Fusco '94 Wins Top Investigative Journalism Award

Chris Fusco '94
Feb. 17, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— An Illinois Wesleyan University graduate and two of his colleagues at the Chicago Sun-Times have been awarded one of the nation’s top awards for investigative journalism.

The George Polk Award for Local Reporting will go to Chris Fusco ’94 and fellow reporters Tim Novak and Carol Marin for their investigation of a 10-year-old homicide case involving a nephew of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley. The resulting series “The Killing of David Koschman” led to the reopening of the case, the court appointment of a special prosecutor and a guilty plea by the former mayor’s nephew.

On his Facebook page, Fusco wrote: “Lucky to be sharing this with Tim Novak and Carol Marin. It’s Tim’s second Polk, further cementing his place in Chicago journalism history. And now Carol has a much-deserved print-journalism honor to add to her many TV accolades.”

The George Polk Awards are conferred annually to honor special achievement in journalism and place a premium on investigative and enterprise reporting. Named in honor of a CBS correspondent killed in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war, the awards were announced Feb. 15 and will be presented April 10 in New York. The awards are presented by Long Island University.

Fusco has been a reporter for the Sun-Times since 2000. He produces investigative reports on Chicago, the state of Illinois and Cook County government. In addition to the series of stories on the Koschman killing, Fusco’s recent work has included investigations of children who died while being monitored by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Chicago Bar Association all have honored his work. His award-winning stories, “The Gift: A Transplant Journey,” which chronicled Fusco donating half his liver in hopes it would save the life of his childhood friend Mark Mucha, won honors from the Chicago Headline Club. Fusco revisited the topic of organ donation in stories for IWU Magazine in 2002. Before joining the Sun-Times Fusco worked as a reporter for suburban Chicago newspapers.

At IWU Fusco majored in English, completing the department’s journalism sequence taught by Professor James Plath. A managing editor of The Argus student newspaper, Fusco also co-wrote Through the Eyes of the Argus: 100 Years of Journalism at Illinois Wesleyan University.