Robert Reed (312) 453-0631

Robert Herguth (312) 821-9030



CHICAGO—The Better Government Association and its media partners took home seven Peter Lisagor Awards this past weekend.


The awards for outstanding local journalism were given by the Chicago Headline Club, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


A January 2014 BGA/Chicago magazine investigation entitled “The ABCs of UNO” – describing how the United Neighborhood Organization grew from a small Chicago-based community group into a multi-million-dollar enterprise with charter schools subsidized by taxpayers – won Lisagor awards in three categories for non-daily publications: Best in-depth reporting in a magazine or magazine section; Best political reporting in a newspaper or magazine; Best education reporting in a newspaper or magazine.


The BGA’s Andrew Schroedter and Patrick Rehkamp, and Chicago magazine’s Cassie Walker Burke reported the UNO story.


The BGA won three Lisagor awards with CBS2 Chicago, including two awards for the March 2014 story “Fire Suppression,” which exposed how the City of Chicago tried to cover up reports about serious and costly ambulance delays. For that story, the BGA/CBS2 won in the broadcast television category, for best investigative report, and best health or science reporting.


The BGA and CBS2 also won a broadcast Lisagor award for best business or consumer reporting for the October 2014 story “Illinois Public Hospitals Pay $180 Million For Wrongful Death Cases,” which documented the cost of patient deaths at public hospitals across the state.


Those stories were reported by the BGA’s Brett Chase and Patrick Rehkamp, and CBS2’s Pam Zekman and Dan Blom.


The BGA and NBC 5 also won a broadcast award in the best news specialty/religious category for “Nuns and Strippers,” a July 2014 story that revealed a second adult-themed club was proposed near a Catholic convent, the source of an earlier controversy over how a strip club was approved by the local municipal government.

That story was reported by the BGA’s Robert Herguth and Patrick Rehkamp and NBC 5’s Phil Rogers and Katy Smyser.


The awards, named for the late Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the old Chicago Daily News, were handed out at a banquet this pastFriday at the Union League Club of Chicago.


The Better Government Association is a Chicago-based nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog group that works for integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing corruption and inefficiency; identifying and advocating effective public policy; and engaging and mobilizing the public to achieve authentic and responsible reform.


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