Robservations: Independent media outlets launch joint fundraiser

Chicago Independent Media Alliance

Robservations on the media beat:

At a time when reliable local news has never been more important, many Chicago area publications and websites are fighting for survival amid drastic declines in revenue. Under the umbrella of the Chicago Independent Media Alliance, more than 40 media outlets have teamed up for an unprecedented online fundraising campaign. Starting today, donations will be accepted through June 5 at Donors can split their contribution among all of the outlets or specify one or more individually. (Here is the link.) “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.” Participants in the fundraising effort include:

  • AirGo Radio
  • Better Government Association
  • Chicago Crusader
  • Chicago Music Guide
  • Chicago Public Square
  • Chicago Reader
  • The Chicago Reporter
  • CHIRP Radio
  • Cicero Independiente
  • City Bureau
  • E3 Radio
  • Free Spirit Media
  • Growing Community Media with Austin Weekly News and Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest
  • Hyde Park Herald
  • Inside Publications: Skyline, Inside Booster, News Star newspapers
  • Injustice Watch
  • Invisible Institute
  • Kartemquin Films
  • Korea Times Chicago
  • La Raza Newspaper
  • Left Out Magazine
  • Loop North News
  • Newcity
  • North Lawndale Community News
  • Public Narrative
  • Rebellious Magazine for Women
  • Rivet
  • Sixty Inches from Center
  • SoapBox Productions and Organizing
  • South Shore Current Magazine
  • South Side Weekly
  • StreetWise
  • StudentsXpress Magazine
  • The Beverly Review
  • The Daily Line
  • Third Coast Review
  • West of the Ryan Current Magazine
  • The West Side Current Magazine
  • Windy City Times

The Daily Herald also is seeking community support through the COVID-19 Local News Fund administered by the Local Media Foundation. Here is the link to contribute:

Jacqueline Serrato

La Voz Chicago, a free Spanish-languge news website and daily email newsletter, will be launched Sunday by the Sun-Times. Jacqueline Serrato, editor-in-chief of the not-for-profit South Side Weekly, has been hired to help oversee the La Voz a las dos newsletter, story selection and the La Voz Chicago social media feeds. Sun-Times interim CEO Nykia Wright said of the new digital initiative: “This choice affords us flexibility and creativity to meet a very important demographic in our city,” Wright said. “We will have the ability to more quickly reach this audience with timely stories and the ability to grow this audience while continuing to manage the costs of running a broader news operation.”

Jim Rose

Jim Rose, the longtime sports anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, scored a 9 out 10 Thursday on Room Rater, a Twitter account that rates the backdrops of at-home live shots. "Light and bright. Tulips are a thing. Nice kitchen. Aston Martin db9? 9/10 @JimRoseABC7," read the text above a photo of Rose delivering a sports report from his kitchen. (Here is the link.)

Derrick Blakley

Derrick Blakley, who retired last year from CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 after four decades in the news business, wasn't idle for long. He spent the first three months of this year teaching broadcast news writing at DePaul University's College of Communications. As with everything else these days, his role as an adjunct faculty member is up in the air. "I did enjoy the experience," Blakley told me. "Whether they ask me back I don't know. No one quite knows what enrollment will be next year, whether students will allowed back on campus, or when."

Steve Darnall

It will be hard to beat last weekend's 50th anniversary special, but "Those Were the Days" kicks off its 51st year in a big way. The old-time radio showcase this weekend turns back to radio's coverage of V-E Day — May 8, 1945. Included will be President Harry Truman's official announcement of the end of the war in Europe, an all-star V-E Day broadcast starring Frank Sinatra, Pat O'Brien and Charles Boyer, and Norman Corwin's poem "On a Note of Triumph." "We are pleased to honor those people who, 75 years ago, made the necessary sacrifices — be they small or monumentally large — to bring an end to the war in Europe," said host and producer Steve Darnall. "Those Were the Days" airs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday on College of DuPage's WDCB 90.9-FM and streams live on

Thursday’s comment of the day: Ron Schofield: Jenn White is fantastic and NPR is lucky to get her. She is a top tier journalist and the rest of the country should be able to enjoy her work.