Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS

SPRINGFIELD – Capitol News Illinois will significantly expand its operations as it enters the fifth year of operations in 2023 because of a significant grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

The McCormick Foundation has announced a three-year, $2 million investment in Capitol News Illinois, a nonprofit news organization that provides daily coverage of state government and is operated by the Illinois Press Foundation.

The CNI grant is one of four being announced by the McCormick Foundation, which is also investing in Block Club Chicago, Injustice Watch and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. The four grants total $7.5 million over three years. The grants complement the McCormick Foundation’s investment in the Illinois Solutions Partnership, formed with the Better Government Association and announced in 2021.

The McCormick Foundation has granted Capitol News Illinois $700,000 over its first four years of operations. McCormick said the increased investment in CNI will “help a promising outlet scale to meet the need for greater scrutiny in Springfield.”

Jeff Rogers, the executive director of the Illinois Press Foundation and editor of Capitol News Illinois, said the McCormick investment will be used to expand the news service’s print reporting operations, launch a broadcast news operation in 2023, and hire a development director that will be tasked with growing and diversifying revenue streams to support continued editorial growth and impact.

Other Capitol News Illinois initiatives planned in the coming months and years with the McCormick investment include adding print reporters outside of the Springfield area; continuing to grow the broadcast newsroom; and hiring a photographer/videographer, a web/digital developer, an events coordinator, and a college internships coordinator. News literacy and civics initiatives are also planned, as is an expanded effort to provide analytical reporting and commentary.

“Capitol News Illinois’ mission has always been to connect as many people as possible to state government in Illinois,” Rogers said. “We have been very successful in doing that through the more than 460 newspapers in Illinois that have published CNI stories since 2019. This investment in Capitol News Illinois from the McCormick Foundation will allow us to expand our audience significantly through broadcast reporting and through significantly expanded print offerings.”

Capitol News Illinois stories have been published more than 75,000 times in Illinois newspapers with a combined circulation of about 2 million.

“Equally important is the investment in CNI’s business operations which will yield more funding for our newsrooms in the coming years that will enable us to continue to grow our news service,” Rogers said.

Capitol News Illinois operates solely on grants and donations. It does not charge a subscription for access to its coverage or a fee to publish its stories. The McCormick Foundation and Illinois Press Foundation have been the major donors to CNI during its nearly four years of operation.

Rogers also said CNI is “looking forward to being a part of a collaborative investigative journalism powerhouse McCormick is fostering with these grants.”

Timothy P. Knight, the McCormick Foundation president and CEO, shared that sentiment.

“All of these organizations have a history of collaborating closely with others, and several of these organizations currently collaborate with each other on a range of editorial, promotional, and operational initiatives,” Knight said. “The simultaneous investment in each of these organizations, together with our investment in the Illinois Solutions Partnership, is intended to promote and strengthen collaboration and recognize the strong, complementary skills each of these organizations brings to Chicago and Illinois media.”

In recent weeks, Capitol News Illinois has also received financial commitments from the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Southern Illinois Editorial Association that will also aid in the news service’s expansion efforts. More details on those investments will be made soon.

Rogers said searches for a development director, an additional print reporter, and broadcast reporters are underway. He can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment





Local News

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz encourages the city to build a wall honoring volunteers during Tuesday night's council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights council talks wall of tributes

By Jeff Vorva Tributes were the talk on Tuesday. The Palos Heights City Council meeting featured a discussion on building a wall to honor volunteers in town and kicked ideas around to honor former aldermen Dolores Kramarski, who died in November, and Alan Fulkerson, who died in 2020. The council unanimously voted to foot a…

John Mahoney is not seeking re-election as the mayor of Palos Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Mahoney not running for Palos Park mayor; Milovich-Walters throws hat in the ring

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park will have a new mayor in 2023. John Mahoney will end his 16-year tenure as mayor next year after he announced this week that he will not run for a fifth term. “Every time you run for office you think about it,” the 60-year-old Mahoney said about leaving the post.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound December 7, 2022

Mary Stanek

Restaurant wall comes alive with art

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Soar up high with the beauty and grace of a butterfly–Unknown author. My favorite watering hole in years past, Andy’s, at 57th Place and Pulaski, has been a restaurant now for a few years. I recently noticed…

Peggy Zabicki

Something to be truly thankful for

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Thank you, one and all, for the texts and calls. I wasn’t feeling well last week and couldn’t write my column. I didn’t have COVID-19. I had that before there were vaccines for it. For me, COVID-19 was no big deal. On my worst day…

Jeanette Arteaga

Congratulations, Jeanette Arteaga

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Congratulations to Jeanette Arteaga, who has been chosen as a contributing author in a new book debuting this month. The title is Business Divas and focuses on Latinas in different stages of their business: some just starting out,…

CookCountySheriffShield

2 Dead, 4 hurt In LaGrange Road crash

By Bob Bong Two people were killed and four more injured in a traffic crash Sunday afternoon on LaGrange Road in unincorporated Palos Park. Cook County Sheriff’s Police said a 56-year-old man died at the scene and a 54-year-old woman died of her injuries at an area hospital. Police said they responded shortly after 4…

Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

marist logo

Boys Basketball: Marist stays unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz encourages the city to build a wall honoring volunteers during Tuesday night's council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights council talks wall of tributes

By Jeff Vorva Tributes were the talk on Tuesday. The Palos Heights City Council meeting featured a discussion on building a wall to honor volunteers in town and kicked ideas around to honor former aldermen Dolores Kramarski, who died in November, and Alan Fulkerson, who died in 2020. The council unanimously voted to foot a…

John Mahoney is not seeking re-election as the mayor of Palos Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Mahoney not running for Palos Park mayor; Milovich-Walters throws hat in the ring

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park will have a new mayor in 2023. John Mahoney will end his 16-year tenure as mayor next year after he announced this week that he will not run for a fifth term. “Every time you run for office you think about it,” the 60-year-old Mahoney said about leaving the post.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound December 7, 2022

Mary Stanek

Restaurant wall comes alive with art

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Soar up high with the beauty and grace of a butterfly–Unknown author. My favorite watering hole in years past, Andy’s, at 57th Place and Pulaski, has been a restaurant now for a few years. I recently noticed…

Peggy Zabicki

Something to be truly thankful for

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Thank you, one and all, for the texts and calls. I wasn’t feeling well last week and couldn’t write my column. I didn’t have COVID-19. I had that before there were vaccines for it. For me, COVID-19 was no big deal. On my worst day…

Jeanette Arteaga

Congratulations, Jeanette Arteaga

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Congratulations to Jeanette Arteaga, who has been chosen as a contributing author in a new book debuting this month. The title is Business Divas and focuses on Latinas in different stages of their business: some just starting out,…

CookCountySheriffShield

2 Dead, 4 hurt In LaGrange Road crash

By Bob Bong Two people were killed and four more injured in a traffic crash Sunday afternoon on LaGrange Road in unincorporated Palos Park. Cook County Sheriff’s Police said a 56-year-old man died at the scene and a 54-year-old woman died of her injuries at an area hospital. Police said they responded shortly after 4…

Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

marist logo

Boys Basketball: Marist stays unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

DVN Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church House Ad
CRR NH Rainbow Motel House Ad