A hybrid news organization committed to public service journalism will begin producing coverage of the Chicago region next month. The Chicago News Cooperative, announced today by veteran newspaper editor James O’Shea, sealed a deal to produce coverage for Chicago editions of the New York Times twice a week. WTTW, a public TV station with a longstanding tradition of producing local news coverage, is a founding partner in the cooperative and will provide a home to the nonprofit during start-up. WBEZ, Chicago’s dominant public radio station, may also join the partnership. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is providing major funding to CNC during start-up; business plans call for the cooperative to solicit donations from individuals and other foundations, and to earn revenues through its partnership with the Times and other potential outlets [via Romensko].
UPDATE: In a memo announcing the CNC partnership to staff, WTTW President Dan Schmidt said the station is acting as a fiscal agent for the cooperative and will not tap any of its own revenues to support it. The CNC website Chicago Scoop, which is expected to go live early next year, will post content that is “highly Chicago and Illinois-focused,” Schmidt wrote. CNC staff writers and columnists will appear on WTTW broadcasts and their stories may also appear on WTTW.com.