We use public newsrooms, listening sessions and brochures to transcend the boundaries of an online magazine, making space for a two-way conversation with our community. In doing so, we don’t assume our reporting matters to our community — we know it does, because they told us what information they needed, consulted during our reporting or collaborated with us during our project.
Through our water testing project, we helped 92 DePaul students test their tap water for unsafe lead levels. Through listening sessions and community conversations, we identified common questions among students, and began answering them in our water testing issue.
We also worked on collaborative reporting projects, combining 14 East’s online storytelling skill set with Radio DePaul’s audio production expertise to tell our stories better and more creatively.
Meanwhile, 14 East has continued to build our own award-winning podcast, 14 Speaks, published monthly issues and an annual print anthology, held professional development workshops open to all students and community members, and expanded our weekly newsletter.
What We Do
Leadership: Our staff of 16 includes five associate editors, multimedia editor, illustrator, two event planners, social media editor, assistant social media editor, director of development, engagement editor, managing editor, editor-in-chief and faculty advisor. We also have a staff writer program.
Community Engagement: One of our primary concerns as an online magazine is our involvement with our community. With each issue we produce, we strive to create not only an online resource open for education and discourse, but also to assemble events, newsrooms, and other outlets for our readers to discuss news, entertainment, and culture.
As an online media outlet, we understand that we’re in the midst of the digital age and news isn’t immune to the changes technology is bringing.. We work reimagine and innovate the way we use media and technology in our stories, aiming to use different mediums (from video and audio to photos, gifs, data visualization and illustrations) to better tell stories and inform our community.
In January 2018, we began our Public Newsroom series in collaboration with South Side journalism newslab City Bureau and DePaul’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Since then, we’ve held 10 public newsrooms and collaborated with the Better Government Association (BGA), The DePaulia, Radio DePaul, DePaul’s Office of Mission and Values and the print lab Latitude.
The goal of our Public Newsroom series is to bring reporters and the community together to talk about issues that affect them both, critique journalism, reimagine best practices and think critically about Chicago politics and culture.
Where Your Donation Goes
At 14 East, we pride ourselves on being a “scrappy” magazine. We dream big, and we make things work. We’re resourceful, flexible and creative — that’s how we have spent close to nothing on the 40 events we’ve hosted.
Our current budget is $1,000 from the College of Communication, plus website hosting and domain registration costs of about $250 a year. We’re thankful for the funding that has helped us build our magazine and community.
There are many more projects and stories that would be possible if we had more funding for our work — and we could improve the work we are doing, making it more beneficial for everyone involved.
14 East by the Numbers
- We have published over 519 stories
- Hosted 40 events since January 2017, including fundraisers, poetry nights, live storytelling events, panels, listening sessions, workshops and public newsrooms.
- Earned 48 awards — including 28 national and 20 regional. 17 of those awards won first place.
- Collaborated with 17 organizations, student and professional newsrooms, and university departments.
- Produced daily multimedia coverage of the 2019 Chicago Teachers Union strike, visiting picket lines at 5 community areas on the South and West sides.
- Earned a $1,755 grant for our Water Testing Project from Illinois Humanities at the People Powered Publishing Conference.
- Completed 10-month-long water testing project that helped 92 DePaul students test their tap water for unsafe lead levels.
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