Chicago – The Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), a coalition of more than 80 local media entities, including Illinois Latino News, is holding its annual fundraiser this month from June 5-19. With the theme “Powering Independence,” the fundraising campaign will highlight the real-world impact of the self-started newsrooms that comprise CIMA’s membership, how they disrupt the areas they report in for change, and how CIMA supports these trailblazers. All donations will be matched by local foundations until funds run out.
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“CIMA has such an important mission, and I’m so grateful to be kicking off our fourth annual fundraiser. Local, independent media entities have done so much good for Chicago, and have helped to reach communities that aren’t always covered in legacy media, filling in the gaps in coverage throughout each of Chicago’s neighborhoods,” said Savannah Hugueley, CIMA Support Specialist. “This fundraiser is so important to ensuring that these smaller newsrooms can stay afloat and have the resources they need to continue doing the original investigative work that local journalism requires, and I’m hopeful about the amount of support we’ll be able to get this year.”
Over the past three years, CIMA’s fundraiser has raised more than $500,000 to support grassroots newsrooms in the Chicago area. These outlets and media organizations have created award-winning coverage of emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental racism in Chicago’s BIPOC communities, news podcasts on the LGBTQ+ community, and much more.
And unlike CIMA’s previous fundraisers, this year all the funds raised will be split evenly among the participating CIMA members, allowing members with larger readership and reach to help uplift their smaller peers. This year’s fundraiser has 47 participating members — more than any previous fundraiser — and 28 of them have budgets under $250,000 a year, making this fundraiser essential for their continued support.
Individually, CIMA’s 66 members representing 80 individual products reach anywhere from a few hundred readers to millions, for a combined readership of at least 8.4 million. Nearly 20% of members reach primarily Black Chicagoans, overlapping with around 13% of outlets that primarily reach Latinx communities. They also reach the LGBTQ+, immigrant, Arab American, Korean American, Polish American communities, and others. They reach all 77 community areas in Chicago with the majority covering the South and West sides, as well as suburbs including Cicero, Harvey and Evanston.
“CIMA’s fundraising campaign is critical to increasing local news sustainability,” said Hugo Balta, Publisher of IL Latino News. “The coalition of independent newsrooms provide the diversity that’s absent in mainstream media; it’s deserving of support from individuals, corporations, government agencies, and philanthropic institutions.”
During the fundraising campaign, CIMA will also be hosting two virtual events, one on social movements and media and the other on how technology impacts local media. For more information about CIMA and its members, visit here.
IL Latino News (ILLN) is one of six independent, local digital news outlets in the Midwest and Northeast, managed by the Latino News Network. ILLN covers the social determinants of health, and democracy.