The Chicago Reader

creates and curates political and cultural coverage by and for Chicago, including highlighting underrepresented communities and stories.

We reinvest all of our profits to achieve sustainability, grow our reach, and ensure the fulfillment of our mission.

About Us

The Chicago Reader

has been a fearless, innovative, and nationally respected media voice in Chicago for over 50 years. In print every other week and daily online, we are tastemakers, incisive critics, and agenda-setters. Our readers look to us for what’s new, what’s now, what’s next, and depend on us to hold local government accountable — not take sides.

In 2020, the Chicago Reader received 501(c)3 nonprofit status from the IRS for its Reader Institute for Community Journalism. We are community-supported, and we could not be more proud of our equitable approach to community coverage, staffing, and vendor supply. We’ve got fresh talent and fresh energy, and we’re thrilled to continue to deliver our unflagging, unfiltered take on Chicago.

We are the Reader. We are Chicago. And we speak Chicago.

Editorial Independence

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Donor Transparency

We are committed to transparency in funding our organization. Accepting financial support from individuals or groups does not mean we endorse donor products, services, or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals, organizations, and foundations to support our ongoing free journalism.
Our news judgments are made completely independently and are not based on or influenced by donors.
Supporters do not have the right to assign, review, or edit content.

We will make public all donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials, or candidates actively seeking public office.

Chicago Reader Champions

Funders who have given $5,000 or more per year.


  • Leonard C. Goodman
  • Elzie Higgenbottom
  • Eileen Rhodes
  • David Hiller


  • The Chicago Foundation for Women
  • The Chicago Community Trust
  • City University of New York Center for Community Media
  • The Democracy Fund
  • The Donnelley Foundation
  • The Google News Initiative
  • Facebook
  • The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust
  • The Field Foundation
  • The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation
  • The MacArthur Foundation
  • The McCormick Foundation
  • The Polk Bros. Foundation
  • The Local Media Association
  • Solutions Journalism Network