Tracy Baim, publisher, Chicago Reader
Yazmin Dominguez, project coordinator, CIMA
For immediate release
CHICAGO — Forty-three independent Chicago-area media outlets have joined forces to raise funds in a month-long campaign launching May 12, 2021. The for-profit and nonprofit organizations represent a wide cross-section of community media in the city and nearby suburbs.
The public can give at savechicagomedia.org through June 11, 2021. The website offers the option to donate one amount to be split evenly among all of the outlets, or donors can select one or more outlets to give a specific amount.
This is the second annual Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA) joint fundraiser. The 2020 campaign, put together in three weeks, raised more than $160,000 for 43 members, including $60,000 in matching funds from local foundations. More than 1,000 individuals donated, with two-thirds opting to support all outlets. One of the positive side effects of the effort was new visibility and amplification of a wide range of media voices.
“There are multiple obstacles facing independent media,” said Yazmin Dominguez, CIMA project coordinator. “The impact of COVID-19, decreases in advertising and additional problems have hurt local media. Unfortunately, community media outlets are not getting the resources they need and are thus facing the real possibility of closure. This includes media serving African American, Latinx, Asian American, immigrant, LGBTQ, and other Chicago communities.”
The campaign was organized and is coordinated by CIMA, a project launched in 2019 by the Chicago Reader. Our sixty-eight partners in the alliance include traditional print newspapers, independently produced podcasts, dynamic video production studios, and nonprofit newsrooms focusing on key issues that affect the fabric of the city. CIMA coordinates revenue projects to assist in strengthening the local media landscape.
A one-minute animated campaign video was produced by artist Emma Kumer and narrated in English, Spanish, Polish, and Arabic by multiple members in the alliance. Haley Tweedell created designs for the campaign, Doejo donated the website design, and Amber Huff created the digital and print campaigns. The campaign hashtag is #SaveChicagoMedia.
Watch CIMA’s 2021 campaign video here:
CIMA: Local media outlets are essential
The Chicago Independent Media Alliance is made up of nearly 70 outlets covering the African American, Latinx, Asian American, Polish, immigrant, LGBTQ, and other Chicago communities. CIMA believes there is no better way to reach the city’s most underserved communities than through community media outlets for and by those communities. We stand for information, accessibility, and equity.
See savechicagomedia.org. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CIMA joint fundraising partner media:
- AirGo Radio: Podcast and media hub showcasing people reshaping Chicago for the more equitable and creative.
- Borderless Magazine: Borderless Magazine is a nonprofit news outlet covering immigration issues in the Midwest.
- Block Club Chicago: Block Club Chicago is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to delivering reliable, nonpartisan and essential coverage of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.
- Bronzeville Life: Bronzeville Life is not about geography, it’s about a lifestyle! Throughout our publication, we are building on the vision of our forefathers.
- Chicago in Arabic: Chicago in Arabic is a media outlet bringing Chicago news into focus in Arabic.
- 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.
- Chicago Reader: The Reader, founded 1971, is Chicago’s in-depth and curated guide to culture, politics, and more.
- 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.
- Current Magazines: South Shore Current Magazine, good news from Chicago’s Cultural Soul Coast—the southeast and southern shore communities.
The West Side Current Magazine, good news from Chicago’s west side—focused on pride, honor, and value of community.
West of the Ryan Current Magazine, good news from Chicago’s west of the ryan
- E3 Radio: E3 Radio is an online station playing queer and independent music. Queer radio done right.
- Evanston Roundtable: The Evanston RoundTable is the community’s leading source of news about local government, schools, civic and artistic activities, and other important issues facing our city.
- Free Spirit Media: Opportunities for emerging creators (ages 14-25), primarily from communities of color, to produce and create.
- Gazette Chicago: Gazette Chicago is a free, independent newspaper serving ten Chicago neighborhoods, committed to unbiased news coverage that tells all sides since its founding in 1983.
- Gozamos: Gozamos is an independent online magazine and community of journalists, bloggers, and progressive activists covering culture, music, and politics.
- Growing Community Media: a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, connects citizens through community journalism. We promote civil discourse, thriving communities and a vibrant democracy across seven communities on the west side of Chicago and its near west suburbs through the Austin Weekly News, Wednesday Journal, Forest Park Review and Riverside Brookfield Landmark.
- Hyde Park Herald: Hyde Park Herald is a weekly community newspaper rich in a 138 year history and journalistic excellence.
- Injustice Watch: Injustice Watch is an investigative newsroom that exposes systemic inequities in the justice system.
- Inside Publications: Skyline, Inside Booster, News Star newspapers: Your friendly 110-year-old neighborhood newspapers, serving Chicago’s north side.
- Invisible Institute: Invisible Institute works to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable.
- La Raza Newspaper: The voice of Chicago’s Latino community for 50 years. La voz de la comunidad latina en Chicago por 50 años.
- Loop North News: Loop North News serves the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.
- Midway Minute: Midway Minute is the morning outlet for Chicago sports.
- Mild Sauce: Mildsauce is an extra tasty blog driven by discourse. Based on discussion, young multi-media journalists of color visit spaces, events, and other professionals in 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.
- Paseo Podcast: A weekly Puerto Rican podcast dedicated to telling stories by, from, and about the Puerto Rican Community.
- Polish Daily News: Polish Daily News is the largest and the oldest Polish language newspaper in Chicago. Since 1908 it is a destination of choice for tens of thousands of Poles in Chicagoland looking for reliable news.
- Public Narrative: Public Narrative exists to balance public health, safety and education narratives affecting marginalized communities.
- Rebellious Magazine for Women: Rebellious Magazine for Women is a feminist news and culture website founded in 2012.
- Rivet: Rivet brings your stories to life and life to your stories.
- 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 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: 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.
- Win-TV Channel 24: KoreanTV operating 24/7, and producing its own local news, documentaries, and talk shows covering all issues related to or affecting Korean communities in Chicago and the United States.
- Windy City Times: Windy City Times is an award-winning newspaper serving the Chicagoland LGBTQ community since 1985.