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Foundation Funds Local Chicago News

By Lindsey Miller in News on Nov 5, 2009 10:00PM

2009_11_05_trust.jpg The Chicago Community Trust, a foundation that funds programs to benefit Chicago, announced today that it will award 12 local news organizations with $500,000. The awards are part of a new program by the trust, Community News Matters, designed to support the sources of Chicago news and information.

The 12 recipients were chosen from 86 requests totaling $5.7 million. Community News Matters was funded by a lead grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Knight Community Information Challenge, and by the Chicago Community Trust and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The goal of Community News Matters is to encourage truthful, accurate, and insightful news and information in the area and hopefully support the creation of new business models for news.

A full list of recipients and award amounts are available on the Chicago Community Trust website. Among the winners are Gapers Block, which received $35,000 to increase coverage of under served communities; The Beachwood Reporter, which was awarded $35,000 to create a sustainable business model and upgrade its site and content; Brad Flora, founder of The Windy Citizen, received $35,000 to help upgrade that site's software; and the Chicago News Cooperative, which got $50,000 to create a business model and build a new website called The Chicago Scoop. The New York Times recently announced that it will buy coverage from the Chicago News Cooperative for its upcoming local Chicago edition.

Community News Matters will accept the next round of award proposals in spring 2010.