posttrib
FLAWLESS 
Weather Updates

Roger Ebert honored for online essays cited as ‘a fitting coda for a life of unparalleled column writing’

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

storyidforme: 51596094
tmspicid: 19168495
fileheaderid: 8666523

Updated: September 3, 2013 2:42PM



Roger Ebert, whose writing graced the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 40 years until his death in April at age 70, has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for essays he wrote for the newspaper’s website in 2012.

Ebert was awarded first place for online columns or blogs on large websites in the journalism group’s annual column contest, chosen from among a group of finalists that also included writers for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Reuters and the New York Daily News.

He was cited for three essays from his blog, “Roger Ebert’s Journal.”

“This year’s wondrous entries by Roger Ebert . . . sadly will be his last,” wrote contest judge Chad Lorenz, news editor for the online magazine Slate. “But that is not why he has won the top prize. Even in his final year, Ebert’s transcendent meditations on the pleasures of experience and the nature of human consciousness — what it truly means to exist — are a fitting coda for a life of unparalleled column writing.

“But recently he might have gotten one assertion wrong,” Lorenz wrote. “In his column ‘I Remember You,’ he writes, “[I]n a century the human race will have forgotten [my friends], and me as well. Nobody will be able to say how we sounded when we spoke.’ I have no doubt that 100 years from now a new generation of readers will come to know and appreciate the sound of Ebert’s spectacular voice, physically decimated years ago by disease but made immortal through his writing.”

Ebert, best known for his film criticism, died after a long battle with cancer.

The columnists group also singled out Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander for recognition, awarding him third place for general interest column writing for sports columns he wrote that the group said transcended sports.

“Rick Telander is an absolute master at turning sports (and its celebrated figures) into very real people with all the human frailties we all possess,” judge Mike Masterson, a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, wrote. “His well-written entry lays out many hypocrisies and weaknesses as well as the successes by those who give of themselves to the at-risk youths of Chicago. Exemplary work and richly deserving of national acclaim.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.