Monroe Anderson, BA’71, worked for some of America's best-known media corporations including Dow Jones, Johnson Publishing Co., the Tribune Co., Post-Newsweek and Viacom, and he also served as press secretary for the mayor of Chicago.
Anderson graduated with a degree in journalism in 1971. During college, he worked for the Indiana Daily Student and was a summer 1968 intern for Newsweek magazine. As an intern, he was one of the reporters covering the anti-war protests in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention and was beaten by the Chicago police during the convention.
Anderson spent the first 18 years of his professional career as an award-winning print journalist. From 1970-72, he was a staff writer for The National Observer in Washington, D.C., as well as its first Black team member.
He spent two years as assistant editor for Ebony magazine, and then joined the Chicago Tribune.
In his 10 years at the Tribune, Anderson covered city hall, general assignments, and police and the courts, and he wrote occasional concert and record reviews. He also contributed to four award-winning investigative series.
Anderson spent three months investigating an auto repair shop outside of Chicago in 1976, and the story’s findings prompted a new law requiring auto repair shops to inform customers if the repair was more than they estimated. Other investigations examined school food nutrition, construction contracts and redlining.
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 about 130 newspapers. Twenty-one years later, Anderson wrote a Chicago Sun-Times signed op-ed page column for 18 months.
Later in his career, he taught feature writing at Columbia College Chicago and was director of station services and community affairs at WBBM-TV. For eight years, he was host and executive producer of the public affairs television show “Common Ground” at WBBM-TV.
Anderson was editor of N’DIGO, a Black community newspaper, and editor of Savoy magazine. He has also been a commentator on “848,” a public affairs program on WBEZ-FM, Chicago's NPR station.
From 1988 to 1989, he worked in municipal government, serving as press secretary for Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer.
He covered politics once again from a blog, breaking the story that former President Barack Obama had left the Trinity United Church of Christ. The story was picked up by CNN.
Anderson is co-author of the nonfiction book “Brothers: Black and Poor — A True Story of Courage and Survival” and a contributing author to “Restoration 1989: Chicago elects a new Daley.”