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Join a community meeting to discuss the future of community-supported neighborhood news and just what exactly should be done with Center Square Journal and Roscoe View Journal.
While Center Square Journal and Roscoe View Journal continue to have a strong audience, even with the arrival of Patch and DNAInfo, the economics just aren't there for a set of stand-alone neighborhood news sites in Chicago. They need a sponsor and a different kind of community support since the founder is moving on to a new project.
Our team has created a public trust, and as such we'd like to let the public play a role in what comes next for the publications.
We also believe that the community needs to decide for itself if they want to support the sort of publication CSJ has become, and if there is a willingness to support it monetarily, since no single organization is likely to pay the full freight of the publication.
We're inviting all sorts of community members, our contributors, regular commenters, advertisers and non-profits. I'll make a presentation on the readership, costs and revenue of CSJ, and then a moderator, Ravenswood resident Ryan Blitstein, will moderate a discussion about what CSJ means to the community and what is it's worth.
The founder, Mike Fourcher, is prepared to turn over all of CSJ to a non-profit, to continue operating it part-time, or whatever the community decides to see it continue in some capacity. But if the community isn't interested - or if nobody shows up to the meeting - it'll be folded up quietly.
As far as we know, this sort of thing has never been done before, anywhere in the country. At the very least, the discussion should have some interesting results.