Forty-two years back we turned to about 70 local people to invest the cash to launch Wednesday Journal in Oak Park and River Forest. The three of us who started the paper – Sharon Britton, Anne Duggan and myself – we didn’t have a nickel between us. 

We broke all the set rules of local journalism at a time when weekly papers were getting snapped up by big national chains. We created an independent local paper that was owned by local people.

Worked great for almost 40 years. 

Then the print focused business model all newspapers relied on was disrupted by the rise of free digital news and social media. Smashed to smithereens. 

So here we are again. Three years into leading community newsrooms around Chicago into a nonprofit, reader-supported, community owned future that looks not unlike what we pulled off in 1980.

Growing Community Media, now five weekly publications across the Greater West Side including the Forest Park Review, is making this new model work. But only with you.

Only with you.

We are going to raise $150,000 in the next 60 days. Dollars we raise will go directly to pay the reporters who tell your community stories. So far, our Let’s Make a Match campaign has banked $40,000. That’s double where we started this campaign a year ago. 

And so today, as we launch our major annual fundraiser, I’m asking. Are you in? 

We’re going to do this. But only with you.

With gratitude.

Dan Haley, Editor and Publisher