Austin Focus Leads to Award


 The Chicago Community Trust announced 31 Local Reporting Awards through its Community News Matters program for reporting on a variety of important issues affecting Chicago’s low-income areas. The program seeks to increase the flow of truthful, accurate and insightful local news and information and encourage innovative new models for providing news and information. 
Award winners include individuals, nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies with expertise in either journalism or Chicago’s community issues. The 31 winners were chosen from among 108 proposals for a total of $620,000.
I am pleased to inform you that I, Serethea Matthews Reid, have been selected to receive one of the awards.  The focus of my work will be an examination of police response to 911 calls and the distribution of police services in the Austin community. Given the concerns voiced by members of the Central Austin Neighborhood Association  and neighbors, we will be working together to make sure that our community receives an equitable allocation of resources to support safety and security in our neighborhood.
One of the findings of a 2010 Community News Matters research report was that residents of low-income West Side neighborhoods were especially concerned that traditional news organizations did not cover relevant issues in their communities (see It is expected that the work of the award recipients will produce impactful, relevant coverage that will shed light on current and future decision-making.
“High-quality journalism and analysis is vital to public discourse,” says Ngoan  Le, vice president of the program at the Trust. “We hope this burst of reporting will ensure that the needs and perspectives of the city’s poorest communities are heard and understood at this critical time.”
About The Chicago Community Trust
For 95 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2010, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $100 million to nonprofit organizations: developing new audiences to sustain Chicago’s vibrant arts organizations, protecting the human success safety net for those hardest hit by the recession, stemming the devastating effects of foreclosures on our communities, elevating teaching to meet world class standards; and improving conditions for healthy and active lifestyles. To learn more, visit