Rogers Park Residents gather to discuss local paper

On Thursday, March 6, 6:45pm  at the Rogers Park Chicago Public Library,   Rogers Park residents, community leaders and business owners got to voice their opinion  about what they would like to see in their local newspaper, the News-Star.  The discussion  panel included Dan Haley, Publisher, Lorraine Swanson, Editor and Helen Karakoudas, Managing Editor.   The event was sponsored by the West Rogers Park Community Organization, West Ridge Chamber of Commerce, DevCorp North and Partners for Rogers Park.

The News-Star, which has been the community paper encompassing Rogers Park, Edgewater and Uptown since the 1930’s, was published as part of the Lerner Newspaper Chain.    The paper  was recently in  danger of becoming defunct when  in a last-minute act  last January, it was purchased by the Oak Park Wednesday Journal News Company, along with two other Pioneer-Press publications.  Now a new paper with a fresh start, Publisher and Editors  are eager to hear about what the people want to read.

A lively discussion between the paper leaders and Rogers Park residents ensued over several news feature  possibilities as well as changes to existing ones.     A few of these discussions included the Police Blotter, advertising and  sports.   Many residents felt that too much crime was being reported, while many felt  that there was not enough reporting. Haley said that if  the paper felt that it was serious enough, then it  should be reported.    Residents can also go to the CAPS website, www.caps24.org or attend a CAPS meeting to  be informed about area incidents.   Residents can be assured that  a high school sports section, a widely popular feature, can be expected soon.   One resident  pointed out  that the only real estate advertising recently  featured was  that of real estate in other neighborhoods.   Haley explained that due to the lack of an Advertising Editor, there was not much advertising of any kind, and that would change soon.   Some of the other features Rogers Park residents discussed included letters to the editor, local editorials, essays, and an editorial cartoonist.   Something very important to some was promised:  The New York Times Crossword Puzzle.   Haley emphasized the importance of diversity and reporting stories on all of the ethnic groups that make  up Rogers Park.   He said that although the paper has no plans to publish the News-Star in any language other than English, it is open to a future possibility.

The News-Star is continuously expanding  its dropoff locations,  but if you are unable to locate a paper, you can view it  online at chicagojournal.com.

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