Illinois Newsletter

Dive Deeper Into Our Reporting

Each of our email newsletters are written by a ProPublica Illinois journalist, and we also republish each edition here online. One week, you may get a reporter’s take on what’s left out of a recent story. Another week, maybe you’ll read a Q&A between a reporter and a source on a particular topic. Sometimes, we may ask you to weigh in on a specific topic or issue. Your input can help fill gaps in our reporting, as well as shape what we cover and how we cover it. Regardless, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get a lonely, skeletal feed of headlines in your inbox. We’re all people here.

Check out the archive of newsletters on this page. If you really like something we’re doing on here — or really don’t — or if you have ideas that can help shape our newsletter, let us know. We’re all ears.

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Six Things We’ve Learned in Six Months

It’s our half-birthday.

Takeaways From Our First Free Street Theater Journalism Workshop

Here’s what we learned from our kickoff event in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Seeing Journalism Make a Difference in Election Results

Here’s to getting through the weeds, getting out to vote and the impact of local reporting. But our work isn’t over.

Getting to Know Illinois — And You

For a Chicago newbie, learning about a city begins with books, buildings and, especially, people. One thing I’ve figured out: I need a snow shovel.

We’ve Updated Our Campaign Widget to Better Help You Follow the Money

In the pricey Illinois governor’s race, it’s more important than ever.

She Owed $102,158.40 in Unpaid Tickets, but She’s Not in the Story

Still, we want to tell you a little bit about her, and about some of the other people we interviewed, because they helped inform our ticket debt investigation.

Bringing Theater and Investigative Reporters to You

Here are the places ProPublica Illinois and Free Street Theater will be visiting. Will we see you there?

How We Made Our Illinois Governor’s Campaign Finance Widget

It's the first of many experiments to reach our audience with useful, data-driven visual journalism.

We’re Going to Toulon

Join Free Street Theater — and us, of course — as we learn about Stark County.

Sometimes, Impact Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Claims from officials that they’re acting in response to a story need to be investigated, too.

A Chicago Cop’s Facebook Posts and a City’s Struggle With Racism

In 50 years, only one officer has been fired for abuse involving racial or ethnically biased language.

Watchdogging a Nonprofit Watchdog

How we identified the funders behind Project Six, and how you can dig into nonprofits, too.

Help Us Figure Out Where in Illinois to Take Our Theater-Journalism Project

ProPublica Illinois and Free Street Theater are gearing up for a new project about the news and information that impacts Illinoisans. Where should we go? What issues should we address? And will you host us?

How Does Journalism Work? Ask Us Questions. We Can Explain.

At ProPublica Illinois, we strive to be transparent about how our journalism gets done. But we can’t predict what you will find useful about it. So, tell us.

Calculating the Work Behind Our Work

Verifying 4,969 names. Driving 1,493 miles for interviews. Fact-checking 291 facts for one story … twice. Here are some hidden costs of our reporting.

Highlights From Our ‘Mediathing’ List So Far

We’re still on the hunt for ultra-specific ways Illinoisans get information about their communities. Here are a few that you’ve suggested.

Molly Parker on Growing Up in Southern Illinois

Molly Parker is a reporter at The Southern Illinoisan who’s been covering the housing and economic crisis in Cairo, Illinois, for the past two-and-a-half years.

I Spent Years Reporting on Chicago’s Property Tax System. Here’s What Got Me Out of the Weeds.

Behind all the technical terms and the statistics is a story about the simple concept of fairness.

Let’s Make a List of Useful ‘Mediathings’ in Illinois

Mom blogs. Prison newsletters. Neighborhood Facebook groups. Help us make a list of where Illinoisans get specific information.

I’ve Been Interviewing ProPublica Illinois Reporters. Here’s What I’ve Learned.

As an ‘Emerging Reporter’ fellow, each interview has taught me something new, challenged a preconceived belief or reinforced an idea about journalism.

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