The Documenters model: How City Bureau makes information accessible to all

With fewer professional journalists covering public meetings, residents and reporters don’t always have access to complete information on civic issues. City Bureau, a Chicago-based civic journalism lab, has pioneered a new approach: training residents to report on public meetings. In 2017, after two years of community-driven conversations to shed light on how journalism works, City Bureau used seed funding from Knight to inform the Documenters program, a focused effort to train and pay residents

WBEZ’s ‘South Side Stories’ Podcast Brings Attention to the Lives and Stories of South Siders

“Ain’t no side like the South Side ... South SIDE!” For fans of Comedy Central’s “South Side”— a show that follows two ambitious friends in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, working at a rent-to-own store — the refrain is not new. It’s reiterated in the show’s theme music every week, and for South Siders it just states something we already know: the stories that come out of the that part of the city are as unique and interesting as those who populate it.


WBEZ CHICAGO AND COMEDY CENTRAL COLLABORATE ON GROUNDBREAKING NEW PODCAST, SOUTH SIDE STORIES, PREMIERING SEPTEMBER 4 Hosted by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, South Side Stories marks first podcast collaboration between a public media organization and a cable television partner On the heels of Comedy Central’s successful South Side TV comedy debut, new podcast explores life and culture on Chicago’s South Side The podcast trailer and first two episodes ("Money or Merch" and “Englewood”) are now available...

Five Great Podcasts From 2018

We may not have reached peak podcast yet, but we can’t be too far off. With so many new downloads to wade through, putting together a definitive list of this year’s best seemed an impossible task. And do you really need us to tell you that the new season of “Serial” returns the show to its excellent, addictive heights? (For the record, it does.) Instead, we asked our critics to crack open their phones and share the shows that truly clicked with them this year.

2018 By The Numbers: The Biggest Moments on TuneIn This Year

2018 By The Numbers: The Biggest Moments on TuneIn This Year 2018 feels like it started forever ago: Celebrity couples met, got engaged, and broke up. (Many) White House officials came and went (remember Hope Hicks? Rex Tillerson?). Babies were born, celebrity feuds boiled over, and–finally!–audio went viral with the Yanny/Laurel debate. Through it all, we listened: we listened to game-winning touchdowns, court-changing Senate votes, our new favorite songs. We heard stations that took us back,

New podcast The City brings back memories of Alderman Bill Henry and dealmaking in Chicago

More than 30 years ago, I heard a relatively unknown west-side politician make a passionate declaration about dealmaking in Chicago that’s been ringing true for me ever since. The politician was 24th Ward alderman William “Bill” Henry. His declaration came amid the chaos and cacophony of the special City Council meeting on December 2, 1987, when aldermen came together to elect an interim mayor in the aftermath of the death of Harold Washington just a few months into his second term. My memorie

'The City' Podcast Reveals 'Ruthless' (And Still Relevant) Politics Behind Notorious '90s Dumping Operation

CHICAGO — Investigative reporter Robin Amer likens her new podcast “The City” to the HBO crime drama “The Wire” — only it’s true. Set in ’90s North Lawndale, the first season tackles how a man with ties to the Chicago mob managed to turn a pair of vacant lots into a massive illegal dumping site — and how a few concerned neighbors (and eventually, the FBI) fought to take him down. When she first pitched the show years ago, Amer received some skepticism about the scope of her “extremely ambitiou

Review: 'The City' podcast tells sordid tale of illegal dumping on Chicago's West Side

“Anytime you see anybody drive over (to) a vacant lot in a limo, you know it’s no good.” When you’re a reporter trying to bring a complicated story to life, quotes like that — wry, sharply worded, evocative of a much larger scenario — are pure gold. And in the promising, new Chicago-focused podcast “The City,” chronicling the battle over vacant lots in North Lawndale that became illegal dumping sites in the 1990s, lead reporter and narrator Robin Amer recognizes that quote for the gem that it