Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mick Dumke wins Studs Terkel Award

Posted By on 02.02.12 at 01:18 PM

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The Reader's Mick Dumke is a 2012 winner of the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, which is given by the Community Media Workshop, based at Columbia College. Dumke was named Thursday, along with Maria Hinojosa of National Public Radio and Chip Mitchell of WBEZ.

Here's a link to CMW's profile of Mick. It begins:

Mick Dumke has been writing for the Chicago Reader since 2005. His investigative reporting, often with teammate Ben Joravsky (1995 Terkel winner), has helped shine a light on Chicago’s parking meter deal, ineffective gun control laws, government budgeting tricks, and the racially disproportionate impacts of drug policies.

“I have ended up writing about power and the use and abuse of power,” Dumke said.

Dumke said he admires how Terkel sought justice in his storytelling.

“That’s what it’s about for me,” Dumke said.

One of the dark days in the Reader's recent history was when Dumke left to join the Chicago News Cooperative in July of 2010, and one of the brightest his return eight months later. A "tonic" to this paper, I called it then. He sets our bar for meticulous and scrupulous reporting.

Hinojosa is the anchor and managing editor of NPR's Latino USA, and two years ago she founded her own media company, the Futuro Media Group. A WBEZ reporter since 2006, Mitchell is based in the station's Humboldt Park bureau. Earlier in his career he reported from Latin America for public radio, the BBC, and other media.

In addition to Dumke and Ben Joravsky (mentioned above), John Conroy, then with the Reader, won a Terkel Award in 2005. And one of last year's winners, Kari Lydersen, has been a frequent Reader contributor. Reporting Lydersen's honor, I offered a few thoughts about the Terkel Award itself. CMW president Thom Clark regards the award as a solemn trust, I observed. "Clark knows the work of the journalists he's honoring—not simply the one or two nice pieces that can be excavated from any pile of drivel to snow a judge but the full body of work. He's finicky and sentimental. He likes to hail long, distinguished careers and to sing the praises of community journalists previously unsung. As community journalists work in trenches where few flowers grow, there's a rich supply of those."

Once again, there's no arguing with Clark's choices.

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