School of Education & Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Chicago Tonight Correspondent, Award-Winning Journalist
Inquisitive, curious, precise, and affable, Brandis (Griffith) Friedman has served as a correspondent and host of Chicago Tonight—a nightly news, public affairs, and analysis program—on Chicago’s PBS affiliate, WTTW Channel 11, since 2013. She’s had the opportunity to interview a range of newsmakers, from politicians to artists, as well as civil rights legends like the Little Rock Nine and Ruby Bridges. As a correspondent, Friedman covers education for Chicago Tonight, giving viewers a clear picture of the Chicago Public School’s budget, contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union, or explaining the latest standardized test controversy.
Her work covering education has been rewarded with a Peter Lisagor Award for Excellence in Journalism. Friedman’s work on education, and other subjects, has also appeared on the PBS Newshour and NPR’s The Takeaway. She also serves on the board of the Chicago Headline Club, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and is a past vice president.
Friedman came to Chicago in 2011 to work as an anchor and reporter for WBBM Newsradio 780. There, she covered the historic Chicago Teachers Union Strike and NATO summit, both in 2012. Before moving to the Windy City, she lived and worked in Washington, D.C. As a special projects producer for its ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV, she covered President Barack Obama’s historic first inauguration. Additionally, Friedman played a senior role in producing “Drive to Stay Alive,” an hour-long special report on the perils of teen driving. The report garnered two regional Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chesapeake Bay Chapter.
Friedman also has experience working on Capitol Hill, as a deputy communications director for the House Committee on Science and Technology. Her work on the committee’s award-winning website garnered two consecutive Gold Mouse Awards from the Congressional Management Foundation.
Friedman started her career as a local television news reporter in Wichita Falls, Texas, before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas. In both markets, she covered daily news stories and filled in on the anchor desk for these NBC affiliates. She then worked as a research writer and media relations specialist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, where she produced and voiced the weekly Research Minute for local NPR affiliate.
Originally from Mississippi, Friedman is a graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, and Columbia University in New York City, where she earned her Master of Science in Journalism. She lives in Evanston with her husband, Jason, and their son, Blake.