Resource Library

The Basics

Writer’s Guide

South Side Weekly Stylebook

Production: Boards checklist

Production: End-of-production checklist

Production: File submission guidelines

Hyphenation table

What visuals should I use for this story?

Source List

Add a source to the source list


Governance Documents

Board of Directors Documents
Meeting minutes from the board of directors, bylaws of the organization, and nonprofit FAQs.

Principles and Ethics of Journalism

Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

Principles of Journalism from the American Press Association

SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox
Links to various web resources for journalists



City of Chicago Data Portal
Datasets released by the City of Chicago.

City of Chicago Data Dictionary
Catalog of datasets available from the City of Chicago

Chicago OpenGrid
A searchable map of publicly available data from the City of Chicago

Excel Crash Course
An excellent and concise slide show by Smart Chicago on how to use Excel to analyze datasets

Illinois Schools Database
From BGA, data and documents on every public school in Illinois


Database from transparency nonprofit Lucy Parsons Lab of Chicago Police Officer names and badge numbers

Citizens Police Data Project

Database from our partners at the Invisible Institute of tens of thousands of misconduct complaints against Chicago Police Officers. Read our coverage of the database here, here, and here

Chicago Police Department Directive Changes

Easily searchable database from CrimeIsDown of changes made to Chicago Police Department “directives,” or governing rules

Illinois Sunshine

Easily searchable database from Illinois Campaign for Political Reform of public campaign contributions



FOIA Online Resources and support for writing and monitoring Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

FOIA Machine
A basic web tool for sending and tracking FOIAs and finding contact information for FOIA departments.

A slightly more involved and sophisticated web tool for sending, tracking, and sharing FOIAs.

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