The second round of awards in the Local Reporting Initiative will back fourteen community news projects focusing on issues on the South and West Sides ranging from youth violence to realities facing the LGBTQ community in the criminal system.
Each project will receive $5,000 to support original reporting or data analysis from the Community News Matters program of the Chicago Community Trust. The program is backed by CCT, the MacArthur Foundation and the McCormick Foundation.
Issues to be covered include subsidized housing, participatory budgeting in one Chicago ward, health care challenges facing veterans, the community impact of redevelopment of the U.S. Steel site, domestic violence and mental health in Back of the Yards, the impact of incarceration on Chicago communities, and school reform in Humboldt Park and Bronzeville.
Recipients range from established outlets like the Chicago Reporter and In These Times to grassroots projects like the Neighborhood Writing Alliance and Austin Talks, and include several freelance journalists.
The initiative is a response to findings of the 2010 Community News Matters study that found that residents of low-income South and West Side neighborhoods felt that traditional news outlets do not cover relevant issues in their communities.
To keep up with the latest output from the Local Reporting Initiative, follow the Community News Project blog.
Here are the recipients of the 2012 Local Reporting Awards:
- Chicago Reporter, to investigate Chicago’s Section 8 housing program;
- Windy City Times, to investigate the realities facing the LGBTQ community in the criminal legal system;
- In These Times, to explore participatory budgeting on Chicago’s 5th ward;
- Health and Disability Advocates, to document health care difficulties facing local military veterans;
- Bill Healy, to enhance the content and distribution of projects by fellow award winners;
- Kari Lydersen, to explore community impact of South side steel site redevelopment;
- The Gate, to explore domestic violence and mental health in the Back of the Yards community;
- Latinos Progresando, to document monologues by youth regarding Latino and American cultural perspectives;
- Austin Talks, to produce a video documentary about homicides of Chicago youth;
- Carlos Javier Ortiz, to produce a video documentary of youth violence at Stroger Hospital;
- Neighborhood Writing Alliance, to document the impact of incarceration among West and South side Chicago residents;
- Kalyn Belsha, to investigate leadership support for Latina women in Chicago;
- Amandillo Cuzan, to produce a video documentary on Bronzeville area schools;
- Westside Writing Alliance, to document the impact of school reform in the Humboldt/Garfield Park area.