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Barbara Brotman

Barbara Brotman
Barbara Brotman is a writer for the metropolitan news section's special projects team and the paper's Outdoors Adviser columnist.

Her 2006 stories chronicling the finals months of hospice care for a retired Chicago insurance executive won a distinguished writing award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, honorable mention in the National Press Club Awards and a Best Feature award from the Chicago Journalists Association.

She was a columnist and staff writer for the weekly Woman News section from February 1994 to August 2003. From September 2003 to June 2004, she held a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.

She joined the Tribune in February 1...
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Barbara Brotman is a writer for the metropolitan news section's special projects team and the paper's Outdoors Adviser columnist.

Her 2006 stories chronicling the finals months of hospice care for a retired Chicago insurance executive won a distinguished writing award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, honorable mention in the National Press Club Awards and a Best Feature award from the Chicago Journalists Association.

She was a columnist and staff writer for the weekly Woman News section from February 1994 to August 2003. From September 2003 to June 2004, she held a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.

She joined the Tribune in February 1978, writing for features sections and the Tempo section. After moving to the metropolitan news section as a general assignment reporter in 1982, she wrote the "About the Town" column for the Tribune from January 1984 until August 1989, for which she won a UPI International Award for Illinois Newspapers for Column Writing and a Peter Lisagor Award for column writing, given by Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists. She then covered the abortion issue from both a local and national perspective. In April 1990 she rejoined the Tempo staff as a feature writer.

She received honorable mention in 2002 from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, and is also a past recipient of the Chicago Tribune's award for Outstanding Professional Performance, for her evocative writing style and ability to capture the mood and feel of Chicago life and people.

Brotman was born in New York and graduated from Queens College. Brotman, her husband, Chicago Tribune photographer Chuck Berman, and their two daughters live in Oak Park, Ill.
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Top Barbara Brotman Articles

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  • Ethical carnivores: An urbanite aims for dinner

    Ethical carnivores: An urbanite aims for dinner
    For me, it was all about ethical meat. For years I'd been searching for meat I could feel OK about — in terms of the environment, health and animal welfare. But I never imagined my quest for the most politically correct meat could end with what...
  • Finding something new in a well-reported story

    Finding something new in a well-reported story
    Covering a well-covered story like Maggie Daley’s death is particularly challenging. When I went to the funeral Monday and started talking to mourners, I found that many of them had lovely things to say about Mrs. Daley,  but they were things that...
  • Hockey magic on thin ice

    Hockey magic on thin ice
    Every winter for many years, a patch of Grant Park has undergone a nightly transformation. After the Daley Bicentennial Plaza ice rink closed at 9 p.m., it turned into something that resembled a frozen pond in Canada. Hockey lovers from across the...
  • Thin Mint business calls for a thick skin

     
    From the archives, an April 3, 2002 column by Barbara Brotman. Well, it's all over except for the eating, although judging by the crumbs on my colleagues' desks, that's over, too. But after a particularly grueling experience of helping my......
  • Surviving the recession: One family's story

    Surviving the recession: One family's story
    This is how fast it can happen: One day Patrick Robbins was a sportswear buyer at Mark Shale earning $110,000 a year. The next day he was laid off, with no severance. Within a week, the family was on Medicaid and had applied for food stamps. Soon his...
  • Bereavement photographer offers grieving parents a priceless gift

    Bereavement photographer offers grieving parents a priceless gift
    Carolyn and Brian Schroeder never imagined this kind of baby photo album. "Don't take this the wrong way," Brian said to photographer Todd Hochberg. "We want to see the pictures, but there's a part of me that doesn't want to see them." Hochberg murmured...
  • Seeking safe passage: 13-year-old touched by violence in 1993 overcomes the odds

    Seeking safe passage: 13-year-old touched by violence in 1993 overcomes the odds
    The Tribune explores the reverberations, many years later, of the killings of three children -- the echoes of pain, of anger and of inspiration. Last Sunday, Byron Taylor strode down a church hallway, a tall 29-year-old with stylishly locked hair...
  • Look! Up in the sky. It's a bird...and another bird.

    Look!  Up in the sky. It's a bird...and another bird.
    Eric Gyllenhaal listened carefully. "I think I hear a catbird," he said. He mimicked the song, which at one point included a "meow." Me, I just heard a siren, and maybe some traffic from the Eisenhower. But Gyllenhaal can hear past the sounds of the...
  • Nature: Find it along the city's riverwalk

    Nature: Find it along the city's riverwalk
    Sure, it's a nice place for outdoor dining. But is the still-evolving pedestrian walkway along the Chicago River also a legitimate outdoors nature experience? In a way. It's not a hiking trail, unless your hiking trails feature a spa offering chair and...
  • Have bus, will ski

    Have bus, will ski
    We emerged out of the predawn darkness, an assortment of not-yet-caffeinated people toting ski clothes and Starbucks cups. Precisely at the scheduled time of 6:15 a.m., a coach bus pulled up, its cushy seats promising a fine nap. At 6:30 we were off,...
  • Blame it on brain freeze

    Blame it on brain freeze
    There is a certain kind of person who comes upon an evening when falling snow is creating near-blizzard conditions, more than 600 flights have been canceled at O'Hare and the side streets are being reduced to two tire tracks through the snow, and thinks:...