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2011.05.31 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Dean Earns Prestigious Journalism Award for Penning Chicago Documentary

Omaha - A documentary on the history of Chicago’s African-American community, co-written by a University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) dean, has received the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club, the nation’s largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter.

Gail F. Baker, dean of UNO’s College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, co-wrote “DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis,” which shares Chicago’s story through the voices of residents, scholars, artists, politicians and business leaders. The film features interviews with Carol Moseley-Braun, Jerry Butler, Margaret Burroughs, John Rogers, Bobby Sengstacke and Lalah Hathaway.

Baker shares the writing credits with the film’s two producers, Barbara E. Allen and Dan Andries.

“DuSable to Obama” was recognized May 6 in Chicago with the 2010 Lisagor for Exemplary Journalism in Public Affairs Programming.

The award is named in honor of the late Peter Lisagor, the Chicago Daily News’ Washington bureau chief from 1959 to 1976 and one of the nation’s most respected, well-known journalists.

Baker’s documentary aired earlier this year on WTTW, Chicago’s public television station, and debuted in April at Omaha’s Aksarben Cinema.

“We are extremely honored to receive this recognition,” Baker said. “In many ways, this project represents what the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media is all about. The documentary used storytelling, music and drama to reveal an untold history of Chicago. The critical role of the arts in developing a community was highlighted – as was the role of an active and engaged media.”

Baker added that today’s technology allowed her to regularly collaborate with the producers in Chicago from her UNO post in Omaha.

A Chicago native, Baker holds a master’s degree from Roosevelt University and doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.

In 2006, Baker received a Midwest Emmy Award for her hour-long documentary “Paper Trail: 100 Years of the Chicago Defender.” The film also received the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism.

During college, Baker interned at the Chicago Defender, a century-old publication serving Chicago’s African-American community. She later became a full-time employee of the newspaper.

Baker joined UNO in 2006 from the University of Florida. UNO’s College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media houses the Department of Art and Art History, School of Communication, Department of Music, Department of Theatre and Writer’s Workshop.

For more information on “DuSable to Omaha,” visit www.wttw.com. Visit www.headlineclub.org for more information on the Chicago Headline Club.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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