Solving for Chicago will kick off its reporting with a collaborative of 17 participants in the Google News Initiative-funded journalism and business transformation project. 

The first stories from Solving for Chicago will be published in August and focus on the impact of COVID-19 on essential workers. Local media partners in Solving for Chicago include: 

  • Block Club Chicago
  • Chicago Reader
  • WBEZ
  • La Raza
  • Injustice Watch
  • Chalkbeat Chicago
  • WTTW
  • Shaw Media
  • Inside Publications
  • Loop North News        
  • Chicago Public Square
  • Windy City Times
  • South Side Weekly
  • Austin Weekly News
  • Hyde Park Herald
  • Borderless Magazine
  • Chicago Music Guide

“The participants in Solving for Chicago represent a diverse mix of local news outlets, among the most respected in the region,” said Nancy Lane, LMA chief executive officer. “Collaboration is essential to the sustainability of local news, and we are excited to bring together trusted journalists from 17 different organizations, all skilled at telling well-sourced, important stories that might otherwise go untold.” 

In addition to sharing reporting, the media partners will choose monthly operational topics to pursue in an effort to transform business strategies in meaningful ways, such as growing reader revenue. Solving for Chicago also plans to apply for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. 

“This is an important collaboration between both larger and smaller independent media in Chicago,” said Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader. The Reader launched the Chicago Independent Media Alliance in 2019 and many of its members are part of this new project.

“CIMA is excited to partner in this pilot project on an important editorial subject,” Baim said. “We hope this shows how working together can help all media, and call attention to important stories.”

Learn more about the participants in Solving for Chicago: 

Block Club Chicago

Block Club Chicago is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to delivering reliable, nonpartisan and essential coverage of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.


WBEZ is Chicago’s NPR news station, one of the largest and most respected public media stations in the country. WBEZ was established as an extension service of the Chicago Board of Education in 1943 and in 1970, became one of the first charter member stations of National Public Radio.

La Raza

Founded in 1970, La Raza has been in the market for five decades providing Chicago Latinos with the best source of information on local, national and international news. It prides itself on being the ultimate source for information and cultural connection for Chicago Hispanics.

Injustice Watch

Injustice Watch is a non-partisan, not-for-profit journalism organization that conducts in-depth research exposing institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality.

Chalkbeat Chicago

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to quality education.

Chicago Reader

The Chicago Reader is a media company creating and curating political and cultural coverage by and for Chicagoans, including highlighting underrepresented communities and stories. 


WTTW is Chicago’s PBS station, committed to producing and presenting trusted, best-in-class content fueled by a distinctly Chicago sensibility. The station engages its audiences by entertaining, inspiring, educating, and reflecting a diversity of perspectives.

Shaw Media

Shaw Media is an agile, industry-leading media company and the third-oldest, continuously owned and operated family newspaper in the nation, with 10 newspapers in Illinois. 

Inside Publications

Inside Publications is the last family-owned and operated neighborhood newspaper serving the North Side communities of Chicago. Each edition is devoted to news, events, and the promotion of better business throughout Chicago’s Near North, North and Northwest sides.

Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA) 

The Chicago Independent Media Alliance is made up of more than 60 outlets covering the African American, Latinx, Asian American, immigrant, LGBTQ, and other Chicago communities.

Loop North News

Loop North is a news and information website serving the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago – particularly Gold Coast, River North, and Streeterville, serving ZIP codes: 60601, 60603, 60606, 60611, and 60654. 

Chicago Public Square

Dubbed “Chicago’s new front page,” Chicago Public Square is the Chicago Headline Club’s Peter Lisagor Awards and Chicago Reader Best of Chicago poll pick for Best Blog and essential reading for those who care about Chicago, the region, government and politics, business, technology, the environment, journalism, and the media. 

Windy City Times

Owned by Windy City Media, the Windy City Times is an LGBTQ biweekly newspaper and daily online website serving the community since 1985.

South Side Weekly

The South Side Weekly is a nonprofit newspaper dedicated to supporting cultural and civic engagement on the South Side of Chicago, and to developing emerging journalists, writers, and artists. It publishes in-depth coverage of politics, the arts, and issues of public interest alongside oral histories, poetry, fiction, interviews, and artwork from local photographers and illustrators.

Austin Weekly News

A news site committed to in-depth reporting on issues concerning the Austin neighborhood located on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois.

Hyde Park Herald

The newspaper was founded in 1882, and claims on its masthead to be “Chicago’s Oldest Community Newspaper.” For the Herald’s first seven years, it was a suburban newspaper covering affairs in an independent unit of local government; after Hyde Park was annexed by Chicago in 1889, the Herald evolved into its current status as an urban neighborhood newspaper.

Borderless Magazine

Borderless Magazine NFP is a nonprofit news outlet that is reimagining immigration journalism for a more just and equitable future. The magazine aims to humanize stories of immigration by shining light on the diversity, resilience, and resistance of people impacted by immigration policies today.

Chicago Music Guide

Chicago Music Guide is a music resource webzine dedicated to working with all entities of the music and entertainment industry. Founded by Dennis M. Kelly in 2004, Chicago Music Guide began as a reference for friends and quickly grew into a multimedia guide throughout the Chicagoland area. 

The Solving for Chicago team invites all local media companies in the Chicago region to join this effort. Contact Solving for Chicago Director Sam Cholke ( for more information and to get involved.