Winnetka, Community

The Record is national-award finalist for coverage of Winnetka lakefront saga

The Institute of Nonprofit News has selected The Record North Shore’s reporting on Winnetka’s lakefront as among the best explanatory journalism of the past year.

The Record’s coverage is one of four finalists for the Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism as part of INN’s annual Nonprofit News Awards — or the INNYs.

Since the 2020 announcement of an eventually controversial land exchange between the Winnetka Park District and Ishbia family, The Record has published more than 20 stories related to pending development — public and private — near Elder Park and Centennial Park beaches in Winnetka.

The polarizing saga involves the Village of Winnetka, as well as the park district, Ishbia family, and regional and national lakefront regulators.

In January 2023, The Record published a preview on a community open house on the topic that included a time line of stories to help break down the complicated issue for readers. The preview/time line, written by Editor in Chief Joe Coughlin, was the focus of the recognition from the Nonprofit News Awards. Reporters Peter Kaspari, Martin Carlino and Rachel Huser have contributed to The Record’s coverage of the Winnetka lakefront.

“Local news has a responsibility to report clearly and concisely to support residents who want to be informed,” Coughlin said. “That responsibility matters even more on issues like the Winnetka lakefront. It is next to impossible for anybody to follow all the meetings and memos. We are the shortcut to help them catch up.”

The Record North Shore launched in October 2020 in an effort to restore responsible, independent local news to the community — following the closure of 22nd Century Media (The Wilmette Beacon, Winnetka Current, Highland Park Landmark, etc.).

A nonprofit newsroom, The Record produces reliable public-service reporting that is free for all to read. It relies on reader support through subscriptions and donations. Coughlin said The Record believes that fair and accurate local news and information is a public good to which readers have a right.

Offering resources, training and other opportunities, Institute for Nonprofit News supports more than 400 independent and nonprofit news organizations across the nation that are “dedicated to public service.” The Record is a member of INN.

Winners of the Nonprofit News Awards will be announced in August.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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