Gazette Chicago is a member of the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), a partnership of independent, local, and community media. We are a proud coalition of 68 independent, diverse, and community-driven media entities coming together in the spirit of collaboration to create a viable, self-sustaining media ecosystem in Chicago.
Our membership is committed, energetic, and dedicated, but it doesn’t include the large media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, or the local television and radio stations. We are grassroots media consisting of print papers like us, on-line entities, podcasters, and other media platforms that are entrenched in the neighborhoods that you call home—right here in Chicago. CIMA was created by our good friends at the Chicago Reader.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) pandemic that has plagued us since the winter of 2019-20 has swept across our country like a category 5 tornado, leaving myriad destruction and rubble in its midst.
Throughout this pandemic, Gazette Chicago, like our CIMA partners, and like so many other small businesses throughout Chicago, the State of Illinois, and the country, have been in a fight for their survival. Sadly, thousands of small businesses—including many in our own community—are no more. Taking a retrospective look back at our own coverage of COVID-19, Gazette Chicago has provided its readership 25 articles on how to cope with this pandemic.
We have written about everything from how to get tested for the virus; how to deal with the challenges of remote learning; how to cope with the stress of the pandemic; what our front-line heroes continue to face daily; how politics has affected how we managed and attempted to stem the virus; resources available to you to receive economic, emotional, and spiritual support; and how to get in the queue to receive your vaccination. We even created a “Community Prayer” on our website to allow you to pray for loved ones who fell to the virus or were fighting for their lives; front-line heroes and essential workers; and whatever else you needed to seek spiritual assistance for at the time.
All this from a monthly newspaper. All this from Gazette Chicago, which has lost more than 60% of its revenue since the beginning of COVID-19. Yet, we didn’t let you down. We didn’t shut our doors. We plugged away, dug deep into our own pockets, wore our masks (and continue to do so) when we deliver to the 700-plus locations each month where you can pick up Gazette Chicago in print; and expanded our electronic version (“the E-Edition”). If we printed 20 pages, we expanded to 26 or 28 in the E-Edition, for example.
Please join the CIMA effort and help the consortium and Gazette Chicago
CIMA is running the #SaveChicagoMedia fundraising campaign, as local media like us have faced a significant decline in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Slashed advertising budgets and the sudden canceling of scheduled events have deeply affected revenues of independent media, as has the aforementioned closure of so many local businesses.
The #SaveChicagoMedia campaign will benefit Gazette Chicago and more than 40 other local independent media outlets. Money raised goes directly to Gazette Chicago or other media of your choosing, or you can choose to have your donation split among several or all.
The campaign runs through Friday, June 11. Make your donation at www.savechicagomedia.org and help Gazette Chicago and other media continue to tell the stories that matter to you.
Gazette Chicago marks its 39th year of service to the community
It’s hard to believe that it has been 39 years since we first launched the publication in May 1983. Our communities were very different places back then. Our initial coverage area consisted only of the Little Italy/Near West Side and Tri-Taylor neighborhoods. We didn’t print 15,000 copies—we printed 500. We didn’t have 700 circulation spots—we had 25. The paper wasn’t in four-color—it was in black-and-white. We weren’t a tabloid—we debuted in an 8 ½ by 11 newsletter format. We didn’t have a website or an E-Edition—the worldwide web hadn’t been created yet.
We offer a very special thank you to our advertisers who support us and make what we do possible.
Yes, lots has changed. Some for the better—some not so much.
You can communicate with a family member or friend at the touch of your mobile phone; read a newspaper or book the same way; tap an app and have a driver pick you up no matter where you are; snap a photograph on that same phone and transport it anywhere in the world; and let an automated vehicle do the driving for you.
You tend not to sit out on the front stoop on a summer eve as much as you did and share a lemonade or cup of coffee with your neighbors. You tend not to walk the streets as much, especially at night, for fear of what might happen to you. You won’t dare let the kids go outside on a summer day unsupervised, with the only instructions being to come home on time for lunch and dinner and to stay out of trouble.
Yet, some things haven’t changed. The vibrancy of local communities remains the lifeblood of our existence. Diversity is embraced by most while many others reject it. Economic, racial, and social justice matters. People of color have been elected to the highest offices in the land. We can go on and on. But let’s focus back to community.
Gazette Chicago has been your community newspaper now for 39 years. We have been with you through thick and thin. We have expanded to communities to embrace our vibrant and rich cultures and communities—many of which provide us with NO advertising dollars to keep us going.
Frankly, we need you. We really need you now. More than ever. We have lost 60% of our revenue—as our advertising is our only source of income.
Please, help keep us going and help keep our fellow CIMA members vibrant and sustainable as well. At CIMA, we don’t look at ourselves as competitors. We know that we are stronger together and when a member goes dark, we all mourn their loss.
Frankly, we hope that you realize that it is community journalism and community media outlets that are your front-line defenders when someone or something threatens your way of life in your neighborhood. Can you imagine how many times Gazette Chicago has covered an issue that threatens the quality of life in your neighborhood and then found it covered later in the Tribune or Sun-Times or splashed across the television screen? Countless. And that is fine because we welcome the added layer of defense that comes from these outlets. But don’t be fooled—the issues that affect you most get covered first by your local media.
Please go to the CIMA website and in the adjacent ad and donate. There you will see the vibrancy and diversity of our membership. To donate, go to www.savechicagomedia.org.
This is your chance to help independent, community media survive and thrive in Chicago. We need you—and you need us. Every donation will make a difference. Here at Gazette Chicago, we estimate that our readership in print and on-line is 40,000 monthly. Can you image if each one of you did something to help us and help our CIMA partners? You can help determine our future and ensure that we, the Fourth Estate, will continue to be there for you.
Look at the issues covered just in this June edition of Gazette Chicago. Our coverage includes Bubbly Dynamics expanding industrial development; the City’s new anti-gentrification ordinance; the fight against food insecurity; the availability of mental health care at the Encompassing Center; the Forte Foundation’s $3 million in support to South and West Side entrepreneurs; Bridgeport Alliance dealing with community issues; our Summer in the City and Around the Neighborhood activities guides; a new Chicago Transit Authority station coming to Damen Avenue on the Green Line; Donovan Park improvements; the City’s townhall on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination; and more. All this in one month’s issue—in print and on-line. All for a very low price to you of… zero dollars and cents. That’s right—FREE. No charge. It’s our way of giving back to enhance and protect the communities we care about and live in.
Now it’s up to you. It’s time for you to give back by supporting the CIMA fundraiser.
We’ve been at this for 39 years. We enjoy talking with you on these editorial pages and the many ways we serve you. We look forward to doing this for a long time—who knows—maybe another 39 years. Or, maybe we don’t reach our 40th anniversary milestone year in May 2022. You can help ensure our future. We thank you in advance and are grateful for your support!
Remember, go to www.savechicagomedia.org and do your part.
Gazette Chicago and its colleagues at CIMA appreciate you, and are uplifted knowing that you appreciate us as well.