After a 3-month “hiatus,” the parent organization of The Chicago Reporter, an award-winning journal focusing on race and poverty, announced an interim editor and publisher on Monday [Dec. 14]. He is Glenn Reedus, who has worked in Chicago journalism for years.
The Rev. Dr. Waldrina Middleton, Executive Director of the Community Renewal Society, who abruptly fired the last editor and publisher in September and suspended publication, cited Reedus’s background in her announcement:
“Glenn comes to the Reporter with decades of experience as a journalist, with deep roots as a reporter at The Chicago Defender, Ebony Magazine and the Chicago Crusader covering Black and Brown neighborhoods and issues like police brutality, poverty and politics.”
He is a former Executive Editor of the Defender and was Managing Editor of the Crusader from 2010 to 2014. The legendary Defender ceased print publication and went all-digital a year and a half ago.
More recently, Reedus has been running DePriest Voters Chronicles and Beyond, a site he founded, to provide civics education, including voter information and ways to contact aldermen, to residents of Chicago’s predominantly Black wards.
Middleton said that early next year, CRS “will convene an Advisory Table” to recommend how the Reporter “can best continue to fulfill its mission of confronting racial and economic inequality through the power of independent investigative journalism.” Reedus has no apparent background in investigative journalism, nor are there any journalists left in his newest newsroom. Her statement said this group “of fellow journalists and community stakeholders” would also consult on selecting a permanent editor and publisher.
The alliance formed by Chicago Reporter alumni to protest its closing responded immediately, wishing Reedus well, offering their help if requested and noting the daunting challenges he faces:
“He must hire a staff of reporters and other personnel; fulfill The Chicago Reporter’s commitment to collaborations with other news organizations, and initiate investigations and data projects,” they said in their statement.
Reedus could not be reached for comment before deadline, but lists no such major projects in his Linked in profile.
Middleton, they said, “has not revealed her vision” for the Reporter, “which has had a major impact on social justice in Chicago for decades and would mark its 50th anniversary in 2022.”
“As the Reporter’s alumni,” they wrote, “we look forward to working with the Community Renewal Society in its search for a permanent – and editorially independent – Editor and Publisher.”
Updates on their efforts can be found at:
Savethechicagoreporter.com and on Twitter @SaveTCR
A veteran journalist and professor, Nancy Day’s first Big City newspaper job was at the Chicago Sun-Times. She was assigned a desk next to “Parson Larson” the religion reporter. Long after Day moved to California to work for AP, Roy Larson became McDermott’s hand-picked successor as editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter. Day was a consultant to the Reporter for four months in 2017-18, after taking a buyout from Columbia College Chicago. She now lives in Massachusetts.