We are proud to bring you our special 40th anniversary edition of The Chicago Reporter. The city has changed a lot in the past four decades and we have been there, reporting on race and poverty in the city from the ground level. The following are insights from our publishers who have guided and shaped our coverage.
“Racial peace and progress are more than moral ideals today. They are matters of profound self-interest to every person and institution in this community,” wrote John McDermott, The Chicago Reporter’s founder and first publisher, in the inaugural edition in 1972. (Chicago Reporter file photo)
Former publisher Roy Larson talks about his tenure at The Chicago Reporter when Harold Washington had just been elected mayor of the city. “But I think we all knew that for the sake of journalistic integrity, we would have to not be so focused on him but how we had always reported, so we went about things the same way, which was to just give the facts,” said Larson. (Photo by Lucio Villa)
Interim publisher Laura Washington reflects on how attitudes about race have changed in her many years working for the Chicago Reporter. “We have a black president, but we don’t want to be complacent and think all of our problems are solved, because all you have to do is read the Reporter every month and find out otherwise,” said Washington. (Photo by Lucio Villa)
Former publisher Alysia Tate says she takes pride in the many awards The Chicago Reporter has won through the years. “When you work at the Reporter, you don’t get the money or the fame or the popularity that other journalists might get,” said Tate. “So whenever anybody gets rewarded for that work or acknowledged for that work, it’s such a great moment.” (Photo by Jonathan Gibby)
Former publisher Alden Loury reflects on how being raised in the city and living in public housing shaped him. “But it also showed me the strength and the motivation and the resilience of people in these neighborhoods,” said Loury. (Photo by Lucio Villa)
Former publisher Kimbriell Kelly talks about the impact of The Chicago Reporter’s work, including the investigation that sparked a national inquiry into discriminatory mortgage practices and led to a multimillion dollar settlement. “People, I think, underestimate us a lot,” said Kelly. “Some people don’t expect us to have that kind of impact or reach.” (Photo by Sonya Doctorian/The Washington Post)