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Block Club Chicago Honored For Outstanding Coverage, Revenue Campaign In LION Local Journalism Awards

Block Club Chicago's staff pictured in August 2022.Credit: Alex Garcia/Block Club Chicago
Block Club Chicago’s staff pictured in August 2022.


MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Lulay, Block Club Chicago Executive Editor and Co-founder | (312) 351-9027

CHICAGO, Ill. (Oct. 31, 2022) — Block Club Chicago was honored for outstanding coverage and revenue campaign of the year at this year’s LION Publishers Local Journalism Awards.

The annual awards recognize excellence in journalism and business at local independent online news publishers. The ceremony was held Friday night in Austin, Texas.

Block Club won the Outstanding Coverage award in the medium/large newsroom category for Senior Editor Kelly Bauer’s investigation into COVID-19 pop-up testing companies. Bauer’s reports revealed Chicago-area companies received more than $500 million from the federal government even while customers reported widespread issues with their sites.

Bauer’s reports led to state and federal investigations into the companies. At least one, the Center for COVID Control, closed completely.

“Very strong journalism that potentially led to law enforcement investigations and shutdowns of the problematic testing facilities,” a judge said. “I appreciated the use of Google Forms to dive deeper into the topic — it shows how people-focused journalism can have an impact.“

Block Club also won the Revenue Campaign of the Year award for its partnership with Chicago-based artist Steve Shanabruch to offer his WPA-inspired neighborhood prints to new subscribers. The popular deal encouraged hundreds to subscribe to Block Club.

“This campaign shows what’s possible when an organization marries entrepreneurial business acumen with strongly developed community ties,” a judge said.

Block Club was recognized as LION’s Publisher of the Year last year. In the past year, it was also named Editor & Publisher’s Best News Site and INN’s Community Champion of the Year. Bauer was named the Chicago Journalist of the Year, as well.

For comment, contact:

Stephanie Lulay, Block Club Chicago Executive Editor and Co-founder, 312-351-9027,


Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers

Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers is a professional journalism association for independent news publishers. While most of our 400+ members across the U.S. and Canada run local news businesses, we also have members who serve larger regions and specific identity-based communities across geographies.

About Block Club

Block Club Chicago is a nonprofit, reader-funded newsroom delivering nonpartisan and essential coverage of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. Our newsroom was founded in 2018 by former DNAinfo Chicago editors and reporters after the award-winning site abruptly shuttered. In four years, Block Club has transformed from scrappy startup to one of the most read news organizations in Chicago by being responsive to the city’s neighborhoods, publishing more than a dozen stories daily from every corner of the city and informing Chicagoans through our free newsletter, “It’s All Good” podcast, “On The Block” TV show and COVID-19 hotline. In the last year alone, Block Club has been named Editor & Publisher’s Best News Site, LION’s Publisher of the Year, INN’s Community Champion of the Year and we are proudly home to Chicago’s Journalist of the Year.

More recent news:

Block Club Chicago Awarded $1.6 Million Grant From McCormick Foundation To Launch Investigative Team (Sept. 27, 2022)

‘On The Block,’ Block Club Chicago’s TV Show On The U, Debuts Tonight (Apr. 14, 2022)

Block Club Is Launching A TV Show: WCIU’s ‘On The Block’ Will Bring Our Stories To The Small Screen (March 21, 2022)

Block Club Chicago Awarded $1.6 Million Grant From American Journalism Project To Expand (Jan. 11, 2022)

Block Club Chicago Named Publisher Of The Year, Gets 3 Other LION Local Journalism Awards (Nov. 17, 2021)

Block Club Named Best Online-Only News As It Wins 3 Awards In Prestigious Competition (Nov. 1, 2021)