Northern Star alumnus wins prestigious journalism award

Kelly Bauer, Former Editor-in-Chief of Northern Star, Receives Chicago Journalists Association Honor

Kelly Bauer, former editor of Northern Star, was recently named Chicago Journalist of the Year by the Chicago Journalists Association.

“It was really exciting and unexpected,” said Bauer. “It’s like a really, you know, huge and very humbling honor to think that I would be named that.”

Bauer, now breaking news editor at Block Club Chicago, said her main goal is to learn and develop her skills as a journalist and to continue to tell stories that impact the lives of residents of Chicago.

Bauer’s colleagues were proud of her for the award, said Shamus Toomey, editor of Block Club Chicago.

“Kelly is just kind of a superhero as a reporter,” Toomey said. “To see her honored and recognized and the whole town seeing her, you know, just to recognize her talent and hard work was just phenomenal.”

Prior to her professional journalistic career, Bauer was Editor-in-Chief of the Northern Star from 2011 to 2015, re-elected every semester until she graduated in May 2015.

Bauer has worked for Block Club Chicago since its inception in 2018. She interned for DNAinfo from 2013 to 2014, while she was editor of the Northern Star at NIU. Bauer gives her time to the Northern Star by helping her become the journalist she is today.

“I wouldn’t have the job I have now without the Northern Star,” Bauer said. “I wouldn’t tell the stories I tell without the Northern Star.”

The name Block Club Chicago comes from the founders eager to engage with the various communities of Chicago.

Bauer gained national attention by resolving the vaccine scandal in March 2021 at Lorette Hospital in Chicago.

Block Club Chicago received advice from a reader saying they knew vaccines were being distributed at Trump Tower in Chicago.

Loretto Hospital has vaccinated people in downtown Chicago and the suburbs when the hospital serves residents on the West Side, which happens to be a more vulnerable low-income population.

The city of Chicago has taken over administration of vaccines at the hospital, after reports surfaced. The fbi launched a criminal investigation in the management of the hospital’s vaccination program on November 2.

Loretto’s story aside, Bauer’s job as breaking news editor differs from day to day as she and her team of 12 reporters give hyperlocal coverage to Chicago neighborhoods.

Toomey said Bauer has a knack for being a very quick reporter, writing breaking news in minutes.

“She does a little bit of everything for us,” Toomey said. “She’s just incredibly focused and brilliant. And just very disciplined in her approach of covering stories, staying on top of the news, knowing the right places to go for information, getting people to talk to her, getting sources to talk to her. open to it. She’s just very dedicated to whatever she tackles.

Bauer said Chicagoans feel comfortable sharing their stories with her and have confidence in her reporting as well as her ability to protect sources.

“She’s really amazing in dozens of different things,” Toomey said. “We are so lucky to have him.”