Linda Lutton | WBEZ
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Linda Lutton

Linda Lutton


Linda Lutton covers Chicago neighborhoods for WBEZ, writing about people, places, problems  and possibilities from across the city’s hundreds of unique communities. 

Lutton joined the WBEZ newsroom as an education reporter in 2008 and worked for more than a decade on that beat. Her enterprise work examined Chicago’s dropout crisis, race and segregation in schools and the impact of violence on schools and youth. She covered the 2012 Chicago Teachers Union strike and the city’s historic closing of 50 public schools. Her work has won national acclaim, including a Peabody Award for the 2013 This American Life “Harper High School” episodes and a Peabody Nomination for her 2016 audio documentary, “The View from Room 205,” reported from Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood as part of a Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting. In addition, Lutton’s work at WBEZ has been honored with a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, a Scripps-Howard Award, a national Edward R. Murrow award, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, and multiple Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Awards. 

Prior to joining WBEZ, Lutton worked as a freelance journalist in Mexico. Before that, she was the lead education reporter at the Daily Southtown, where she covered education across 85 school districts in Chicago’s south suburbs. Lutton’s investigation into a corrupt south suburban school superintendent won a Chicago Headline Club Watchdog Award and earned the top prize in the country for education reporting in 2005, given by the Education Writers Association. 

Lutton received a 2004 Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods — it’s one of the honors she’s most proud of. In 2013, the Chicago Reader included Lutton in its annual People Issue about “what makes Chicago work.” Some of her favorite stories are ones she’s done just for fun.

Lutton has a B.A. in Urban Studies and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Originally from Minnesota, Lutton has lived in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood since 1994. She is married to artist-muralist Hector Duarte; they have three children.

Recent Stories


Trying To Pay The Rent, And Trying To Collect It, During The Coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis has pushed thousands out of work, and both tenants and landlords are worried.


Forget Amazon. This Website Allows Chicagoans To Shop Local During The Shutdown.

A new website seeks to connect small neighborhood businesses with shoppers sheltering in place.


Chicago Adjusts To ‘Stay At Home’

As the city winds down another notch, residents make plans for being at home — and they make music.


All Illinois Residents Are Ordered To ‘Stay At Home.’ Here’s What That Already Looks Like In Oak Park

Do: Seek out medical services for yourself or your pet. Don’t: Host a party.


Workers And Shoppers Question Why The Mall Is Still Open

The governor has shut restaurants and bars, so why are shopping malls open?


Empty Shelves Greet Chicagoans Stocking Up For Coronavirus

Coronavirus’ first toll on Chicago area: Good luck trying to find hand sanitizer or toilet paper.


President Trump In Chicago: Rallies, Protests And Traffic Jams

Activists demonstrated as President Donald Trump made his first trip to Chicago since his election.


One Day A Year In Chicago, A Chance To Win A New Porch Or Roof

Chicago’s roof and porch lottery gives lower-income homeowners a chance to get these big-ticket home repairs paid for by the city.


After 2 Years of Protests, Palos Township Calls in Armed Guards

After two years of protests over incendiary comments by a trustee, the Palos Township board brings in security officers for its meetings.


Snowball Stands and Candy Stores: The West Side’s Tasty Summer Economy

In communities where jobs are hard to come by, a colorful, sweet microeconomy is thriving.


Remembering Emmett Till’s Funeral As A Catalyst For Civil Rights

Revered Chicago historian Timuel Black spoke with students at Roberts Temple in Bronzeville, where Till’s funeral was held.


City Planners: Benefits Of Megadevelopment Might Be Overblown

Planning officials say current zoning laws allow for 4.7 million square feet of development in the area and not the imagined 20 million.


City Housing Commissioner: Vacant Lots Could Be Single-Family Homes

An architecture contest to design a 21st century bungalow for Chicago may also inform the city’s homeownership efforts.


Meet The 21st Century Chicago Bungalow

Housing advocates hope a Bungalow 2.0 could get more middle-income Chicagoans into affordable new construction homes.


Lawmakers Boost Chicago’s Latest Megadevelopment

Chicago’s latest proposal for a massive development is One Central, planned to span 34 acres on rail yards west of Soldier Field.


New Merit Pay Program Seeks To Keep Top Chicago Charter Teachers

The Noble charter network is trying out merit pay to reward its best teachers; 20 “distinguished” teachers will get $10,000 annual bonuses.


From Assembly Line To Vacant Lot: A Different Kind Of Affordable Housing

A company on the Southwest Side plans to build Chicago three-flats in a factory. Production time: six days.


Chinatown’s Getting A Massive New Neighbor. What Happens Next?

A megadevelopment is being built near Chinatown. Can the neighborhood survive? Experiences of other Chinatowns suggest it might not.


Chicago Lines Up To Welcome Mayor Lightfoot

More than 1,000 people packed a City Hall corridor for a personal moment with Chicago’s new mayor and her wife.


Tiny Eatery, Big Mission In Pullman

Three African American chefs opening restaurants at a new South Side food hall say that food can help revitalize Chicago communities.

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