Pulitzer Center grantee and 2021 Reporting Fellow Kallie Cox won the Sally Brown Boyden Student Journalism Award for her stories on Illinois' failure to hold police accountable for misconduct. Cox is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer. The Chicago Journalists Association (CJA) announced Cox's award on November 15, 2022, following the 83rd Anniversary Awards Ceremony.
Cox contributed to the “Legal Roadblocks to Police Accountability” edition of the Gateway Journalism Review. The investigative project produced a series of feature stories, with those by Cox including “Police Misconduct Records Secret, Difficult To Access,” republished by the Associated Press, “Records Show Illinois Fails To Hold Police Accountable for Misconduct,” and “New Illinois Police Reform Bill Makes State Police Misconduct Secret.”
For Roadblocks to Police Accountability, reporters compared state trends of police unions, hearsay, qualified immunity, and locked-down databases. Southern Illinois University journalism professor William Freivogel, a Pulitzer Center grantee and member of the Campus Consortium Advisory Council, worked with students and journalists around the country to produce a 72-page report for Gateway Journalism Review, where he serves as editor.
The judges said via email: “Kallie’s thorough examination of police conduct required great attention to detail and dogged pursuit of the facts. It is very clear the hours of work that Kallie invested into sifting through legal documents, filing FOIA requests, and creating an analysis of what was discovered. It’s not always easy to deep-dive into issues of this magnitude as a student, but Kallie’s passion for journalism shines through.”
As a 2021 Reporting Fellow, Cox co-produced For LGBTQ Asylum-Seekers at the Border, Assistance Has Become Resistance with Angel Chevrestt. They are a 2021 graduate of the University of Illinois at Carbondale School of Journalism and Advertising and former editor of the Daily Egyptian.
Founded in 1939 as the Chicago Press Veterans Organization, the CJA continues its mission of “rewarding journalistic excellence and providing area journalists comradeship.” The Boyden Family established the eponymous Sarah Brown Boyden fund after her death in 1989. The fund honors Sarah Brown’s storied journalism career at the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.