My parents got the Hyde Park Herald delivered when I was a kid on the South Side, and now I get it delivered to my home. It's a part of my regular engagement with my neighbors and neighborhood. The partnership of these two great community newspapers is a way to ensure that the Herald continues to publish for another 140 years, and it's a way to strengthen local journalism and our city. Those are the reasons I joined the board of the South Side Weekly.

Ben Austen, Board Member

Journalist, author of High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing and cohost of Some of My Best Friends Are podcast

Publishing the South Side Weekly in its earliest years I got to witness, firsthand, how a community newspaper could change narratives about communities, and give rise to a community of engaged and talented journalists and artists. Seeing the Weekly come together with a storied neighborhood institution like the Hyde Park Herald is so deeply exciting – for the neighborhood and city we love, and the future of local journalism. This merger means a stronger, more accessible infrastructure for local journalism on the South Side, and I can’t wait to see the community grow again.

Harry Backlund, Board Secretary

Co-Executive Director, City Bureau

When we moved to Hyde Park in the 1970s, I’m certain that subscribing to the Hyde Park Herald was one of the first tasks our parents completed. I cannot remember a time when the paper was not delivered to our home – as reliable as snowstorms in January – and it was read and engaged immediately. Today, the Herald and South Side Weekly are my local must-reads – I cannot do without either. I’m thrilled about the promise of this new partnership, and heartened about new ways that will emerge to build community, support dialogue, and push for justice. 

Jill Petty, Board Chair

Editor, educator, cofounder of The Clearing School 

The South Side Weekly has flourished, in part, due to seeds planted by the Hyde Park Herald in 1882 and its approach to hyperlocal journalism. Over the course of its 140 year history, the Herald has elevated community voices, expanded its vision of newsworthiness, and has been the connective fabric of one of the most diverse communities in Chicago. As recent times have reminded us all that we can go further if we travel together, I can think of nothing more apropos, more exciting, or more promising in community reporting than the merging of these two great institutions of journalism.

Kirstin Williams Smith, Board Member

Community developer and equity advocate

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