The collaboration between ILLN and the WBEZ Community Engagement team will provide an opportunity to produce programming together that elevates the visibility and voices of Chicago’s diverse communities, with its first community event planned for the end of March.
“In our mission we state that our role is to ‘serve and inform the public and connect diverse audiences by telling stories that matter,’” said Tracy Brown, Chief Content Officer for WBEZ Chicago. “This new partnership with Illinois Latino News is an opportunity to do just that. We’re looking forward to working with ILLN to engage with diverse communities across Chicago to understand the issues impacting their daily lives.”
Hugo Balta, Owner and Publisher of ILLN, commented on the partnership, saying, “Now, more than ever, it is crucial for local news outlets to listen to the needs of the public they serve in helping shape the content we produce. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with WBEZ on an initiative that brings our newsrooms into the neighborhoods of the people of Chicago, to be with them, where they live.”
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Black and Latino communities. On March 30, WBEZ and Illinois Latino News are hosting Community Conversation: COVID-19, a virtual town hall to discuss the impact of the pandemic on Latinos on the city’s Northwest Side. Future events throughout the year are planned to be on-site in different locations.
The public will shape the programming of the March event. A survey will ask respondents about their experience dealing with the COVID-19 crisis as we near the second anniversary of the outbreak; questions will include how health care leaders and government officials have managed the pandemic and changes they would like to see.
About WBEZ Chicago
WBEZ is Chicago’s NPR news source and one of the largest and most respected public media stations in the country, serving the community with fact-based, objective news and information. WBEZ’s award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. In addition to its local and national news programming, WBEZ Chicago is home to a growing portfolio of popular podcasts, including the “Making” series of Making Beyoncé, Making Obama and Making Oprah; an investigative podcast series, Motive; 16 Shots: A podcast about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald; Nerdette; and Curious City. WBEZ Chicago has a legacy of innovation as the birthplace of nationally acclaimed programs such as This American Life, and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and the ground-breaking podcast, Serial.
The online news publication ILLatinoNews.com is one of five independent statewide coverage, Hispanic-Latino editorial focus English language news, and information websites under the ownership and leadership of nationally recognized journalist and media advocate, Hugo Balta.
ILLN’s mission is to provide greater visibility and voice to Hispanics-Latinos in Illinois – an underrepresented community in mainstream newsrooms and news coverage.