Upcoming Workshops

October 17th, 2019: Chicago and Illinois have enjoyed for decades the notoriety of pay-to-play politics. So, where do things stand today? Daniel Wolk tells us what local government is doing to address corruption, alongside a panel including Chicago Board of Ethics executive director Steven Berlin, former State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss, and Common Cause Illinois executive director Jay Young. [RSVP]

October 10th, 2019: What is our responsibility to society when it comes to the criminal justice system? To spearhead this discussion we will be screening ‘We Are Witnesses: Chicago,’ an immersive short video series exploring the nature of crime, punishment and forgiveness through portraits of Chicagoans from all walks of life who have been touched by the criminal justice system. Hosted by the Marshall Project and Kartemquin Films. [RSVP]

Past Presenters

October 3rd, 2019: As part of their Envisioning Justice series, Illinois Humanities is hosting this Public Newsroom to help us imagine how we, as members of our different communities, can support formerly incarcerated folks in reentry. BBF Family Services also joins us. [Slides][Audio][Take-aways]

September 19th, 2019: The Public Newsroom is off, but it’s for a great reason! We’re celebrating our biggest party of the year, the Soap Box Ball—and you’re invited too. Snag your tickets before it’s too late!

September 12th, 2019: What would it look like to report on sexual violence in a way that is generative instead of extractive? To brainstorm this question, we will have former City Bureau fellow and radio reporter Jenny Casas in conversation with Jim DeRogatis, who has been reporting on allegations of sexual abuse by R. Kelly since the early 2000s. [Slides] [Take-aways] [Audio][Illustrated blog]

September 5th, 2019: Chicago Reader reporter Maya Dukmasova presents on her two year investigation into Pangea Real Estate and gives a historic overview of tenants’ rights and eviction court. [Activity Packet] [Slides] [Audio]

August 29th, 2019: We say farewell to our month-long aldermanic accountability series the best way we know how—a deep dive on menu money. Join us at Harold Washington Library to learn more. [RSVP]

August 22, 2019: We wrap up our ward-specific workshops in the 25th with Leone Bicchieri of Working Family Solidarity. This workshop will be in Spanish and English. [RSVP]

22 de agosto, 2019: Este taller será el último que se enfoca en un distrito específico—el distrito 25. Lo presentamos con la ayuda de Leone Bicchieri de Working Family Solidarity. Se puede participar en español o inglés. [RSVP]

August 15, 2019: Our month-long series continues in Austin, where we’re working with Austin Coming Together and Austin Weekly News to talk about the 28th, 29th, and 37th wards. Refreshments available. [RSVP]

8 de agosto, 2019: Han pasado 100 días desde las elecciones del concilio municipal. Para celebrar, hemos planeando una serie de talleres acerca de las responsabilidades de los concejales todo el mes de agosto. Esta semana, con la ayuda de El Foro del Pueblo, nos enfocaremos en el distrito 22. Comida ligera y cuidado de niños disponible. [RSVP]

August 1st, 2019: We’re back! And yes, we missed you too. It’s been 100 Days since city council elections and we’re celebrating with a month-long series on aldermanic accountability. To kick things off, we’re teaming up with the South Side Weekly and focusing on the 20th ward. [RSVP]

June 7th—July 31st: The Public Newsroom is on break! Our team will be identifying lessons we’ve learned after hosting these workshops for over 2 years and dreaming up ways to evolve and grow. We’ll also build deeper relationships in Brighton Park, Back of the Yards, Chatham, Garfield Park, and Roseland/Pullman. If you have feedback about the newsroom or want to connect us with someone in these neighborhoods, drop us a line at

June 6th, 2019: In the Dark data reporter Will Craft breaks down the process of jury selection and explains how racial bias often plays a big role. Help us brainstorm how we can get creative covering the issue! [RSVP].

30 Mayo, 2019: ¿Cómo cambiarías los medios de comunicación locales en Chicago? ¿Cómo cambiarías la cobertura de Back of the Yards? Ayúdanos a generar una lista de declaraciones para la prensa local con The Gate News. [RSVP]

May 23rd, 2019: Come tell us how you would change how local media covers Austin at this workshop, a special collaboration with Austin Weekly News and Austin Coming Together. [RSVP]

May 16th, 2019: We’re convening City Bureau reporters and a team of birth workers like doulas and midwives to answer all your questions about maternal health. Join us at New Moms in Austin. [RSVP]

May 9th, 2019: What's your vision for a Chicago that makes room for all of its people? Join Free Street Theater for an interactive workshop that invites participants to share stories of the past and actively envision a more just future. [RSVP]

May 2nd, 2019: What is an asset-based framework, and how can we apply it to education reporting? And what do we mean when we talk about ‘Whole Learners’? Join the Chicago Learning Exchange and Project Exploration at Loretto Hospital to find out. [RSVP]

April 25th, 2019: Where do journalism and personal storytelling intersect? We teamed up with 2nd Story to bring together a panel featuring WBEZ’s South Side Reporter Natalie Moore, Free Street Theater’s Artistic Director Coya Paz, and 2nd Story company member Eric May to explore the question. [RSVP]

April 18th, 2019: What is “shock value” photojournalism, and how photographers purse a different path? Photojournalist Sebastián Hidalgo leads our newsroom to answer just that. [RSVP]

April 11th, 2019: Kanyinsola Anifowoshe facilitates a panel with artists Tonika Johnson, Melissa Blount, and Essence McDowell, whose work honors and centers Black women’s voices and histories. [RSVP]

April 4th, 2019: Author Ethan Michaeli and City Bureau co-founder Darryl Holliday join us this week to draw connections to how reporting on the 1919 riots relates to the coverage of segregation nearly half a century later and what, if anything, has changed today. [RSVP]

March 28th, 2019: Journalist Mago Torres will talk about her investigative reporting on Mexico's clandestine graves, what challenges she and her team faced, and what lessons they learned. [RSVP]

March 21st, 2019: Happy Birthday, Public Newsroom! Local TV legend ChicAGoGo and a special musical guest join us to celebrate our 100th workshop. Kid-friendly, costumes strongly encouraged. [RSVP]

March 14th, 2019: Local Legend Films founder Jayme Joyce, restorative justice practitioner Mashaun Ali Hendricks, and LLF employees lead a discussion on integrating restorative justice practices into their workplace. [RSVP]

March 7th, 2019: South Side Weekly Editor in Chief Adam Przylbyl leads a workshop on the basics of fact-checking. [RSVP]

February 28th, 2019: Reform For Illinois, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization, has been closely watching the campaign finance trends in the Chicago mayoral race. Join Executive and Policy Directors Mary Miro and Alisa Kaplan for a discussion on the role money plays in the municipal elections.

February 21st, 2019: Over 52,000 Chicagoans participated in the #VoteEquity project to set a racial equity agenda for our next elected leaders. Now Niketa Brar of Chicago United for Equity is here to talk about the process, and go over a racial equity voter guide. [RSVP]

February 14th, 2019: Esta semana, nos vamos a La Villita. Juntos con South Side Weekly y El Foro del Pueblo, discutiremos cuáles temas les importan a los residentes del barrio, y cómo se puede asegurar que los concejales cumplan con los deseos de la comunidad. [RSVP]

February 7th, 2019: We’re at the Austin Family Community Center this week with a team of reporting fellows to discuss their people-powered voter guide, published in the Austin Weekly News. Let’s talk about what issues Austin residents face and where local candidates stand on them. [RSVP]

January 31st, 2019: It’s too cold out—stay in and we’ll see you next week!

January 24th, 2019: What is a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) and how can we plan them? Swing by Gallery 345 in Garfield Park to hear from our panel of community organizations across the city, including Garfield Park Community Council, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) and Alliance of the Southeast. [RSVP]

January 17th, 2019: We’re off!

January 10th, 2019: Want to learn how you can help us keep local government accountable? This week we’re launching our web app Join us at the Michigan Ave. Apple store to learn about our program and how to get involved! [RSVP]

January 3rd, 2019: Editorial Director Bettina Chang and Documenters Field Coordinator India Daniels share out what we found after we paid people to interview friends about the elections. Plus, Documenters Cordell Longstreath and Dave Glowacz reflect on their experience leading these interviews. [RSVP]

December 27th, 2018: We’re off! Happy holidays on behalf of everyone at City Bureau!

December 20th, 2018: City Bureau reporters Danielle Scruggs, Davon Clark, and Mari Cohen will share their findings that they have been researching for the past two months and are here to listen to your stories about your commutes— what’s working, where are areas for improvement, and what you want transportation officials to know about your experiences. [RSVP]

December 13th, 2018: Editorial Director Bettina Chang leads an ‘Ask the Editor’ session to answer all your questions about developing, pitching, and writing op-eds. [RSVP]

December 6th, 2018: 2018 was quite a big year for Chicago, and an even bigger year for the Reader—including changes in ownership, shifts in leadership, and an entirely new home on the South Side. Their editorial staff tell us how they plan to move ahead.

November 29th, 2018: Youth from Mikva Challenge and Cause the Effect join us for our final curated newsroom. They’ll discuss their perspectives on how their unique contributions build on the legacy of Chicago activism, and what they will pass down as ancestors to future generations. [RSVP]

November 14th, 2018: Mike Rispoli and James Thompson of media and tech advocacy organization Free Press help us reimagine how public funds could rebuild local news. [RSVP]

November 8th, 2018: Rayshauna Gray, author and Public Newsroom guest curator, interviews actress, writer, and Black Owned Chicago founder Tanikia Carpenter. [RSVP]

November 1st, 2018: Guest Public Newsroom curator and author of The Battle of Lincoln Park Daniel Kay Hertz is in conversation with Young Lords Organization founder José Cha Cha Jiménez. [RSVP]

October 25th, 2018: ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ reporters Melissa Sanchez and Elliot Ramos present their work on Chicago’s inequitable traffic ticketing system. [RSVP]

October 18th, 2018: We’re taking a break from the newsroom this week to bring you our biggest party of the year, the Soap Box Ball. Come for our lineup of amazing local storytellers L. Anton Seals Jr., Jane Beachy, Kristiana Rae Colón, and stay to build a brighter future for local media. [Get your tickets]

October 11th, 2018: South Side artist Norman Long leads a soundwalk through Woodlawn, then talks about his work and the relationship between sound, art, and journalism. [RSVP]

October 4, 2018: With the support of the Joyce Foundation and the help of community partners, the Urban Institute researchers conducted in-person interviews with 345 young adults in November 2017 and February 2018. Their findings are being presented to the public for the first time at this week’s Public Newsroom. [RSVP]

September 27, 2018: Do you want to learn how to make a FOIA request, but are unsure where to begin? Join Chicago Tribune reporter Jennifer Smith Richards and Free Our Info founder Matt Chapman for a workshop that will cover all FOIA basics. [RSVP]

September 20, 2018: Illinois Campaign for Political Reform Executive Director Mary Miro and Policy Director Alisa Kaplan are in the newsroom to share their work on money in politics, government ethics, gender equity, and improving voter access and turnout. [RSVP]

September 13, 2018: City Bureau fellows Erisa Apantaku, Olivia Cunningham, Tonia Hill, and Arabella Breck have been looking at Black generational wealth in Chicago and the discriminatory policies that stifle its growth. Join them as they try to answer the question: what is Black wealth, and what does it mean to us? [RSVP]

September 6, 2018: Have you ever tried to show someone the impact of injustice and left feeling frustrated or defeated? Niketa Brar, Executive Director and Co-founder of Chicago United for Equity, leads a workshop on reframing conversations about racism to be productive for all. 

August 30, 2018: One year ago, an experimental court on Chicago’s West Side using peace circles instead of judges and juries opened its doors. This week, City Bureau fellows Sarah Conway and Jenny Casas, and Free Spirit Media The Real Chi criminal justice reporter Elijah Walker give us a look into this unique court after a year in operation. 

August 23, 2018: Chalkbeat Chicago and Chicago Public Schools Student Voice and Activism Fellows join us at Mikva Challenge's office downtown to discuss: how can we best report on education in the city?

August 16, 2018: Coya Paz, Artistic Director of Free Street Theater and recipient of ProPublica Illinois' Engagement Challenge Award leads our 74th Public Newsroom with ProPublica Engagement Reporter Logan Jaffe. The two talk about their community engagement across the state and lead us through co-designing our own workshops. 

August 9, 2018: Patricia Fron of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance and Kate Walz of the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law present on their new report on the way aldermanic prerogative is used to keep Chicago segregated. 

August 2, 2018: Erisa Apantaku, Executive Producer of South Side Weekly Radio, walks us through the basics of interviewing for radio. 

July 26, 2018: 90 days, 90 Voices reporters and artists lead a discussion on how to tell stories of immigration together at Azúcar ice cream shop in Little Village. L

July 19, 2018: How do we do the work across race and class to fundraise movements for justice? Crossroads Fund staff and Giving Project alumni talk raising money for grassroots movements outside traditional philanthropy.

July 12, 2018: We're teaming up with Block Club Chicago and the Journalism + Design program at The New School in New York to facilitate conversation around the question, "how should we report on crime in Chicago?"

June 28, 2018: Co-founder and Community Engagement Director Andrea Hart leads a brand new Documenters workshop on documenting and live-tweeting public meetings. 

June 21, 2018: Aviva Rosman of BallotReady presents data on how voters used their website for the 2018 Illinois primary, and then turns it to us: what kind of information to we want to know as voters?

June 7, 2018: Author, advocate, and police misconduct attorney Andrea Ritchie and Invisible Institute data researcher Trina Reynolds-Tyler talk about how the press and activists often leave out women and queer people of color from stories on police violence, and what we can do to change that. 

May 31, 2018: The Trace writer Brian Freskos and editor Akoto Afori-Atta show us how to use online data tools that provide a look at gun trafficking and gun crime in Illinois.  

May 24, 2018: This week, we're bringing together journalist mothers to discuss burnout and discrimination in the newsroom. Freelancer Bia Medious, Univision's Teri Arvesu, and WBEZ's Sarah Karp join a panel moderated by Mikva Challenge's Michelle Morales.

May 17, 2018: Sadé Carpenter of RedEye, Jacqueline Serrato of Hoy, and Abel Uribe of the Tribune talk about organizing the Chicago Tribune Guild, and what next steps are for the union. 

May 10, 2018: CPS Student Voice and Activism Fellows present their reporting and talk about combatting adultism in schools. 

May 3, 2018: Founder and Head of Development of OTV | Open Television Aymar Jean Christian walks you through developing and pitching your own TV Show. Plus: A special screening of "Hair Story," an OTV series in development. 

April 26, 2018: Take a look inside a community radio program with Erisa Apantaku and Olivia Obineme of South Side Weekly Radio. They'll be talking about what it takes to run the show, and then turn it to you: what kind of radio coverage do you want for the South Side?

April 12, 2018: Art Leaders of Color Network Co-founder Felicia Holman facilitates a conversation around avoiding tone-deaf art reviews, training a future generation of art critics, and unlearning racist frameworks. 

April 5, 2018: The Coalition to End Money Bond present their recently-released report, "Monitoring Cook County's Central Bond Court: A community Court-watching Initiative." They'll be sharing their findings, leading activities to explore the data, and sharing ways to get involved in the fight to end the use of money bond and pretrial incarceration. 

March 29, 2018: Filmmakers Theresa CampagnaIsaura Flores and Laurie Little will take their 2017 documentary, "Why We March," as a point of departure for a broader discussion on what intersectional feminist media looks like. 

March 22, 2018: City Bureau Co-Founder and Director of Community Engagement Andrea Hart will be leading a Documenters training on covering public meetings. 

March 15, 2018: WBEZ Curious City producer Jesse Dukes has been working, alongside a cross-country team of radio makers, on an audio project that documents the presidency from the point of view of ordinary people whose lives may be affected by the current administration. Jesse will be leading a conversation on the challenges of representation after a preview of the pilot episode, Angel + Derek

March 8, 2018: The Chicago Data Collaborative will be in the newsroom to get feedback from community organizers, reporters, and others on the challenges and opportunities that come with using criminal justice data, both in newsrooms and on the ground. 

March 1, 2018: Policy analyst and writer Daniel Kay Hertz shares the progress made on his book, The Battle of Lincoln Park, which examines the neighborhood's gentrification mid-20th Century. Attendees will have a chance to give feedback to Hertz's book before he submits the final manuscript as well as learn how to use archival resources to better understand the history of community conflict.

February 22, 2018: ProPublica Illinois' Jason Grotto and Sandhya Kambhampati walk through their reporting on the Cook Country property tax system, then shift to a community conversation about what it means for it to be broken, and how it’s supposed to really work.

February 15, 2018: Chicago in Arabic founders Anwar Jebran and Malek Abdulsamad present the story of how they started Chicago in Arabic, share where the platform will go next, and lead a discussion on how best to reach non-English-speaking populations.

February 1, 2018: What would you like to know about the way Illinois' government works? Help Ellen Mayer, formerly of Curious City and Hearken, design her new podcast on the topic, Illinoise

January 25, 2018: Better Government Association attorneys walk through everything you need to know about making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and appealing if those requests are denied. 

January 18, 2018: With input from City Bureau, the Center for Media Engagement surveyed a representative sample of 900 Chicagoans to explore the attitudes toward, and preferences for, Chicago news media across three regions—and we'll present this new study live. (Twitter thread) (Full CME report

January 11, 2018: What does it look like to have a youth-led newsroom centered around solutions journalism? Our partners at Free Spirit Media's Real Chi Youth program are hosting a Public Newsroom takeover this week. Join us at FSM's headquarters, the Homan Square. (Video Livestream)

December 21, 2017: City Bureau's Fall Reporting Fellows Lee GainesBashirah Mack and Charles Preston have been digging into Medicaid, state health care policy and the current Illinois budget impasse, and we invite you to join us for a community-centered dialogue about how Illinois arrived at this point and how people can access the resources that are readily available. (Twitter thread) (Worksheet) (Article)

December 14, 2017: As part of their popular education series, People's Lobby USA will lead a discussion on the racial and economic injustice of pre-trial money bail in the Circuit Court of Cook County through first-person role playing as a court watcher. 

December 7, 2017: City Bureau co-founder and Chicago magazine digital editor Bettina Chang hosts a frank "Ask Me Anything" workshop on newsroom transparency, the role of the news editor and the future of news media. (Audio)

November 30, 2017: Carl West, founder of TBTnews, explains how his daily South Side-based newsletter grew from 2,000 subscribers in 2010 to 65,000 subscribers today.

November 16, 2017: City Bureau Documenters Training: Social Media

November 2, 2017: The Soap Box Ball! (Medium post) (Photos from the event)

October 26, 2017: How does the Chicago Police Department track its information, and why does it matter? The team behind the Citizens Police Data Project (CPDP) invites you to dig into their working prototypes and explore a new world of data about police interactions with the public in Chicago. (explore CPDP)

October 19, 2017: Jenn Stanley walks us through the basics of reporting on reproductive rights with a focus on abortion. Stanley is the senior staff reporter at Rewire. (Audio)

October 12, 2017: How do we ensure local media that is committed to the public is also supported by the public? Join us and the Membership Puzzle for a unique chance to give feedback on our newly launched membership program—The Press Club.

October 5, 2017: This week’s Public Newsroom is dedicated to unpacking child welfare in Illinois from various sides of the issue—including understanding family’s rights, trauma and more—co-designed by Illinois Humanities and Kaleidoscope. (Audio)

September 21, 2017: Join City Bureau Summer 2017 fellows, Jenny Simeone-CasasSarah Conway and Resita Cox, for a discussion of what role community can play in alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system. (Read the team's latest piece)

September 14, 2017: One month ago, we hosted The CivicLab at our Public Newsroom for a primer on Chicago's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund. Today, we invite them back to follow up with a deep dive into the latest city-issued TIF report. (Data)

August 31, 2017: Chicago media is in a moment of transition—so we brought together journalists Scott SmithSheila Solomon and Blanca Rios and the public together to talk the successes, failures and needs for a thriving local media ecosystem (Audio) (Blog post)

August 24, 2017: Val Free, Executive Director of The Planning Coalition, speaks on the dynamic community activism that reflects her passion for building strong communities at "Organizing Human Capital on the South Side"

August 10, 2017: The Chicago Architecture Foundation's Gabriel Lyon brings her organization's civic-oriented graphic novel "Make No Small Plans" to the Public Newsroom to discuss the role of civic engagement in the city.

August 3, 2017: We explore the challenges and opportunities in Chicago's Spanish-language media landscape in partnership with Yollocalli, with Maricela GarciaJessica Fernandez of Univision, Franky Piña of El Beisman, Jesus del Toro of La Raza, and Rocio Santos of Vocalo.

July 27, 2017: The Center for Investigative Reporting's Stan Alcorn stops by from the West Coast for a workshop on audio storytelling courtesy of CIR's Reveal podcast team.

July 20, 2017: Detroit-based journalist and Outlier Media founder Sarah Alvarez explores Chicago public service request data for a deep dive into "what the city wants covered" via Freedom of Information Act requests.

July 13, 2017: Independent journalist Adeshina Emmanuel and City Bureau co-founder Darryl Holliday present City Bureau's #FOPtracker website along with new reporting from Emmanuel on Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police for In These Times.

July 6, 2017: Tom Tresser, founder of The CivicLab joins us for a primer and deep dive into the past, present and future of Chicago's Tax Increment Finance system. (Audio) (Slideshow)

June 29, 2017: Former New York Times Survey Editor Marjorie Connelly breaks down the art of polling before and after the 2016 election.

June 22, 2017: City Bureau Documenters Orientation.

June 15, 2017: (Chicago treasure) Dr. Timuel Black and author/educator Audrey Petty host a conversation on the art of oral history. (Medium)

June 8, 2017: City Bureau's Spring 2017 West Side reporting fellows host "Reimagining the Industrial West Side" at Inspiration Kitchens in Austin—a hands-on workshop with West Side residents culminating in an archival report with Read/Write Library. (Website) (*Visit Read/Write Library to view our printed report*)

May 25, 2017: Scrappers Film Group presents a rough cut of "Closing de Facto," the group's latest documentary on the crisis at Chicago State University—in partnership with City Bureau and Illinois Humanities at the Chicago Cultural Center

May 11, 2017: Englewood-based photographer Tonika Johnson on shifting narratives, challenging stereotypes and "who tells the story of Englewood." (Medium 1) (Medium 2)

May 4, 2017: Chicago's newest publication for and by black millennials, The TRiiBE, screen their latest film "Another Life"—a docupoetry series on trauma and life in Chicago after violence. (Storify)

April 27, 2017: How we report on immigration and asylum seekers with reporters from 90 Days, 90 Voices. (Medium)

April 20, 2017: Chicago Police in Chicago Public Schools with City Bureau alum Yana KunichoffVOYCECOFIMikva Challengeand Public Narrative. (Storify)

April 13, 2017: On "city-engineered conflict" with University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Stovall. (Storify)

April 6, 2017: Building digital communities to influence your newsroom with Angilee Shah of Public International Radio.

March 30, 2017: Interactive Podcasting with People-Powered Publishing Fellow Jordan Wirfs-Brock and Illinois Humanities.

March 23, 2017: Google facilitator Mike Reilley presents a day-long workshop on Google Tools. (Storify)

March 16, 2017: Micheal Block, programmer on We Are Chicago video game, and Ashlyn Sparrow, of Game Changer Design Lab, on games as storytelling. 

February 16, 2017: Independent journalists Adeshina Emmanuel and Jamie Kalven with attorney Sheila Bedi on decoding Chicago's police union contract.

February 9, 2017: DataMade's Jean Cochrane and Hannah Cushman on data journalism 101.

February 2, 2017: Chicago Reader reporter Maya Dukmasova on covering public housing in Chicago.

January 19, 2017: WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton on her recent hour-long radio special, "The View from Room 205". (Facebook Live)

December 15, 2016: Invisible Institute staff preview new data on police use of force in Chicago.

December 1, 2016: Chicago Reader critic Leor Galil on covering music, art and culture.

November 17, 2016: Chaclyn Hunt of the Invisible Institute on how, when and why you should file Freedom of Information Act request.

November 3, 2016: Writer, poet and Chicago-based sociologist Eve Ewing on media narratives and reporters can responsibly cover marginalized communities. (Facebook Live)