Big budget, little lives

So you’re reporting on the city budget. Big dollars. Big changes. Big moves for new administration.

How do you get a handle on such a big story?

You want to  show too how this touches lives. Which lives?

The ones losing jobs, or paying more for what was once much cheaper, or the ones who wonder if they can get by with less help from the city?

Don Terry of the Chicago News Coop narrowed the focus of his reporting and told about one group from one community and about the loss they feared from the closing of mental health clinics. But it was also a story that gave some history about how communities’ stand up for what they need and sometimes win, and also lose. A story about pride and legacies and, in this case, diverse folks working togther – an important message these days.

Here’s his story.

It’s a very good example of focusing on what you think matters for the people you write about. For Chicago’s black and latino and immigrant communities and their news outlets, this is your story and it will not go away. Focus on needs and services and keep the focus as local and pertinent and human as possible.

I hope Don keeps his eye on this story and others like it and if I can help anyone figure out some good ways to do this as well, please let me know.



flyer from Southside Together Organizing for Power

Inside the City Hall Sit-In – Chicago News Cooperative



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