L3C discussion at Community Media Workshop

I’ll be joining John Plunkett and Thom Clark in a discussion about the new L3C business structure and how it could be useful to new media orgs on Friday, May 7. Stop by and join the discussion.

I hope you’ll be able to join us Friday when The Chicago Community Trust’s Community News Matters program and Community Media Workshop host an informational session to discuss the L3C model and how it might benefit new news organizations looking for a more flexible method of organizing that differs both from standard business
incorporation and 501c3 nonprofit status.

When: Friday, May 7; Coffee at 8:30; program from 9-10:30
Where: Room 401, 600 S. Michigan Ave. at Columbia College Chicago

We’ll discuss what an L3C is and why some new news journalists have
been exploring it. Harborquest CEO John Plunkett, whose nonprofit
helped initiate the enabling legislation that created L3Cs in the
state of Illinois and was the first to use the new status, will talk
about how to take advantage of L3C status and how it fits into the new
wave of “social venture investing” in Chicago. Journalist and media
expert Sally Duros will talk about special considerations for news

We hope you’ll join us to find out more about the new L3C model.

This event is free but please RSVP by emailing Maggie Walker at

Vivian Vahlberg
Project Director
Community News Matters

BGA awarded $60,000 from Chicago Community Trust

More to come…..

Better Government Association
To train volunteer “reporter monitors” to report on government meetings downtown and in Chicago’s neighborhoods for a new “Good Government Virtual Town Hall” Web site.

The Community News Matters program was spurred by a lead grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Community Information Challenge and is jointly funded by The Chicago Community Trust, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It seeks to increase the flow of truthful, accurate and insightful news and information in the region and spur development of new business models for news.

Here’s the press release from the CCT

Chicago Media Future Conference


Date: June 13
Where: Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema (1104 S. Wabash)
When: 1:30pm to 4:45pm.

You can register at the conference site.
I’ll be there and so will just about everybody else who cares about making a living in a Chicago newsroom.

Here’s what the organizers say….

The Conference

It’s probably a little pompous to call something “The Chicago Media Future Conference.” After all, who really can say for certain what the future holds for local print and online news publications? And yet, that’s the name we’ve chosen.

February’s Chicago Journalism Town Hall brought tremendous energy, intellectual curiosity and talent together in one room. The discussion sparked many conversations and ideas, online and offline, about a range of topics. Having been in on many of these discussions, we knew the desire for another event was palpable. So we (Mike Fourcher, Barbara Iverson and Scott Smith) decided to hold our own event focused on one of those discussion topics: How news coverage can successfully migrate to profitable on-line distribution. (See below for bios of all three organizers.)

The Chicago Media Future Conference will be held Saturday, June 13 at Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema (1104 S. Wabash) from 1:30pm to 4:45pm. The FREE event will consist of two 90-minute, moderated, five-person panels, with a 15 minute break in between. Each panel’s topic will be introduced by a 10-minute “scene-setting” informational presentation.

The organizers are Mike Fourcher, founder of Purely Political Consulting; Barbara Iverson, talker, blogger, teacher and analyst of all things citizen journalism and digital technology; and Scott Smith, a Senior Editor at Playboy.com.

L3Cs on Chicago Tonight

When the Chicago Sun-Times declared bankruptcy March 31, 2009, I discussed the future of Chicago’s newsrooms on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight with colleagues Chi-Town Daily News Editor Geoff Dougherty and Northwestern Digital Media Professor Owen Youngman. They made some great points about what is to come here and I made a few points about the L3C business model and the Chicago Newsroom of the Future. Here’s the clip.

I also mentioned the L3C and Chicago’s Newsrooms of the Future on a segment on ABC Channel 7 News.