“Failures Before the Fires” — an investigative collaboration of the Better Government Association and the Chicago Tribune — has been named a national finalist for the 2022 Livingston Award for Local Reporting awarded by Wallace House and University of Michigan.
The awards support young journalists and honor the best reporting and storytelling by journalists under the age of 35 across all forms of journalism. The 52 finalist selections were chosen from more than 450 entries for work released in 2021.
Winners are set to be announced June 8 at an in-person awards ceremony hosted by Dean Baquet, long-serving Livingston Award judge, executive editor of The New York Times, and formerly of the Chicago Tribune.
“As the world continues to move through various types of upheaval, it’s encouraging to see younger journalists taking on and tackling important and complex stories,” said Wallace House Director Lynette Clemetson, Wallace House Director.
The Fires project was among 20 finalists in the category of Local Reporting. The investigation found at least 61 people who died by fire in Chicago buildings after city officials were warned — sometimes for years — the buildings were unsafe. The investigation prompted reforms and highlighted Chicago’s long history of lax fire enforcement.
Celebrating its 41st year, the awards bolster the work of young reporters, help create the next generation of journalism leaders and mentors, and advance civic engagement around powerful storytelling. The sponsors include the University of Michigan, Knight Foundation, the Indian Trail Charitable Foundation, the Mollie Parnis Livingston Foundation, Christiane Amanpour, the Fred and Judy Wilpon Foundation, and Dr. Gil Omenn and Martha Darling.
For a complete list of the year’s finalists, go here.