CIVIC MEDIA FAQ
Why does it make sense for Chicago to organize its digital-age civic infrastructure around its TV-age TV stations?
Because four decades into the digital age, most Chicagoans still turn to these stations for their local news, sports and weather. Granted, the Sun-Times and Tribune and some digital media provide in-depth reporting the the sound-bite coverage of most these stations can't begin to provide, these stations are the hub of political discourse in Chicago by virture of the size of the audiences they reach. What media guru Shelly Palmer said about network TV in 2006 remains true in 2022: Our experience tells us that the two are deeply intertwined. Even to the point of saying that the citywide violence that grips Chicago today is one inevitable outcome of the citywide reach of the violence-centered (as opposed to safety-centered) uses of the TV newscasts to which most Chicagoans turn for their daily local news, sports and weather. Chicago is ever going to address its systemic violence problem comprehensively and holistically, Historically, Chicago has insisted on addressing violence incrementally. ("How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.") The result? Utter disaster. Incremental Violence Reduction tactics have gotten Chicago to where its today: a crisis of citizenship and leadership leading a breakdown of law and order and citywide violence. Even though Chicago is manifestly media-driven city, Chicago's current, professedly "comprehensive" violence reduction strategy excludes the media of Chicago's digital-age public communications system from any role whatsoever in addressing the city's violence.
"Our definition of a large audience"? Absolutely. A truly prescient thought. And this definition is changing fast from an audience of consumers to an audience of citizen/consumers. The GM's of Chicago's six network TV stations may not be fully aware of this sea-change yet. When they are, they will be able to help make Chicago SAFE with civic programming that generates citywide audiences, thereby creating new profit centers for their stations. A few more CCM details. We're unincorporated. A volunteer group. Our program formats are public domain. Our work is sustained by non-deductible donations and consulting fees from organizations that value the input of the creators of the work you see at this website.