Acknowledgments

The New News would not have been possible without the support of those 
who lent their time, energy, and expertise to its creation. In particular, we would 
like to thank the many new journalists whose insights and candid responses to 
the survey we administered are at the heart of this report, as well as the 
nonprofit leaders who attended the focus group sessions.

We also would like to thank the Advisory Committee convened by the The 
Chicago Community Trust to help us plan and review our findings. The Committee 
met once in March 2009 and again in May 2009. Its members included:
Patrick Barry, LISC-New Communities Program
Charles Benton, Benton Foundation
Kara Carrell, Interfaith Youth Core
Thom Clark, Community Media Workshop
Sally Duros, Journalist
Steve Edwards, Chicago Public Radio
Frank Edwards, Chi-Town Daily News
Monica Garreton Chavez, Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Mark Hallett, McCormick Foundation
Kathy Im, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Licia Knight, One Economy
Ngoan Le, The Chicago Community Trust
Alden Loury, The Chicago Reporter
Michael Maranda, Association for Community Networking
Justin Massa, MoveSmart.org
Gordon Mayer, Community Media Workshop
VJ Mcleer, WTTW public television
Bruce Montgomery, Technology Access Television
Andy Mooney, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Greg Sanders, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Ernest Sanders, Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation
Kathy Tholin, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Nicol Turner-Lee, One Economy
Vivian Vahlberg, Journalist
Gordon Walek, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Also contributing to the committee were key staff members of The Chicago Community Trust: Tom Irvine, Vice President for Information Technology, Elizabeth (Libbet) Richter, 
Vice President for External Relations, and Kate Allgeier, Eva Penar and Simone Weil.

Credits

the NEW news 
Journalism We Want And Need
A special report by Community Media Workshop 
commissioned by The Chicago Community Trust

Authors
Gordon Mayer and Thom Clark

Project Team
Elsa Wenzel and Bob Goldsborough

Article Authors
Patrick Barry, Charles Benton, Sally Duros, Justin G. Massa, Greg Sanders

Workshop Staff and Research Team Members
Lovette Ajayi, Curtis Black, Christopher Brinckerhoff, Albert Corvera, 
Steve Franklin, Jennifer Lacey, Demetrio Maguigad, Diana Pando, 
dalila Renteria, Jessica Rosenberg, Leah Rush, Maggie Walker

Workshop Consultants
Mark Miller and Bob Yovovich

Graphic Design
Emily Lonigro, LimeRed Studio

Introduction by the Workshop

All good journalists learn that—alongside the basic questions who, what, when, where, why, and how—to craft a good story, they must answer the all-important sixth W: So What? We hope that after reviewing The New News: Journalism We Want and Need readers will agree that, in addition to discussing the price tag and financing plan for local news coverage, this is a good time to look at the so what—in other words, to look critically at and set goals for the kind of local news coverage we want for the region.

While we’ve heard much about the struggle of existing news outlets with micropayments, subscription models, and other aspects of news economics, there’s been little or no conversation about how the emergence of local online news publications can best ensure our need for quality local news coverage. What’s more, it is not a foregone conclusion that journalists at online publications will do a better job than their print and broadcast metro news colleagues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Letter by Terry Mazany, The Chicago Community Trust

Economic pressures on one hand and continuing democratization of news on the other have already changed the news picture in Chicago, as elsewhere in the U.S. The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times are in bankruptcy, and local broadcast news programs also face economic pressures. Meanwhile, it seems every week brings a new local news entrepreneur from Gapers Block to Beachwood Reporter to Chi-Town Daily News to Windy Citizen to The Printed Blog.

In response to these changes, the Knight Foundation is actively supporting a national effort to explore innovations in how information, especially at the local community level, is collected and disseminated to ensure that people find the information they need to make informed decisions about their community’s future. The Chicago Community Trust is fortunate to have been selected as a partner working with the Knight Foundation in this effort through the Knight Community Information Challenge. For 94 years, the Trust has united donors to create charitable resources that respond to the changing needs of our community—meeting basic needs, enriching lives and encouraging innovative ways to improve our neighborhoods and communities.

Understanding how online information and communications are meeting, or not, the needs of the community is crucial to the Trust’s project supported by the Knight Foundation. To this end, the Trust commissioned the Community Media Workshop to produce The New News: Journalism We Want and Need. We believe this report is a first of its kind resource offering an inventory and assessment of local news coverage for the region by utilizing the interactive power of the internet. Essays in this report also provide insightful perspectives on the opportunities and challenges.

We hope you find the report informative and instructive for your work. We are truly grateful to the staff of the Community Media Workshop and members of the advisory committee for making this unprecedented report possible.

Terry Mazany
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Chicago Community Trust


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