Do you love your local media? We think most Chicagoans appreciate our community’s array of local sources—neighborhood papers like the South Side Weekly and Bronzeville Life, specialized community papers like La Raza or the Polish Daily News, an indie radio station like CHIRP radio, or your arts and culture magazine, Third Coast Review.
You have the opportunity in the next month to let us know that you appreciate local independent media and want to help us continue to provide news that you value–in the case of 3CR that means notices of coming arts events and reviews of movies, music, museums, video games, books and post-pandemic, live theater. Many local media suffered severe losses during the pandemic and the need is even greater than it was last year, when we held our first fundraising campaign.
We’re one of 43 independent Chicago-area media outlets that are joining forces to raise funds in a month-long campaign launching this Wednesday, May 12. The for-profit and nonprofit organizations represent a wide cross-section of community media in the city and nearby suburbs.
You can give at savechicagomedia.org starting May 12 and running through June 11. The website offers the option to donate one amount to be split evenly among all of the outlets, or you 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 68 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 (view it below) was produced by artist Emma Kumer and narrated in English, Spanish, Polish, and Arabic by multiple members of 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.
Here’s CIMA’s 2021 campaign video: