CU-CitizenAccess is an online newsroom devoted to community and watchdog reporting by journalism students at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The newsroom focuses mostly on Champaign County and central Illinois, but produces occasional regional, national and international stories.

Many stories are data-driven and involve some of the latest reporting techniques, and the newsroom regularly produces interactive maps and other visualizations.

Through its website and social networks, CU-CitizenAccess also offers the opportunity for members of the community – including citizens and professional journalists – to share news stories,  information, raise and discuss important issues, and suggest solutions.

The newsroom is overseen by Brant Houston, the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the Journalism Department of the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dylan Tiger serves as the managing editor and assists students in reporting and preparing content for the web. He is also the online administrator.

The newsroom 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 newsroom works with Illinois Public Media in Urbana, Illinois, The Daily Illini, The News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois and other university newsrooms in the Midwest.

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

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