The Chicago Reporter is an investigative news organization publishing a website, blog and bimonthly magazine that identifies, analyzes, and reports on the social, economic, and political issues of metropolitan Chicago with a distinctive focus on race and poverty. The Reporter was founded at Community Renewal Society in 1972 to serve as a barometer of Chicago’s progress coming out of the Civil Rights era. As one of America’s most segregated cities, and the home of what was the nation’s largest public housing development, Chicago continues to experience racial and economic inequalities like those seen in the 1960s and 1970s. The Chicago Reporter serves a critical role by focusing the power of investigative reporting on difficult social, economic and political issues that rarely receive thorough examination. The results are compelling examinations, thoughtful analyses and open dialogue on the source of these issues and potential remedies to curb them.
The Reporter’s signature investigative focus, and its commitment to presenting issues in a dispassionate and unbiased way, allowed it to gain tremendous credibility over time. A decade after its inception, the Reporter was used by Mayor Harold Washington to redress longstanding racial inequalities in the distribution of city services. Almost 25 years later, the Reporter’s investigation of racially disparate home mortgage lending sparked a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that resulted in an $8.7 billion settlement with Countrywide Financial to modify more than 400,000 home loans nationwide. Today, the Reporter serves a wide, diverse and influential audience of policymakers and government officials, members of traditional and new media, social service providers, public policy experts and members of the general public interested in racial and economic equality. Our core areas of coverage are Criminal Justice, Affordable Housing, Public Health, Government & Politics, Labor & Employment, and Immigration. The Reporter also hosts a weekly radio show, sponsor community forums and bimonthly cocktail parties for followers and supporters. Reporter staff members are often invited to moderate panel discussions and provide analysis or commentary. In addition, the Reporter’s data analyses are often sought by media, public policy officials, lawyers and academics throughout Illinois and across the nation.
A news organization like the Reporter provides continuous documentation of the region’s ongoing struggles with racial and economic inequalities, analysis and ground-level views of the impact of public policy, and tools for decision makers and service providers to address the region’s social ills.