Applying for Local Reporting Awards

The Community News Matters program issued its first request for proposals in January 2011 for a series of $2,000 and $10,000 local reporting awards to fund original reporting and fact-based analysis. From 108 applications, 31 projects were chosen for funding, focusing on how important issues are affecting residents of low-income neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago.

In December 2012, another round of awards was made to 14 projects, investigating issues that range from the realities facing the LGBTQ community within the criminal system, to the effects of domestic violence and mental health on the Back of the Yards community.

You can read the reports as they're published at


About the Award Winners

  • News organizations or outlets with journalistic expertise (print, broadcast, cable or online, both traditional and emerging)
  • Community organizations with expertise in the target communities
  • Nonprofit organizations or policy groups with expertise in issues affecting these communities
  • Individuals (from involved citizens, to freelancers and bloggers, to new-media entrepreneurs) who are passionate about these communities and have ideas about stories and issues that matter to them
  • Collaborations among organizations, companies and/or individuals


Read an assessment of the project's impact in its first year: Evaluation of the Chicago Local Reporting Awards Initiative


Health care reform, youth violence, environmental health, the drug war: How do they affect residents of Chicago's south and west sides? And how much do residents know? The winning projects have produced high-quality local reporting on these topics and many more.


See an evaluation of the impact of the first group of 31 projects