City Bureau is a nonprofit civic journalism lab based on the South Side of Chicago that brings people together to produce media that is impactful, equitable and responsive to the public.
Initially a corrective intervention that filled a gap in the local media ecosystem, City Bureau has evolved to cultivate new infrastructure for a more equitable and democratic local media. The organization is building innovative tools and technologies that reimagine how newsrooms engage with and serve their local community. The organization plays a unique role in the field as a nontraditional model for participatory and community-driven journalism, including its Documenters program, which trains and pays people to cover local public meetings, creating points of access that allow anyone to participate in the production of journalism while also establishing a powerful new mechanism of public accountability.
With funding and strategic support from the American Journalism Project, City Bureau is building a team to grow its Chicago-based local news programs and expand its widely acclaimed Documenters program to cities across the country.
We can equip our communities to build a future of journalism together, with a strong foundation that's bottom-up instead of top-down and can fight the wave of fake news and disinformation that threatens our democracy.”
Bettina Chang, Co-Founder and Editorial Director
Bettina Chang is the executive editorial director at City Bureau, formerly executive digital editor of Chicago magazine. She also edited at DNAinfo Chicago and Pacific Standard.
Harry Backlund is the executive director of operations at City Bureau and the founding publisher of the South Side Weekly, a volunteer-run community newspaper in Chicago.