Facing substantial drops in advertising revenue, 43 independent Chicago media outlets have joined forces to raise funds in a monthlong campaign in May and early June. The for-profit and nonprofit organizations represent a wide cross-section of authentic community media in the city and nearby suburbs.
Growing Community Media, publisher of Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, is among the participants.
The public can give at savechicagomedia.org through June 5. The website offers
the option to donate one amount to be split among all of the outlets, or donors can
select one or more outlets to give a specific amount to.
Dan Haley, publisher of Growing Community Media, said, “While we actively are working to grow donations to our own newsroom, we ask our readers to consider making a donation to this effort which is shared across all 43 of these worthy efforts in independent community journalism.”
“We who are in independent media find ourselves in a unique and dangerous economic situation,” said Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader. “In response to COVID-19, national news outlets are tallying death tolls and assessing the situation globally. While that coverage is important, it leaves the average citizen confused and unsure of how to proceed within their community.”
The campaign is being coordinated by the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), a project launched in 2019 by the Chicago Reader. Sixty media companies and nonprofit newsrooms belong to CIMA, which is coordinating grants, advertising, and editorial projects to assist in strengthening the local media landscape.
CIMA’s goal is to lift all boats through partnerships. Donations are not tax deductible, but those wishing to provide money to a pooled matching fund can donate to The Chicago Independent Media Alliance 2020 Matching Fund at the Crossroads Fund.
Several foundations have already committed to donating to the matching fund, and full details on the match will be available in mid-May.
The campaign hashtag is #SaveChicagoMedia.
43 newsrooms looking for your support
AirGo Radio: Podcast and media hub showcasing people reshaping Chicago to be more equitable and creative.
Better Government Association: The BGA’s in-depth investigative reporting exposes failings in Chicago and Illinois government.
Chicago Crusader: The Chicago Crusader is Chicago’s number one African American weekly.
Chicago Music Guide: Your guide to great music in Chicago. Music promotions, resources and more.
Chicago Public Square: Free daily email news roundup for Chicago. The Reader poll’s pick for Best Blog. Run by Oak Parker Charlie Meyerson.
Chicago Reader: The Reader, founded 1971, is Chicago’s in-depth and curated guide to culture, politics, and more.
The Chicago Reporter: An investigative news organization focused on race, poverty and income inequality.
CHIRP Radio: CHIRP is your live, local community radio station focused on independent music and culture.
Cicero Independiente: A volunteer-run, bilingual, independent news outlet for and by residents of Cicero.
City Bureau: Nonprofit civic journalism lab serving Chicago’s South and West Sides
E3 Radio: An online station playing queer and independent music. Queer radio done right.
Free Spirit Media: Opportunities for emerging creators (ages 14-25), primarily from communities of color, to produce and create.
Growing Community Media: Includes Austin Weekly News and Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest.
Hyde Park Herald: Hyde Park Herald is a weekly community newspaper rich in history and journalistic excellence.
Inside Publications: Skyline, Inside Booster, News Star newspapers: Your friendly 110-year-old neighborhood newspapers, serving Chicago’s North Side.
Injustice Watch: An investigative newsroom that exposes systemic inequities in the justice system.
Invisible Institute: Works to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable.
Kartemquin Films: Supports independent filmmakers producing social issue documentaries, fostering a more engaged society.
Korea Times Chicago: Most widely distributed daily publication for Korean news in Chicago.
La Raza Newspaper: The voice of Chicago’s Latino community for 50 years. La voz de la comunidad latina en Chicago por 50 años.
Left Out Magazine: Independent journalism, politics, culture, analysis, and debate by and about working-class black people.
Loop North News: Serves the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.
Newcity: The publication of record for Chicago culture.
North Lawndale Community News: Providing news and information on resources and events that improve the lifestyle of individuals and families.
Public Narrative: Exists to balance public health, safety and education narratives affecting marginalized communities.
Rebellious Magazine for Women: A feminist news and culture website founded in 2012.
Rivet: Tells the world’s stories and makes them engaging and fun.
Sixty Inches from Center: Midwest-focused arts publication and archiving organization that supports BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disability, and women’s culture.
SoapBox Productions and Organizing: Film and social activism non-profit specializing in multimedia storytelling for equity and structural change.
South Shore Current Magazine: Good news from Chicago’s Cultural Soul Coast — the southeast and southern shore communities.
South Side Weekly: Independent, nonprofit newspaper for and about the South Side of Chicago.
StreetWise: Empowering those facing homelessness with access to employment to work toward self-sufficiency with dignity.
StudentsXpress Magazine: A magazine of art and writing by students in CPS, preK-8th grade.
The Beverly Review: Weekly newspaper covering Beverly Hills, Morgan Park, and Mt. Greenwood.
The Daily Line: Does critical reporting on policy and politics for professionals.
Third Coast Review: Chicago’s online arts and culture magazine, specializing in quirky, underground aspects of the arts scene.
West of the Ryan Current Magazine: Good news from Chinatown to Roseland — on the South Side, west of the Dan Ryan.
The West Side Current Magazine: Good news from Chicago’s West Side — focused on pride, honor, and value of community.
Windy City Times: An award-winning newspaper serving the Chicagoland LGBTQ community since 1985.