Thanks to the support of our owners, our advertisers and you, our readers, we hired additional journalists, transformed our digital experience and partnered with a variety of other media organizations last year to produce high-quality journalism that moved the needle.
Now, we’re being nationally recognized for all this work. A change on the top of our homepage says it all: We’ve swapped out “The Hardest-Working Paper in America” with a new tagline: “One of Editor & Publisher’s ‘10 That Do It Right 2020.’”
“The Sun-Times has been working on revamping its newsroom through several initiatives and projects, specifically when it comes to digital,” the magazine said in its story Monday honoring our media company and others. “Recently, the newsroom rebranded both their print and digital offerings to make them feel more polished and cohesive as well as launched digital subscriptions.”
E&P — for decades a national authority on the news industry — spotlighted our innovative Sports Saturday edition, our new website powered by Vox Media’s Chorus system, and video and podcasting initiatives that included partnerships with WBEZ and the Chicago Reader.
Our appearance in the “10 That Do It Right” reflects the work of our entire staff. It also seems fitting to recognize individual Sun-Times reporters who won national honors last year. They include:
- Lauren FitzPatrick, National Headliner Award for best “education reporting by an individual or team” for her collection of stories on school cleanliness, school nursing shortages and a profile of a principal who suffered from PTSD sparked by his violent childhood. FitzPatrick also got a third place from the National Headliner Awards for local news beat coverage, and Stefano Esposito took second place for feature columns for columns on fatherhood.
- Stephanie Zimmermann, Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award for her body of work in consumer investigations.
- Nader Issa, National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Awards, “digital media, single story news” for his multimedia coverage of a controversial Chicago police shooting of a South Side barber.
- Maureen O’Donnell, Society of Professional Obituary Writers Awards, “best short-form obituary” for her obit of longtime diner owner Sarkis Tashjian.
- Richard Roeper, African American Film Critics Association Roger Ebert Award for his “esteemed career spanning over 30 years, in which he used his platform to analyze and champion vital works of cinema, both mainstream and independent, at the Chicago Sun-Times.”
- Mary Mitchell, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, honorable mention for a series of columns related to the Laquan McDonald case.
Already this year, we’ve been hard at work, breaking stories about the administrative scandal at Lincoln Park High School, violence on the CTA and the possibility of soaring utility rates, among others. Sports Saturday continues to be a big part of our future, including this past Saturday’s stories on Hawk Harrelson’s health woes and David Ross balancing his role as Cubs manager with being a divorced dad.
Here’s the thing: For as good as the past year has been, we continue to battle the same headwinds as other regional newspapers. For us to keep moving that needle, we’ll need to keep building our readership.
We play a critical role in informing and entertaining Chicagoans and holding power accountable. Your support enables us to keep “doing it right,” and we hope to grow and give you even more quality journalism in the future.