We’ve got one more week to go before the inaugural #SaveChicagoMedia campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 5, and I speak for at least two* of the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA) partners when I say: Y’all kick ass.

Thanks to your generosity, we’ve raised more than $42,000 for 43 independent newspapers, radio stations, podcasts, email newsletters, websites and more. You can find the full list of CIMA partners here.

I’m humbled by the support CIMA has gotten from hundreds of individual donors, and by the foundation support that has created a matching fund of $60,000. That means every dollar we raise up to $60,000 will be matched. Which means if you donate $10 to Rebellious, it magically becomes $20. If you give $100 to be split between all CIMA partners, BAM!, it’s $200. If you want to donate your stimulus check to making sure indie media can continue speaking truth to power, that’s $2,400 that will keep ensuring the stories that matter most to you get told.

I’ve always tried to be transparent about Rebellious’ finances, including the fact that I largely fund it myself and that our freelance rates—while modest—are still higher than what some of your favorite national websites pay writers. For us, every $25 is another insightful book recommendation, every $50 is another essay on a topic that makes you laugh or feel a little less alone, every $75 answers a sex or relationship question you didn’t know who else to ask, and every $100 is a feature story introducing you to an artist, cultural event, or window into a new world.

Image by Dennis Kelly of the Chicago Music Guide and Amber Huff of the Chicago Reader


This campaign came together quickly, as I explained in my first letter, and I also want to thank my CIMA colleagues who have written articles, sent newsletters, done and conducted interviews, and otherwise used their platforms to promote each other. Thank you for believing, as we do, that we’re stronger together.

And a shout-out to Chicago Reader publisher Tracy Baim for promising to carry out a variety of increasingly embarrassing (to her) stunts if we hit certain fundraising milestones, including: wearing a dress, makeup and high heels, and getting drunk for the first time in her life. I appreciate your sacrifice for the greater good, Tracy. Also, OMG, I can’t wait to see this.

Click here to donate (double!) to #SaveChicagoMedia.

In Rebellion,

*The Chicago Reader (where I’m co-editor in chief) and Rebellious (where I’m the founder)

Photo by Matthew Henry


Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...