Chicago Tribune's City Hall reporter jumps to Chicago News Cooperative

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Posted by on October 29, 2009 at 18:41:48:

In Reply to: Tribune's Greising joins O'Shea's Chicago News Cooperative posted by on October 28, 2009 at 10:21:42:

Chicago Tribune's City Hall reporter jumps to Chicago News Cooperative

Press release

CHICAGO -- The Chicago News Cooperative (CNC) Wednesday announced that the Chicago Tribune's leading City Hall reporter has joined the staff of the new multi-platform news venture that will offer public service reporting about Chicago for the New York Times, the city's public television station and on the Internet.

Dan Mihalopoulos, who has covered City Hall for the Tribune since 2003, will lead CNC's coverage of city government as it produces news content for the New York Times beginning in November. CNC Editor James O'Shea said that Katie Fretland, who is currently a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, will join Mihalopoulos on the city beat. O'Shea also said award-winning veteran photojournalist Jose' More' will lead CNC's photographic efforts.

The annoucement on Mihalopoulos, Fretland and More' came a day after David Greising, the lead business columnist for the Chicago Tribune, joined the CNC staff.

"We intend to blend seasoned journalists with younger reporters to build a well-rounded staff able to offer solid news coverage in print, over the airwaves and online in a challenging market," said O'Shea.

"David, Dan and Jose' bring a wealth of experience to our venture. Katie is an energetic, aggressive reporter with a keen eye for a story. We are delighted they decided to join the staff," said O'Shea, who is the chief executive of CNC. O'Shea is a former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune and former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times.

CNC was formed early this month to focus on public service journalism in Chicago. WTTW is a founding partner and shares its 501(c)3 not-for-profit status with CNC. The news cooperative also has received initial funding from the John C. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. Peter Osnos, founder of PublicAffairs books and a former newspaper journalist, is chairman of CNC's advisory board.

During his tenure covering City Hall and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Mihalopoulos uncovered corruption and exposed ways in which money and power often work to the disadvantage of common citizens. He was a lead reporter on the Tribune's 2008 "Neighborhoods for Sale" series, which won the Chicago Headline Club's Watchdog Award and was a finalist for national awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the American Society of News Editors.

Mihalopoulos' investigation of political hiring fraud at City Hall culminated in the corruption trials of Daley's patronage chief and his Streets and Sanitation commissioner. His reporting on shortcomings in the city's recycling program led to major reforms.

Since joining the Tribune in 1999, Mihalopoulos has covered the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and the arrest of the Brown's Chicken murderers in Palatine. Mihalopoulos, 35, was born in Chicago, went to Maine West High School, and and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He was a metropolitan reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1996 to 1999.

More', 62, was a Tribune staff photographer for 28 years before leaving the paper to start his own business in 2008, winning the paper's annual award for photographic excellence four times. More' also won four Peter Lisagor awards and shared the 2005 George Polk award for international reporting.

More' covered a wide range of news, features and sports assignments in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. He has extensive experience covering news events abroad, including civil war in the Congo, crises in the Middle East, earthquakes in Mexico City, Guatemala and Armenia, civil strife in Central America, and post 9/11 developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He covered Pope John Paul II on his world trips for 25 years.

Before joining the Tribune, More' was a staff photographer for United Press International for four years and for the Palm Beach Post for five years. He was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied architecture and fine arts.

A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Fretland, 24, has been a reporter covering police and court news at the World-Herald since 2008. Before that, she was an intern in the Tribune's Washington bureau contributing articles and posting multimedia features for the paper's political blog. She previously was a contract staffer with the Orlando Sentinel and an intern in the Associated Press London bureau.

Greising, who has nearly 30 years experience covering business news in Chicago and around the world, will serve in a unique capacity at this innovative journalism start-up. He will help establish partnerships with traditional media organizations and civic groups, while also helping to secure financial support for CNC from foundations and private donors. Greising also will contribute business reporting and editing to CNC.

Greising started his Tribune business column in 1998 but stopped writing it in 2003 to become the newspaper's chief business correspondent, traveling the globe to develop in-depth reports that helped Chicago readers better understand the impact of globalization. He has reported from five continents, covered the 9/11 terrorist attacks and wrote major series on climate change, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, and challenges facing Google. He resumed writing his column last fall.

A regular contributor to WBEZ-FM, National Public Radio's Chicago affiliate, Greising appears frequently on WTTW, Chicago's public television station. He began his award winning journalism career in 1982 at the City News Bureau of Chicago, a famed journalism boot camp.

Greising worked for seven years as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, then spent a decade at BusinessWeek magazine, starting as a correspondent in the Chicago bureau and later serving as bureau chief of the magazine's Atlanta bureau. He is the author of three business books and, with his wife, a children's book. A graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., Greising, 49, was born in Chicago and attended Maine South High School.

Posted at 4:37 PM on Oct. 28, 2009

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