Better Government Association

Winners Announced for the 2022 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards For Investigative Reporting

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting honor excellence in government-related investigative reporting in Illinois and recognize the importance of this work in preserving and advancing democracy. The mission of the Better Government Association is to shine a light on government and hold public officials accountable. Thanks to...
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Inspectors General: Chicago Among Nation's Strongest, But Lacks Power to Publish Reports

With Deborah Witzburg’s confirmation as inspector general at April’s city council meeting, Chicago finally has an internal governmental watchdog back on duty. The department Witzburg heads is among the strongest government oversight offices in the country, a Better Government Association Policy Team comparison of the 20 largest U.S. cities found, but lacks independent authority to release its final reports to the public.

Better Government Association Announces 2022 Driehaus Investigative Journalism Award Finalists

The Better Government Association has named eight investigative projects as finalists for the 2022 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting. These annual awards honor Illinois’ top achievements in investigative journalism focused on government. Winners will be announced at a live ceremony at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 21 at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St. The winners will share $27,000 in prizes.

BGA Wins Top Honors in State APME Contest

The Better Government Association and its partners took top honors for 2021 public service reporting at the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors contest for newspapers throughout the state. “Failures Before the Fires” — an investigation with the Chicago Tribune that identified 61 people who died in fires in buildings the...

Greising: City Hall Still Hasn’t Learned Its Lesson a Year After Report on Deadly Fire-Safety Failures

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section. The Pulitzer Prizes are the most prestigious awards in American journalism. And because of the nature of the craft, they also can stand as an unofficial catalog of the catastrophes, coups, military atrocities, corporate malfeasance and the crushing inhumanity of our times.

Bryan Zarou: Aldermanic Ethics Reform Package Could Be a Second Chance for Lightfoot To Fulfill Her Vow

Four years ago this month, Lori Lightfoot announced her intention to run for mayor of Chicago. The former federal prosecutor and Chicago Police Board president ran on promises such as pursuing ethics reform, reshaping the City Council, rooting out corruption and convening a panel of “journalists, attorneys, public watchdogs and other stakeholders … to make recommendations for increasing transparency.”

BGA Wins Pulitzer Prize

The Better Government Association has won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigative stories with The Chicago Tribune that exposed the failure of Chicago city officials to keep tenants safe from deadly fires in dangerous residential buildings. The Pulitzer board announced Monday afternoon the BGA and Tribune would share the award...

IL Lawmakers Look To Tackle Pension Fund Divestment Amid Russia, Ukraine War This Fall

ABC 7's Weekend Watch shines a spotlight on government activity. Legislation designed to force divestment in Russian-based assets languished unpassed in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. Despite strong rhetoric from Gov. JB Pritzker and other top state officials demanding public pension funds divest more than $100 million...

BGA Wins Nine Lisagor Awards

The Better Government Association won nine Peter Lisagor Awards for its work in 2021, including top honors for best news website and two investigative collaborations with its partners the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. The BGA was recognized in the categories of best investigative reporting, best multimedia collaboration, best data...