Hedge fund with a reputation for ‘gutting newsrooms’ takes aim at owning Pantagraph newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises

BLOOMINGTON – A New York hedge fund with a reputation for shrinking newsrooms not long after buying them out is taking aim at the media company that owns the Bloomington-based Pantagraph. Alden Global Capital made an offer to Lee Enterprises on Monday morning. Lee Enterprises is the owner of three newspapers in Central Illinois, including the Herald-Review in Decatur; […]

Diversity in journalism schools

It’s no secret that journalism has a diversity problem – countless think pieces have been written about the topic, journalism schools and newsrooms have released statements about their commitments to inclusiveness and diversity, and yet many news outlets remain predominantly white, and the only path there is a degree in journalism for a job that’s […]

How can you tell if the news you read is real?

Before we end our special week of coverage about who is in charge of the news, we wanted to empower all of you with ways to distinguish credible journalism from social media posts that may be shared by your friends and family that’s not based in fact. Today on the show, we were joined by […]

Yes, investigative and statehouse journalism still exists in Illinois

As we ask Who’s in charge of news?, today, we’re exploring non-profit news organizations focused on hard-hitting investigations and statehouse reporting. We’re joined by representatives from Pro-Publica, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, and Capitol News Illinois. GUESTS: Brant Houston Journalism Professor, Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Steve Mills Deputy Midwest Editor, ProPublica Jerry Nowicki Bureau Chief, Capitol News Illinois Tony […]

Who owns local newspapers and TV newsrooms?

There are plenty of choices for you to get national news these days, but coverage of your local community, schools and small businesses is getting harder to find. Today on The 21st, learn about the six companies that own most of the TV stations and newspapers in downstate Illinois and how it affects coverage. GUESTS: David Folkenflik  […]

As newspapers struggle, some areas are becoming ‘news deserts’

URBANA – The term “news desert” describes an area with a shortage of news coverage. According to research by Penelope Muse Abernathy, 28 Illinois counties have just one newspaper apiece, while two counties (Hamilton and Pulaski in southern Illinois) have none. As a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Abernathy […]

What a shrinking newspaper costs a community

SPRINGFIELD – Some version of the newspaper known today as The State-Journal Register has been published in Springfield and Sangamon County since 1831. It shared stories of fisticuffs in the state legislature and carried ads for elixirs and miracle cures. It reported on an ambitious local attorney and politician, named Abraham Lincoln — and in […]

Finding Black And Latino focused news in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – These days, you can find news anywhere, but not all sources are trustworthy. So we at ‘The 21st’ are asking: “Who’s in charge of the news?” Find out where to get news on communities of color, weigh whether new laws can save local journalism, and learn about who owns local TV stations and […]

When this hedge fund buys local newspapers, democracy suffers

WASHINGTON — Have you heard of the hedge fund Alden Global Capital? If you’re a reader of local newspapers — particularly the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun or New York Daily News — you’re going to want to make sure the answer is yes. That’s because the fund is stepping in to buy — and […]

How Ford County gained a new newspaper and lost the old one

PAXTON – Ford County has lost a weekly newspaper. When the Ford County Record closed last month, it joined more than 21-hundred other American newspapers that have shut down since 2005. But the Ford County Chronicle, a new paper launched just last year, still serves Ford County, providing a test of whether residents of the […]

As newspapers die, small non-profit news sites rise in the Midwest

URBANA – With newspapers on the decline in Illinois, you may be wondering where to get quality news about communities across the Midwest. During the week of October 25-29, 2021, Illinois Public Media is asking “Who’s In Charge of The News?”  In June, students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism published articles and videos […]

U of I team investigates spread of rural misinformation

URBANA – In some rural Illinois ZIP codes, only one in five people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. A lack of correct information seems to play a major role. A team at the University of Illinois is investigating how misinformation about COVID-19 spreads in rural areas of the state. U of I journalism professor Nikki […]

Newstown is coming to WILL-TV Thursday, Oct 28, at 8pm

When Northwestern University professor and video journalist Craig Duff heard that the 150-year-old Youngstown Vindicator was closing, he resolved to go back to the area where he grew up in northeast Ohio and document how the community was coping with the loss of its newspaper. What the veteran of CNN, Time.com and The New York […]

Illinois professor maps how to limit misinformation on Facebook

URBANA – Lawmakers can’t effectively control misinformation on Facebook. What they can do is limit the reach of the social media giant. That’s the perspective of University of Illinois journalism professor Nikki Usher. Usher studies journalism, social media, and misinformation. “The biggest ways that we can get at Facebook that I see as most politically […]