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39 Chicago-Area Media Outlets To Host Joint Fundraiser, October 3-17

Collaboration includes independent community and diverse media, legacy and newer outlets under the hashtag #WeAmplifyChicagoVoices.

39 Chicago-Area Media Outlets To Host Joint Fundraiser, October 3-17

Nearly 40 independent Chicago-area media outlets, members of the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), are joining forces for their third annual fundraising campaign kicking off next week. Under the slogan #WeAmplifyChicagoVoices, this diverse and eclectic media group will conduct a two-week campaign between October 3 - 17.

More than $70,000 in matching funds have been pledged from CIMA's contributing partners including The MacArthur Foundation, Square One Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, and the Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation. Additionally, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times are supporting partners. To give, visit savechicagomedia.org October 3 - 17.

CIMA members are for-profit and nonprofit organizations representing a wide cross-section of community media in the city and nearby suburbs. The organization's 2021 campaign raised more than $160,000 for 43 members, including $60,000 in matching funds from local foundations. More than 1,000 individuals donated, with two-thirds opting to support all outlets. Donors may opt to split their gift evenly among all of the outlets, or they may give a specific amount to one or more outlets. When they give to an individual outlet, those funds will be matched 2-1 during the first two days of the campaign, and 1-1 for the rest of the fundraiser, until matching funds are depleted.

"Another positive consequence of our campaign is the visibility and amplification of the work these outlets are producing," said Yazmin Dominguez, CIMA co-director. "A diversity of reporting is what should be demanded in a vibrant, diverse city like Chicago, and our coalition embodies that."

CIMA members serve Black and African American, Latinx, Asian American, immigrant, LGBTQ+, and other Chicago communities. Independent media are particularly vulnerable to the changing media landscape that includes decreased advertising, yet their value as credible information sources continues to rise. Potential donors can learn more about all the CIMA outlets through the promotional campaign video, print, digital and social media assets they've produced.

The campaign was organized, and is coordinated by CIMA, a project launched in 2019 by the Chicago Reader. The 61 partners in the alliance include traditional print newspapers, independently produced podcasts, dynamic video production studios, and nonprofit newsrooms focusing on key issues that impact the fabric of the city. CIMA coordinates revenue projects to assist in strengthening the local media landscape. Questions about the campaign may be directed to cima@chicagoreader.com.

A one-minute campaign video was shot and produced by Street Level and narrated in English, Spanish, and Polish by Street Level, Polish Daily News, and Gozamos, all members in the alliance. SoapBox Productions and Organizing assisted with collecting footage for the video and dozens of CIMA members provided photos and video for the campaign. The logo animation was created by Pam Atadero. Amber Huff created the print campaigns and CIMA co-director, Savannah Hugueley, created the digital campaigns. The campaign hashtags are #WeAmplifyChicagoVoices and #ChicagoMedia. Follow the campaign on social media @IndieMediaChi.


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