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I'm a Chicago Defender Columnist


Cyber Columnist Monroe Anderson is a four-time Pulitzer Prize nominated, award-winning veteran Chicago journalist. A published author, he has worked for magazines, newspapers, television and written for blogs.

Anderson is a member of the Trotter Group, a collective of African American columnists representing publications coast-to-coast and of the AfroSpear, a collective of black bloggers.

He was selected in 2007 to participate in the Kaiser Family Foundation Traveling Media Seminar in South Africa. He and five other journalists, from the U.S. and U.K., visited South Africa for nine days for an in-depth study of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

From February 2006 until July of last year, he was a freelance op-ed page columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. His political commentary ran every Sunday in the newspaper's “Controversy” section.

Anderson was the editor of Savoy Magazine, until the national publication experienced financial problems in late 2005. Before taking the helm of Savoy in November 2004, he was the editor of N'DIGO, a Chicago weekly publication that has the nation's largest African-American newspaper circulation.

Anderson, the former host of Common Ground at CBS2 Chicago, took over the helm of N’DIGO in March of 2004.

As a career journalist for more than three decades, Anderson has worked for some of America’s best-known media corporations—Dow Jones, Johnson Publishing Company, the Tribune Company, Post-Newsweek and Viacom. In 1988-89, he had a stint in municipal government, serving as Press Secretary for Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer.

Anderson is a co-author of the non-fiction book, Brothers, which was published by William Morrow & Company in the spring of 1988. He is also a contributing author to Restoration 1989: Chicago Elects a New Daley, a book detailing the 1989 Chicago mayoral election, published by Lyceum Books in the fall of 1991. Anderson's chapter is entitled, "The Sawyer Saga: A Journalist, Who Just Happened to be the Mayor's Press Secretary, Speaks."

From June, 1989 until December 2002, Anderson was Director of Station Services and Community Affairs at WBBM-TV, a CBS owned and operated station in Chicago. As Director of Station Services, he coordinated WBBM-TV’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies and ensured that the station was in compliance with FCC regulations. As Director of Community Affairs, he worked closely with a wide range of community organizations including political, church, schools and civic within the CBS viewing area to assure that the station was aware of and gave support to important local issues and events.

For eight of his 13-year tenure at WBBM-TV, Anderson was the executive producer and host of the public affairs television talk show, Common Ground. The show’s 30-year run ended in December 1998.

Anderson spent the first 18 years of his professional career as an award-winning print journalist. From 1970 to 1972, Anderson was a staff writer for The National Observer in Washington, D.C. He moved on to accept a position at Ebony in Chicago. After working for two years as an assistant editor for the national magazine, Anderson was hired as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

In his 10 years at the Tribune, Anderson worked as a city hall reporter; participated on four award-winning investigative series; worked as a general assignment reporter; did police and court beat reporting; and periodically wrote concert and record reviews.

From September 1983 until January 1985, he wrote a signed political column that appeared every Friday on the Chicago Tribune's op-ed page. The column was transmitted weekly by the Knight-Ridder/New York Daily News/Tribune wire service, where it was available to some 130 newspapers.

Anderson has also been a commentator on 848, a public affairs program on WBEZ-FM, Chicago’s NPR station.

He is on the boards of the Illinois Arts Alliance, Keep Chicago Beautiful and Gilda's Club. Anderson is a past board director of the National Association of Black Journalists and has served as an officer of the Chicago Association of Black Journalists.

He is also a former a board member of the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

During his career as a print journalist, Anderson appeared on the Today and Donahue shows and was a regular panelist on the Chicago Week in Review on WTTW-TV, the local PBS station.

He also made scores of appearances on other local television and radio programs and lectured at a number of colleges and universities including Indiana University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and Iowa State University.

Anderson taught the MBA 590 class in business presentation for one semester last year at University of Illinois Chicago. From 1984 until 1988, he taught a feature writing class at Columbia College-Chicago.

He earned a B.A. degree from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1970, with a double major; journalism and English Literature. He is married to the artist, Joyce Owens. They have two sons, Scott and Kyle.

March 2008