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Introducing The Democracy Solutions Project Multimedia Series, From Chicago Public Media and the University of Chicago’s Center for Effective Government

Published: May 01 2023


Extended Series will Explore Issues Facing our Democracy in the Run-up to the 2024 Election

CHICAGO (May 1, 2023) – The countdown to the 2024 election has begun. In the 18 months leading up to the next election, Chicago Public Media and the University of Chicago’s Center for Effective Government (CEG) will collaborate on a significant initiative, The Democracy Solutions Project, to investigate and explore the critical issues facing democracy in the city, state and nation.

As part of the new multi-part, multimedia series kicking off today, each month, journalists from the WBEZ Chicago and Chicago Sun-Times newsrooms will dig into topics such as how government works; extremist factions in Illinois politics and government; the immigrant experience; corruption and money in politics; polarization and the impact on democracy; election integrity and security; and grassroots organizing. Chicago Public Media’s community engagement and podcast teams, as well as its music station Vocalo, will also participate with events, audio storytelling and music exploration. 

Over the next 18 months, Chicago Public Media and the CEG will engage communities in intimate conversations and explore places and people around the city, state, and world who are doing the work to strengthen democracy through greater voter participation, access, education and civic engagement. 


“As a community-supported news organization, we have the responsibility to help our community understand the issues at stake for our democracy, especially during a pivotal election season,” said Tracy Brown, chief content officer for Chicago Public Media.  “Over the next year and a half, we will use the power of our news platforms to dive into it head on by sharing stories across digital, broadcast, print, events and conversations with our community.”

In addition to regular reporting and storytelling from WBEZ and the Sun-Times, faculty experts, affiliated practitioners, and other partners from the Center for Effective Government will weigh in on the conversation and connect with policymakers, thought leaders and political leaders.

“Our charge at the Center for Effective Government is to uplift the most promising ideas for reform, in service of fortifying our democratic institutions at every level,” said William Howell, director of CEG and professor at the University of Chicago. “By partnering with a trusted platform for cutting-edge reporting, analysis, and engagement in Chicago Public Media, we hope to pave a new road to the 2024 election – one that leaves Chicagoans more informed, more prepared, and more conscious of how we might work together to strengthen our democracy.” 

The Democracy Solutions Project marks the second collaboration between Chicago Public Media and the Center for Effective Government, a nonpartisan academic initiative to strengthen democratic institutions and improve the capacity of government to solve public problems by bringing together partners and stakeholders from research, government, advocacy, and media. 

In 2021, the two organizations partnered on the Re-Imagine Chicago series to look at how government and institutions work - or don’t work - in the City of Chicago.


About the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government

The University of Chicago Center for Effective Government (CEG) is a nonpartisan academic initiative that aims to strengthen democratic institutions and improve the capacity of government to solve public problems. Founded in 2019 at the Harris School of Public Policy, CEG works to solve the problems of government ineffectiveness with a multi-faceted theory of action. The Center builds bridges between its stakeholders—scholars, students, practitioners, leaders, journalists, and advocates—and organizes its work and activities around the key areas of ideas, education, and engagement.

About Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media is home to WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news source, which serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information. WBEZ’s award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. WBEZ Chicago is home to local and national news programming as well as a growing portfolio of popular podcasts.

In 2022, Chicago Public Media acquired the Chicago Sun-Times, forming one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the nation. Winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes, the Chicago Sun-Times is known for its hard-hitting investigative reporting, in-depth political coverage, timely behind-the-scenes sports analysis, and insightful entertainment and cultural coverage. 

Together under the banner of Chicago Public Media, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times reach more than 2 million people a day in the Chicago area across broadcast, print, and digital platforms.