Dear reader,

We’re writing to you today to ask you to contribute to the future of local journalism on the South Side of Chicago.

The Weekly has always had a dual mission: to produce original local reporting about the South Side that wouldn’t otherwise exist, and to include as many voices as possible in the process. Rather than being produced by a just a handful of people, the Weekly is made up of an evolving team of 50-100 writers, editors, and artists at any given time, all with varying levels of experience and involvement. Our goal from the beginning has been to welcome any and everybody interested in telling essential South Side stories and provide them with the tools and support to make those stories both accurate and powerful. This year we saw unprecedented interest from new contributors, with an average of four people a week signing up through the form on our website.

Starting early next year, we’ll be rolling out a series of workshops that are free and open to the public. They will focus on teaching fundamental skills like how to edit, fact-check, craft a pitch, interview, scriptwrite for radio, structure a feature story, analyze public data, and more, all taught or organized by Weekly staff. We’ll also have a rotating selection of special-topic workshops led by guest speakers. Your contribution will be used to compensate the staff that organize and teach these workshops.

Currently all of our contributors are volunteers. The Weekly was started and sustained by people that just want to explore and share their stories about the city. But volunteerism has its limits, and we’ve hit them. We’re working towards a model that compensates all of our contributors and reader support is an essential part of a sustainable future for the Weekly. To realize our goal of a truly public teaching paper, we need to start building resources that are sustained by and accountable to you, our readers.

Every dollar you donate supports local journalism in a tangible, measurable way and 100% of your contribution goes directly towards supporting our contributors. If you have valued our work over the the last few years, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation this Giving Tuesday.

-The South Side Weekly Team

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