In a landmark for LGBT media, the cofounder of Chicago’s leading LGBT newspaper will be recognized next month, along with two prominent general media figures, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in Chicago journalism.
Tracy Baim, publisher and executive editor at Windy City Media Group, and the others will receive their awards May 2 at the 37th annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, according to a press release. The awards are given by the Chicago Headline Club, the largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter in the country.
Baim began her career at GayLife newspaper in 1984, a month after graduating from Drake University. She cofounded Windy City Times in 1985 and Outlines newspaper in 1987. Lambda Publications, the parent company of Outlines, bought Windy City Times in 2000 and merged it with Outlines, and the parent company became Windy City Media Group. It produces Windy City Times, Nightspots, and other gay media in Chicago.
Baim has won numerous gay community and journalism honors. She is also the editor and coauthor of Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America (2012), a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and a Top 10 selection from the American Library Association GLBT Round Table.
Other Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are Bill Kurtis and Karen Meyer. Kurtis spent 30 years as a reporter and anchor at WBBM TV, Chicago’s CBS affiliate, then founded Kurtis Productions, which has produced documentary series including the Peabody Award-winning The New Explorers for PBS, Cold Case Files for A&E, and American Greed for CNBC. Additionally, he hosted A&E’s American Justice, the longest-running nonfiction justice series on cable. Meyer has been a reporter for the Chicago ABC affiliate since 1991, focusing on issues related to disabilities; she has been profoundly deaf since birth. She also directs DePaul University's Office of Students with Disabilities and has taught at DePaul since January 2003.
Editor's note: Advocate copy chief Trudy Ring worked for Baim in both freelance and staff capacities in the 1990s.