Roger Ebert receives Lifetime Achievement award

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The late film-critic and University alumnus Roger Ebert will be honored by the College of Media with the 2014 Illinois Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. Ebert will be the first alumnus and the sixth journalist to receive the award, according the a press release. 

The award recognizes work that has consistently served as a beacon for other journalists, set the highest standards of excellence in the field, and placed the public good and public awareness before all else, according to a press release from the University.

The decision to honor Ebert with the award was an easy one for College of Media faculty, who voted on who should get the award, said Rich Martin, head of the Department of Journalism and Illini Media Board member. 

“It was more than a consensus — it was unanimous,” Martin said. 

The faculty decided to honor Ebert before his death last April, but they decided to wait out of respect for his death.  

Ebert sponsored Ebertfest, his annual film festival, through the College of Media and consistently partnered with the media studies department, Martin said. 

“He’s been a primal force here for decades,” Martin said.

Chaz Ebert will accept the award on behalf of the famous critic on Feb. 11 at the University Club of Chicago, after a reception and dinner.