(CHICAGO, May 13, 2021) The Better Government Association (BGA) has named five investigative projects as finalists for the 2021 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting.

These annual awards honor Illinois’ top achievements in government-related investigative journalism. Winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony at 4 p.m. June 8, 2021. They will share $27,000 in prizes.

The celebration will feature a conversation with special guest Ron Nixon, global investigations editor at the Associated Press. The finalists are:
My Name is Anjanette Young
Dave Savini, Samah Assad, Michele Youngerman, Mike Klingele, DeAndra Taylor, Reed Nolan, Don Stanke, Alfredo Roman, Chris McKnight, Dave Kenebrew, Tim Viste, Lana Hinshaw-Klann, and Tony Diasio

COVID-19 Inequities
ProPublica Midwest
ProPublica staff

Where Banks Don’t Lend
City Bureau & WBEZ
Andrew Fan (City Bureau); Linda Lutton, Alden Loury,
Aaron Allen, Ashish Valentine (WBEZ)

During the Pandemic, Who Owns A Nursing Home Can Be the Difference Between Life and Death
Chip Mitchell and Rob Wildeboer, with Katherine Nagasawa and Manuel Martinez

Thousands of Foster Children Were Sent Out of State to Mental Health Facilities Where Some Faced Abuse and Neglect
Chicago Tribune & ProPublica Illinois
David Jackson (formerly with the Chicago Tribune); Duaa Eldeib (ProPublica Illinois)

Entries were judged by a panel of journalists and educators. From these finalists, three winners will be selected. In addition, a Reader’s Choice Award also will be presented to the finalist selected by a public Better Government Association Driehaus Awards Finalists 2
vote. The theme for this year’s event is “A Remedy for Wrong.” “I am delighted that once again we have received such a strong pool of powerful entries, including many from nonprofit journalism outlets,” said BGA President and CEO David Greising. “The enterprising effort behind all these investigations is impressive. The finalists’ stories took on timely topics like police misconduct and the response to COVID-19, yet together, they illuminate the troubling persistence of injustice, inequity and mismanagement. They showed how prejudice and profit motive can undermine policies and regulations intended to ensure fairness and safety of the most vulnerable.”

The awards are generously sponsored by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, which supports investigative reporting that fosters greater transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in government institutions at the local level.

Judges for the 2021 awards were: Chris Bury of DePaul University; Brant Houston of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Laura Washington of ABC-7 and the Chicago Sun-Times; and Charles Whitaker Dean and Professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. 

About The BGA

The Better Government Association is Illinois’ oldest nonprofit newsroom and the state’s only non-partisan, full-service watchdog organization. The BGA focuses on transparency, efficiency and accountability in government in Chicago and across Illinois.

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