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Sun-Times reporter’s work on violence wins journalism honor

Updated: May 4, 2013 6:40PM

A story by Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Kim Janssen that examined violence in Chicago through the lens of one man’s death, and his life, was among work honored Friday as the best in Chicago journalism in 2012.

Mexican immigrant Delfino Mora was killed on camera, with the video then posted to Facebook, in a death that, thanks to Janssen’s reporting, came to symbolize the human cost of the violence that gripped the city.

Janssen’s report from Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico of the funeral of the once well-known

ranchera singer known as “Don Vale” — published last July 23 under the front-page headline “ ‘Don Vale’ goes home” — was cited as the year’s finest example of “distringuished journalism reflecting the dignity and spirit of the common man” by the Chicago Headline Club, which gave him its Anne Keegan Award, named for the late Chicago Tribune reporter.

Other Sun-Times staffers were cited for news reporting, sports commentary, arts reporting, editorial writing and multimedia work online as the Headline Club — the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists — presented its annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism at a dinner at the Union League Club of Chicago.

In all, eight Sun-Times staff members won a total of five Lisagor Awards for work that appeared in the newspaper and online at last year:

Frank Main, Janssen, Dan Mihalopoulos and Mark Konkol, cited for 10 stories that ran under the banner “Chicago Under Fire.” Published over a perid of six months, the stories focused on the rise in murders in Chicago last year and won in the category “best non-deadline reporting,”

Rick Telander, deemed best in sports commentary, for a selection of three columns.

Dave Hoekstra, singled out for best arts reporting, for “The Last Honky Tonk,” on Carol’s Pub in Uptown.

Hoekstra and Jon Sall, honored for best multimedia feature presentation, for “The Giving Soul of Mitty Collier,” a blog post that included a short story and an original eight-minute mini-video documentary on Pastor Mitty Collier, a former R&B singer.

Kate N. Grossman, tops for editorial writing, for a series of three editorials on last year’s strike by Chicago teachers.The prizes are named for the late Peter Lisagor, Washington bureau chief of the old Chicago Daily News.

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