Illinois Press Foundation news service to provide free coverage of state government

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Press Foundation is launching a statehouse news service that will provide year-round coverage of the state Legislature, governor and state agencies. The service will include stories, photos, videos, live streams, audio and graphics that will be offered for free to daily and weekly newspapers and broadcasters throughout Illinois.

“Having been a daily newspaper editor in Illinois for most of the past 20-plus years, I know the difficulties that resource-strapped newsrooms across the state face in trying to cover state government for their readers in addition to reporting on local news,” said Jeff Rogers, director of the Illinois Press Foundation. “This capitol news bureau will provide all of our papers with high-quality, free and nonpartisan coverage of state government.

“We aim to inject new life into the statehouse press corps, with more people covering more news. This will help newspapers, other media and the public who now are less engaged in following their state government to re-engage productively.”

The news service is supported by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

The Illinois Press Foundation is beginning the process by searching for a bureau chief who will run the day-to-day operations of the news service. The bureau chief will also be a news service reporter, and will provide daily coverage budgets to Illinois Press Association members. You can access the job posting here.

Soon after, reporters and University of Illinois at Springfield interns will be added to the news team. The Foundation plans to have the news service operating in time for the legislative veto session in November.

“One of our objectives will be to work with editors across the state to deliver coverage that fits their needs,” Rogers said. “Localization, to serve as the newspapers’ boots on the ground in Springfield, is an important part of this effort.”

If you have any questions about the news service, please email Rogers at jrogers@illinoispress.org, or call him at 217-241-1300.