About Us

CU-CitizenAccess is a community online news and information project devoted to investigative and enterprise coverage of social, justice and economic issues in east central Illinois.

Through its website and social networks, CU-CitizenAccess offers the opportunity for members of the community - including citizens, journalists, and university students - to share news and information, raise and discuss important issues, and suggest solutions. The project also serves as a platform for new and innovative journalism techniques and practices.

The project is run by the Journalism Department of the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.The project began with funding from the Marajen Stevick Foundation and the University of Illinois and a matching grant from the John S. Knight and James L. Knight Foundation. The local firm OJC Technologies helped create the website.

The project works with Illinois Public Media in Urbana, Illinois, and The News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois, as well as Hoy Chicago, which is a Spanish-language newspaper. Faculty and students from the Journalism Department of the College of Media and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois contribute stories and content.

Journalism Department faculty members Brant Houston and Rich Martin oversee the project. Project staff members include reporters Pam Dempsey and graduate student and journalist Acton Gorton, who is the online administrator.

Like all online community news projects this is - and will be - a work in progress.

If you are interested in getting involved or in making a donation to CU-CitizenAccess, please contact Brant Houston at houstonb@illinois.edu.

To see a video about the beginnings of CU-CitizenAccess on our YouTube channel, please click here.