Building a Chicago dream team

Dear Reader,

Thank you again for signing up for the Daily Reader and joining our Reader team. 

I’m Tracy Baim, publisher of the Reader and president of the Reader Institute for Community Journalism (RICJ), and I wanted to introduce myself. 

Excuse the sports metaphors, but I do come by it honestly. I’ve been playing team sports since Little League in the early 1970s. I love teamwork, and at the Reader, we could not do the work we do without our “players”: fans and readers like you. 

I joined the Reader in late 2018, just as it was about to be shut down by its prior owners. In these past four years, we’ve made some major shifts in our coverage, strategy, and funding. Most importantly, we’ve begun the process of becoming a nonprofit, reader-supported newsroom. That’s allowed us to bring so many new readers, staff, and supporters into our mix.

But the truth is, the Reader wouldn’t be here today without the support of people like you, especially over the past two difficult years.

The Reader launched more than 50 years ago as the nation’s first long-standing free weekly newspaper. We believe in offering the news free both in print and online, because not everyone has the luxury of being able to pay for news. Being free for all means everyone can enjoy our in-depth arts coverage, our news investigations, and our amplification of all the vital parts of this city we all call home

Yes, our staff and freelancers are embedded in the communities they cover. They do not parachute into the stories—their hearts beat as one with Chicago’s own heartbeat.

Becoming a nonprofit won’t solve all of our challenges, but it will makes us better able to handle whatever comes next in this changing media landscape. We’re counting on your support to continue the work, to pay the writers, the illustrators, the photographers, the delivery crew, the printer, and everyone else who helps us row in the same direction.

Yes, another sports metaphor. Because after all, Chicago is a city of great sports teams, from north to south, from the Chicago Sky, Red Stars, Fire, Dogs, Wolves, and Windy City Rollers to others you may have heard of: the White Sox, Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks. 


Thank you for being part of the Reader team,

Donate to the Reader




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