Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Chicago newspaper in jeopardy

First, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection. Then, the Chicago Sun-Times parent did the same. Now, StreetWise, the weekly Chicago publication sold by homeless people, is in danger of collapse.
All right, so StreetWise isn't in the same class as the Tribune or the Sun-Times. But it still serves an important role -- providing income for the homeless since 1992.
The nonprofit organization that publishes StreetWise says it will close down within a couple of months unless it can raise about $75,000 in donations, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Charitable support has declined in the rough economy, backers say.
StreetWise isn't a very good read, but it makes people feel better about handing money to homeless people on street corners.
The publication's decision to switch from a newspaper format to a glossy magazine and raise the cover price from $1 to $2 probably wasn't a wise one. Many people can part with a buck pretty easily. But $2 for a publication many people probably toss without reading is a bit much.

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