February 6, 2023

Illinoisan of the Year Selected

This year’s Illinoisan of the Year, as nominated by and voted on by past-presidents of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association, is Chicago Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath.

In nominating Eisendrath, former INBA president Marc Magliari said:

“Assembling a group of investors to buy the smaller and scrappier of Chicago’s daily general circulation newspapers is hard, but leading the Sun-Times to success will probably be harder. Edwin Eisendrath is the CEO of the newspaper now calling itself The Hardest-Working Paper in America and he has vowed his labor union-backed group will not interfere with the news or editorial pages. Eisendrath, a former Chicago alderman and the husband of a former TV news director, also admits he might not succeed in keeping Chicago a two-newspaper town. But for trying, he deserves to be an INBA Illinoisan of The Year. Let’s be a journalism group that recognizes him for his work in support of competitive daily news and sports reporting before it is too late.

Other comments in support of Eisendrath's recognition for the award that was first granted by INBA back in 1959 noted the long-term challenges to our profession, both broadcast and print. His recognition for his past efforts and current work can be seen as encouragement for him to “continue toward providing an information platform that benefits all of us,” as another past INBA president noted.

Other nominees for the 2018 Illinoisan of the Year award were former First Lady Michelle Obama, Illinois tourism director Cory Jobe, inventor Don Bitzer, and meteorologist Tom Skilling.

Thank you to all who participated in this year’s selection. The Illinoisan of the Year award will be presented at the fall INBA convention in Springfield.

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Ryan Denham

I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.

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