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Practical Impact: City Bureau

Earlier this month, I was asked to explain City Bureau’s “practical” impact on the local media landscape—as in how, exactly, does City Bureau “move the needle” for a city in need of big ideas, solutions and action?

I could have talked about how our #PublicNewsroom model is spreading to more local newsrooms (we’re listening) or how our Documenters program is paying and training Chicagoans to document public governance meetings(we’re out here).

And I could have talked about how one of our recent stories led Chicago’s City Council to call on the Department of Public Health to testify on a “lack of oversight and enforcement” of rules designed to protect the public from residential demolition debris (we’re having an impact).

But none of those things came to mind first—instead, the words of one of City Bureau’s earliest advisers did. He said we should always focus on our current group of reporting fellows—to always prioritize their training,

development and success. And I’m happy to say that for the last two years, we’ve been doing exactly that.

When it comes to practical impact at City Bureau, nothing represents what can be done to strengthen the local media ecosystem better than the diverse range of journalists we hire and train to report on local issues and involve the public at each step of the way.

These folks are remarkable in their own right; they’ve helped City Bureau become what it is today and, likewise, we’re proud to have been a part of their development.

Darryl Holliday is the co-founder and editorial director at @City_Bureau

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