CU-CitizenAccess.org has won the 2012 Peter Lisagor Award for its collaborative project with Hoy Chicago looking at changing demographics and racial issues in Central Illinois.
The award was announced earlier this month by the Chicago Headline Club, the largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter in the country.
"We deeply appreciate the recognition for the collaborative work that produced a stellar public service project," said Brant Houston, director of CU-CitizenAccess.org. "This encourages us to continue and expand on our efforts."
Houston, who holds the Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting in the Department of Journalism, co-founded and launched CU-CitizenAccess in 2009.
CU-CitizenAccess.org was part of the team that won in the multimedia category along with Hoy Staff, Chicago Tribune Graphics Staff for “Midwest Chronicles: Diversity Flourishes”.
The project took a deep look at the demographic shift across 16 counties in Central Illinois, including stories on racial issues and data analysis of crime statistics. The project included presentations in video, audio, and text on the organizations' Web sites and a 16 page supplement published in editions of the News-Gazette and Hoy Chicago last fall.
The project has since won other awards, including one from Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 4,000 member organization. (See also CU-CitizenAccess receives national award for project highlighting racial issues in Central Illinois.)
Also, the project’s infographic "Seeds of Change" in the print edition (a version can be seen here) netted an Award of Excellence from the Society for News Design. This dot-density demographic map, created by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Alex Bordens and Kyle Bentle from the Chicago Tribune and Hoy Chicago visually shows the diversity downstate.
CU-CitizenAccess is an online community news site based at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign that also works with the News-Gazette and Illinois Public Media.
CU-CitizenAccess launched in 2009 with funding from the Marajen Stevick Foundation and the University of Illinois and a matching community information grant from the John S. Knight and James L. Knight Foundation.
Hoy contributors named were Jeffrey Kelly Lowenstein, Samuel Vega, Roger Morales and Fernando Diaz. Hoy Chicago is a Spanish language daily and Web site published by the Tribune Company.