Expired Meter

What it’s about: Parking tickets, red light camera tickets and generally about driving and parking in and around Chicago.
Started: 03/01/2008
Contact: Mike B., The Parking Ticket Geek/Editor

Twitter: ticketgeek

2010 New News Survey Participant

Feast of Fun

What it’s about: Feast of Fun is a hot mix of social news, rising trends, in-depth interviews and live music sessions- the best of the net in real-time.
Started: 02/01/2005
Contact: Fausto Fernós, Co-host/ Executive Producer

Video: http://www.youtube.com/feastoffun
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/feastoffools/
Twitter: feastoffun

2010 New News Survey Participant

Forgotten Chicago

What it’s about: Forgotten elements of our city’s infrastructure, architecture, neighborhoods, and general cityscape.
Started: 2007
Contact: Mike Damian, Outreach/Co-Founder

Forgotten Chicago
1848 W. Chase
Chicago, IL 60640

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/groups/forgottenchicago
Twitter: forgottenchi

2010 New News Survey Participant

FOX Chicago News

What it’s about: Chicago news
Started: 1998
Contact: Kirsten Miller, Senior Web Producer

FOX Chicago News
205 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601

Twitter: foxchicago

2010 New News Survey Participant

Gapers Block

What it’s about: Chicago news, events and other things of note
Started: 4/1/03
Contact: Andrew Huff, Editor & Publisher

P.O. Box 13524
Chicago, IL 60613

Photos: www.flickr.com/groups/gapers_block
Twitter: gapersblock

2010 New News Survey Participant

Getting Real

What it’s about: The Chicago Real Estate Scene
Started: 03/01/2008
Contact: Gary Lucido, President

Lucid Realty
822 W. Village Ct.
Chicago, IL 60608

2010 New News Survey Participant

Going Public

What it’s about: Blog about CTA news and issues
Started: 06/01/2009
Contact: Tracy Swartz, Reporter

435 N. Michigan Ave., 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Twitter: tracyswartz

2010 New News Survey Participant

Green Parent Chicago

What it’s about: Eco-friendly and off the mainstream news, events and activities for green living and natural family living in Chicago
Started: 4/1/08
Contact: Christine S. Escobar, Founder and Editor, Lead Writer

Twitter: greenparentchgo

2010 New News Survey Participant

Greg Hinz blog at Crain’s Chicago Business

What it’s about: Chicago-focused politics and government
Started: 10/1/08
Contact: Greg Hinz, Columnist Blogger

Crain’s Chicago Business
360 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657

2010 New News Survey Participant

Hello Beautiful!

What it’s about: Architecture
Started: 2003
Contact: Edward Lifson

2010 New News Survey Participant


What it’s about: Community news in Hinsdale
Started: 9/1/06
Contact: Jim Slonoff, Publisher

7 W. First St.
Hinsdale, IL 60521

2010 New News Survey Participant

Hot Potato

What it’s about: Hot Potato is the little stories that fill you up. We cover stories not picked up by major media outlets, and we publish high-quality soft and hard news stories with multi-media.
Started: 06/01/2008
Contact: Christopher Brinckerhoff, Publisher

Hot Potato
649 Salem Court
Palatine, IL 60074

Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/u2christopher?feature=mhw4
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30973745@N07/

2010 New News Survey Participant

Hyde Park Herald 
& Lakefront Outlook

What it’s about: News in the neighborhoods 
of Hyde Park and Bronzeville
Started: Herald in the ’90s; Outlook in 2009
Contact: Gabriel Piemonte, Editor

Herald Newspapers, Inc.
1435 E. Hyde Park Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60615

2010 New News Survey Participant

I Hate My Developer

What it’s about: Developer/condo-related issues, urban pioneering and South Side observations
Started: 8/1/05
Contact: The Woodlawn Wonder

Twitter: WoodlawnWonder

2010 New News Survey Participant

Illinois Outdoors

What it’s about: Fishing, hunting, and the outdoors
Started: 01/01/2010
Contact: Don Dziedzina, President, Illinois Outdoors Inc.

Illinois Outdoors, Inc.
PO Box 713
New Lenox, IL 60451

2010 New News Survey Participant

Illinois Resource


What’s it about: A Funding Access Initiative striving to connect Illinois nonprofits and local units of government with the information and resources necessary to gain access to available federal funding opportunities.
Contact: info@illinoisresources.net

2010 New News Survey Participant

Inside Online

What it’s about: General information, news & events
Started: insideronline in 1996; yournews in 2008
Contact: Ronald Roenigk, Publisher

Inside Publications
6221 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60660

2010 New News Survey Participant

Introduction by Thom Clark

Image by Ruthieki on Flickr.com

More than eight million visitors engaged with 146 Chicagoland online news and blog sites during May 2010, according to The NEW News 2010: The Second Annual Survey of the Chicago Area’s Online News Ecosystem, produced by Community Media Workshop for The Chicago Community Trust.

The online news ecosystem continues to grow while traditional media outlets retool and embrace the web.  Use of video is growing, experiments with hyper-local news sites continue and the line between bloggers and niche news continues to blur.

But despite the apparently large number of consumers of online information, it doesn’t appear there has been any explosion in the number of people actually earning a living producing this information. As was the case in last year’s NEW news report, most of the online sites surveyed by the Workshop rely heavily on unpaid bloggers and reporters and piggy bank financing. Indeed, more than 60 percent of sites surveyed by the Workshop had no more than one person working full time on the site. A similar percentage reported that no one receives health insurance from their online news outlet. Read the rest of this entry »

Journal of Ordinary Thought

What it’s about: Writing about family histories, personal experiences, and neighborhood issue by adults in the neighborhoods of Chicago.
Started: 1996
Contact: Hollen Reischer, Editor

Neighborhood Writing Alliance
1313 E. 60th St., Suite 238
Chicago, IL 60637

2010 New News Survey Participant

Justin Kaufmann, Vocalo

It’s All About the Talent

Justin Kaufmann, WBEZ’s senior content manager, talks about the key ingredient to Vocalo’s content. Read the rest of this entry »

Keep Us Connected

What it’s about: AT&T’s discriminatory treatment of public, educational and government (PEG) access channels
Started: 2007
Contact: Michelle King, Business Manager

322 S. Green St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Twitter: cantvchicago

2010 New News Survey Participant

Key Findings

Of the 146 online news sites identified in this report, CMW is publishing a survey of 121 sites about what they do, how many people work on the effort and how they fund their operations.

Key findings include:

  • Blogs are the most popular type of site in the survey (48 sites, 40%), followed by niche news sites (44 sites, 36%).
  • Sites by traditional/mainstream news organizations made up 7% of the sites in the survey (8 respondents).
  • YouTube is the most popular audiovisual media online sites reported using in the survey: 30% of sites (36 sites) report YouTube channels.

Lake Effect News

What it’s about: LEN is online community news site, much in the scope of a traditional neighborhood print newspaper. We cover crime, politics, development, education, and interesting neighborhood characters, events and organization on Chicago’s Far North Lakefront, including Rogers Park, West Ridge, Edgewater and Uptown.
Started: 05/19/2009
Contact: Lorraine Swanson, Editor/Publisher

Twitter: lakeeffectnews

2010 New News Survey Participant

Latino Policy Forum E-Newsletter

What it’s about: Policy Information regarding Latinos
Started: 2008
Contact: Sara McElmurry, Communications Coordinator

20 E. Jackson Blvd. #1550
Chicago, IL 60604

Twitter: latinopolicy

2010 New News Survey Participant

Live Here Oak Park

What it’s about: Online community, blog and forum for people living in and around Oak Park.
Started:June 2009
Contact: Becca Martin

Twitter: Oakparkerr

2010 New News Survey Participant

Logan Square Neighborhood 

What it’s about: The work of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Started: 2005
Contact: Monica G. Chavez, Technology 
and Communications Coordinator

2840 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Video: www.youtube.com/user/lsnanet

2010 New News Survey Participant

Mandy Burrell Booth, Metropolitan Planning Council

Who’s Responsible for Getting the Story Out?

Mandy Burrell Booth, an assistant communications director at Metropolitan Planning Council talks about who’s responsible for getting the word out about nonprofit’s stories and issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Marathon Pundit

What it’s about: Politics, local and national
Contact: John Ruberry, Blogger


2010 New News Survey Participant

Me & My Shadow: A Life in Chicago

What it’s about: Personal accounts chronicaling the histories of Chicago
Started: 11/01/2009
Contact: Frances O’Cherony Archer, Consultant

Content First, Inc.
P.O. Box 2723
Glenview, IL 60025-6723

Twitter: Content1st

2010 New News Survey Participant

Methods and limitations

From March 23 to May 14, 2010, Community Media Workshop reached out to more than 500 people and organizations that publish news online or participated in the 2009 Journalism Town Hall. Of those contacted, 121 sites participated in the second annual survey to learn more about the Chicagoland’s online news ecosystem. The NEW News 2010 report details the survey’s findings. The report also provides an overall listing of 146 news sites and blogs, which includes the survey participants and news sites featured in The NEW News 2009. The Workshop collected responses using the web surveying tool SurveyMonkey.

Conducting a survey of this type is challenging and a review of the data should keep these limitations in mind.

  • For many questions, sites could choose more than one response, so percentages do not add up to 100.
  • Not all participants answered all questions.
  • Some news site publishers do not post contact information on their sites, making it difficult to invite their participation.
  • Other online news publishers (most frequently, but not always, in the traditional/legacy news category) did not respond to follow-up, may not have been made aware of the survey or chose not to participate.
  • Finally, the online news ecosystem is ever-changing: small sites come and go, especially as people and organizations experiment with new ways to create and share the news.

Last year, drawing on our experience garnered over two decades of compiling lists of Chicago-area news outlets and personnel for the annual Getting On Air, Online, & Into Print news media directory, we ranked 60 niche sites in The NEW News 2009 listings. We devised a six-point algorithm that looked at transparency of site sponsorship, how much original local news content a site used, and we included commercially available and self-reported web traffic statistics. We excluded larger traditional or legacy media sites whose unique visitor numbers would dwarf the newer sites we were trying to highlight. (Overall, we discovered almost 200 online news sites, blogs or e-newsletters serving the Chicago region. Some 90 of these responded to our 2009 survey and their rankings can be found online at: www.communitymediaworkshop.org/newnews.)

This year, we decided not to rank sites for this second annual listing of The NEW News sites and instead list in alpha order all online news and blog sites big and small covering the Chicagoland area who either participated in the survey or had been identified as online news sites in the 2009 report.

We used data from Compete.com to derive some aggregate traffic statistics for May 2010 and, not surprisingly, found traditional or legacy news sites dominating the numbers (six out of eight million unique visitors to 146 sites). Some of the more interesting sites ranked last year did not show up in this year’s aggregate traffic numbers. But as we discovered last year, the traffic to many other smaller niche news sites is not picked up by commercial tracking services. Compete.com’s numbers are estimates and may or may not mirror a site’s own analytics data. For smaller sites in particular, Compete.com acknowledges its data represents an estimate only. Also, Compete.com cannot always separate out Chicago-editions for sites with multiple local editions. Those sites have been excluded from the total counts.

Compete.com is a commercial service that publishes website traffic estimates based on a variety of sources, including a panel of more than two million visitors who have agreed to allow their web usage to be measured. For more information about Compete.com’s methods, visit their website. http://www.compete.com/resources/methodology/

The Workshop restricted its use of Compete.com data to information we could obtain for free without creating an account. We hope in future reports to discover more reliable traffic indicators that will allow us to rank sites and to engage in some content analysis to measure what kind of information is being published.

Metropolitan Planning Council Blog

What it’s about: The blog focuses on regional growth and development best practices and policy reforms, and regularly touches on topics related to affordable housing, transportation, urban design, and water supply. It is written by the staff of the Metropolitan Planning Council, a nonprofit dedicated to helping shape a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region.
Started: 2009
Contact: Mandy Burrell Booth, Assistant Communications Director
WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW http://bit.ly/burrellvideo

Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn St., Ste. 1400
Chicago, IL 60603

Audio: http://www.metroplanning.org/multimedia/audio/
Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/MetroplanningChicago
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/metroplanning/
Twitter: Metroplanners

2010 New News Survey Participant

Mindful Metropolis

What it’s about: News & Lifestyle Journalism Catering to Chicago’s Conscious Community
Started: 05/01/2009
Contact: Richard McGinnis, Publisher

Mindful Metropolis
2020 N California, Suite 7#165
Chicago, IL 60647

Twitter: MindfulMetro

2010 New News Survey Participant

Music Box

What it’s about: Music and Pop Culture
Started: 06/01/1994
Contact: John Metzger, Editor

The Music Box
PO Box 3911
Oak Park, IL 60303-3911

Twitter: musicboxonline

2010 New News Survey Participant

New Communities

What it’s about: Chicago
Started: 2004
Contact: Gordon Walek, Communications Manager

1 N. LaSalle St., 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Video: LISC New Communities and LISCTu – http://www.youtube.com/newcommunities
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/lisc-chicago

2010 New News Survey Participant


What it’s about: Neighborhood news
Started: 1996
Contact: Brian Hieggelke, Editor/Publisher

Newcity Communications, Inc.
770 N. Halsted St., Suite 303
Chicago, IL 60622

Twitter: newcity

2010 New News Survey Participant


What’s it about? Newstips is a grassroots news service providing journalists with stories and sources from Chicago-area nonprofits and community organizations.
Started: 1989
Contact: Curtis Black

Newstips Editor
Community Media Workshop
at Columbia College Chicago
600 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

Twitter: chicagonewstips

2010 New News Survey Participant

Notes From North Sheridan

What it’s about: The college and new resident’s perspective on life in Chicago
Started: 2009

2010 New News Survey Participant

NP Communicator

What it’s about: Nonprofit communications
Started: 2007
Contact: cmw@newstips.org

Community Media Workshop
at Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605

Twitter: npcommunicator

2010 New News Survey Participant


What it’s about: New Media, Research, and Insights by and about Chicago Youth
Started: 2010
Contact: Tom Bailey, Program Coordinator

Chicago Youth Voices Network
c/o Issue Lab
4001 N. Ravenswood, Suite 602
Chicago, IL 60613

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46491851@N07/
Twitter: CYVN

2010 New News Survey Participant


What it’s about: Local news and sports from Northwest Indiana
Contact: Chris Loretto, Director of Interactive Media & Product Development

The Times Media Company
601 W. 45th Ave.
Munster, IN 46321

Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/nwitimestv
Twitter: nwi

2010 New News Survey Participant

Office Oracle

What it’s about: Insights and advice on office life from a corporate rat
Started: 03/01/2010

2010 New News Survey Participant

Outside the Girl Box

What it’s about: It is about self-esteem and empowerment for pre-teen girls
Started: 02/01/2010
Contact: Lauren Kaminsky, Blogger

Twitter: outgirlbox

2010 New News Survey Participant

Outside the Loop RADIO

What it’s about: Local stories, local interviews, topics that don’t always get local mainstream coverage
Started: 9/1/06
Contact: Mike Stephen, Host/Executive Producer

Audio: www.outsidetheloopradio.com
Twitter: outsidetheloop

2010 New News Survey Participant


What it’s about: Hyperlocal news aggregator
Started: 9/1/06
Contact: Chrysanthe Tenentes, Community Coordinator

20 Jay St., Suite 1019
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Twitter: outsidein

2010 New News Survey Participant

Pilsen Portal

What it’s about: Pilsen Community
Started: 07/15/2009
Contact: Jaime Guzman, Project Manager

The Resurrection Project
1818 S. Paulina
Chicago, IL 60608

Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/PilsenPortal
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pilsenportal

2010 New News Survey Participant


What it’s about: Northwest Indiana news
Contact: name, title

1433 E. 83rd Ave.
Merrillville, IN 46410

2010 New News Survey Participant

Press Release

Aug. 5, 2010

For more information
Thom Clark, 312-369-6401, thom@newstips.org
Nora Ferrell, 312-369-7722, nora@newstips.org
Eva Penar, 312-616-8000, evap@cct.org

New Report: Millions of Eyes Visit Chicago’s Online News Sites Each Month, Majority Heading to Traditional Sites

Small Blogs, Aggregators Make Up Rich Online News Community but Many Survive on Piggy Bank Financing With Few Paid Staff

CHICAGO—More than eight million people visit Chicago-area online news sites each month, according to a new report released today. While the report highlights a proliferation of online news and information sites in the Chicago area, when it comes to traffic, the sites of mainstream media clearly dominate. Six of the eight million unique cumulative visitors reported by all media outlets participating in the survey were to Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, RedEye and ChicagoNow (the Trib’s blog site).

The 2nd annual NEW News report, produced by Community Media Workshop and funded by the Community News Matters program of  The Chicago Community Trust, surveyed 121 online news outlets about issues ranging from salaried employees to the type of content being produced.

According to the report, most of the online sites surveyed rely heavily on unpaid bloggers and reporters and piggy bank financing. More than 60 percent of sites surveyed had no more than one person working full time on the site. A similar percentage reported that no one receives health insurance from their online news outlet.

“Definitions of news are changing. The 2nd annual NEW News report gives us a richer picture of the Chicago area’s online news ecosystem and shows us that the online news community is still growing, evolving and retooling,” said Terry Mazany, president and chief executive officer of The Chicago Community Trust. “Through our work with the John S. and James Knight Foundation’s Community Information Challenge, The Chicago Community Trust is committed to examining how the rapidly changing media landscape is impacting the residents of our region. The NEW News report helps us understand the sources and availability of information in our community and whether or not it is meeting the needs of residents.”

The report contains the survey’s findings, as well as a list of 146 online sites, who either participated in the survey or were identified as online news sites in the 2009 report, that shows the diversity in size, content, format and issue area of Chicago’s online news ecosystem.

“This report shows us that right now, there is more competition for news consumer eyes and ears than ever before, but we don’t know yet how this nascent online news ecosystem will be sustained,” said Thom Clark, president, Community Media Workshop. “The roadmap for vetted, authoritative information that frames the public debate is still being charted.”

In 2009, The NEW News report identified almost 200 local news and information sites and ranked 60 of them. This year, the Workshop reached out to some 500 contacts, identified over 300 potential news-related URLs, and honed in on 146 online blog and news sites for this 2010 list. Results from an online survey of 121 online news sites conducted from March to May of 2010 paint a more detailed picture of the operations of online news sites.

Find additional key findings and information on the Chicago area’s online news ecosystem in our eco-friendly, online-only report The NEW News 2010: The Second Annual Survey of the Chicago Area’s Online News Ecosystem. http://communitymediaworkshop.org/newnews


About The Chicago Community Trust
For 95 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2009, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $100 million to nonprofit organizations.  From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.cct.org.

The Community News Matters program was spurred by a lead grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Community Information Challenge and is jointly funded by The Chicago Community Trust, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It seeks to increase the flow of truthful, accurate and insightful news and information in the region and spur development of new business models for news.

About Community Media Workshop
Community Media Workshop is a 20-year-old nonprofit whose mission is to diversity the voices in the news and public debates through communications coaching for some 2,000 nonprofit volunteers and staff a year, as well as sourcing and Newstips from nonprofit groups for journalists. Based at Columbia College Chicago, its home page is www.communitymediaworkshop.org.

Progress Illinois

What it’s about: Progressive news and commentary on metro and state politics in Illinois
Started: 3/1/08
Contact: Josh Kalven, Editor

222 W. Ontario St. #310
Chicago, IL 60654

Video: www.youtube.com/ProgressIllinois
Twitter: progressil

2010 New News Survey Participant

Proyecto Latina

What it’s about: Highlighting Established and Emerging Latinas in the Arts
Started: 2008
Contact: Irasema Gonzalez, Editor & Co-producer

PO Box 891136
Chicago, IL 60608

2010 New News Survey Participant

Reach of Chicago’s Daily News

Approximately 8.3 million visitors used Chicago-area new news sites in May 2010, according to Compete.com data of individual Chicago websites, resulting in 20 million visits to Chicago-area new news sites in May.

While circulation for Chicago’s two major metropolitan dailies has fallen over the past five years, online usage of major metro daily websites continues to grow.  Over the past year, each of the three Chicago metropolitan dailies has seen at least 20 percent growth in unique visitors online (comparing May 2009 to May 2010) while print circulation numbers fell. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mailing Address:
Community Media Workshop
at Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

Walk-in Address:
218 S. Wabash, 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Tel: 312-369-6400
Fax: 312-369-6404

Website: http://www.communitymediaworkshop.org
E-Mail: cmw@newstips.org
Follow on Twitter.com: @npcommunicator