The Better Government Association’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting resumed at City Winery this June to recognize the year’s most important contributions to government-related investigative reporting in Illinois.
This year’s winners uncovered a lifeguard abuse scandal at the Chicago Parks District, unspooled a scandal involving improper vaccinations at a West Side hospital, and identified problems with a program intended to compensate victims of violent crimes.
This year’s awards also celebrated the work of small newsrooms whose reporting delivered large impacts, and a reader’s choice award winner voted on by the public. Winners shared a prize pool of $27,000.
The event included special guest David Barstow, a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner who shared stories from his career, including his work with the New York Times investigating Donald Trump’s tax history.
The Driehaus Foundation has supported the awards through a partnership with the Better Government Association for more than a decade.
Small Newsrooms Category
First Place: “Big Ag U,” Johnathan Hettinger and Sky Chadde, Investigate Midwest, and Dana Cronin, Katie Peikes and Seth Bodine, Harvest Public Media
Runner-up: “Illinois Has a Program to Compensate Victims of Violent Crimes. Few Applicants Receive Funds,” Lakeidra Chavis and Daniel Nass, The Trace
Readers Choice Award: "Improper Vaccinations at Loretto Hospital," Kelly Bauer, Block Club Chicago
Finalists: “Gun Violence: A Community Conversation,” Jeff D’Alessio, The Champaign News-Gazette; “‘Gang Contracts’ in Cicero and Berwyn Schools Raise Concerns About Criminalization of Youth,” Irene Romulo, Cicero Independiente; “Drowning in Debt,” María Inés Zamudio, Alden Loury, Matt Kiefer, Mary Hall, Manuel Martinez, Kat Nagasawa and Charmaine Runes, WBEZ Chicago; “GI Bill Snafus Widespread and Longstanding, Long-Secret Whistleblower Investigation Finds,” Stephanie Zimmerman, Chicago Sun-Times