchildren as if they were his own.

Profile for Illinois Press Association

September-October 2020 PressLines  

September-October 2020 PressLines  

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