Center Square Journal Moves to Monthly, Volunteer-Based Reporting
The local publication says it’s planning a "reboot campaign" to raise money from readers. It will now publish articles on a monthly basis using volunteer reporters.
Rather than folding, the Center Square Journal will undergo major changes, such as transforming into a monthly publication and relying on volunteer reporters, its owner announced Wednesday.
Mike Fourcher, owner and founder of CSJ, posted an announcement on his website titled, “Today We’re Rebooting Center Square Journal.” It outlines multiple changes planned to keep the online periodical alive.
“I'm excited to announce the Reboot of Center Square Journal,” Fourcher wrote. “We have some big plans that include some fresh blood, some editorial direction changes, some new services and an important 90 Day Reboot Campaign. As part of our Reboot, we're going be asking a lot of you in the coming months.”
The plan comes after announcing the need for a change on Jan. 10, followed by a community meeting on Jan. 30 to brainstorm ideas on how to stay afloat.
In his survival plan, Fourcher announced Lincoln Square resident Emily Young will replace him and become the online journal’s volunteer general manager. That’s combined with an already completed merger of CSJ and its sister site Roscoe View Journal. Both websites will now only be housed at CJS’ website.
But the largest change will be the publication's frequency and how much writers will be compensated. Fourcher said starting April 4, CSJ will move from a daily to a monthly publication, and while many of the writers will continue to report for the journal, they won’t be paid until the 90-day “reboot” is completed.
That campaign will run until May 30, Fourcher said, in hopes of raising $10,000 from readers and snagging 10,000 email subscribers.
“These numbers are important, since they make a big statement about what people in the community think of us,” Fourcher writes. “To meet them, we're going to be holding monthly volunteer events and we're planning a big bash fundraiser in late May. And yes, we're going to need a lot volunteers to get it done.”
Lastly, in the wake of EveryBlock shutting down its website, Fourcher announced he’s launching a community discussion area called CSJ Forums. It’s a free forum where people can post, similar to a discussion board.
With a large focus on volunteer work, CSJ is hosting a volunteer coordination meeting on March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the DANK Haus in Lincoln Square.
The event at 4740 N. Western Ave. will address specifically how readers can be part of the new monthly publication.