Medill’s Alex Kotlowitz brings home Emmy for ‘The Interrupters’

Amy Whyte, Assistant Campus Editor

Journalism Prof. Alex Kotlowitz won his first Emmy Award on Tuesday for his documentary “The Interrupters.”

The documentary, which Kotlowitz co-produced with filmmaker Steve James, won in the Outstanding Informational Programming category at the 34th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. The film was initially released in the U.K. in 2011. It depicts community peacemakers working with Ceasefire, a Chicago organization that employs former gang members to combat violence.

Previously, Kotlowitz won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for his radio story “Mike and Victor: A Family Story,” which tells the story of a 24-year-old single white man who adopts a 9-year-old African-American boy he met while volunteering at a local orphanage. Kotlowitz has also received attention for “Harper High,” a WBEZ radio series he co-wrote about a Chicago high school that lost 29 current and recent students to shootings in a single year. 

Kotlowitz wrote last year’s One Book One Northwestern selection, “Never a City So Real,” which told the story of Chicago through the lenses of people who live there. He also authored “There are No Children Here,” a book about two brothers growing up in the projects that was selected as one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century by the New York Public Library.

 — Amy Whyte