Houston Headshot

CU-CitizenAccess.org, an online newsroom affiliated with the University of Illinois College of Media, has received a $40,000 donation for reporting resources from the Marajen Stevick Foundation.

The donation will help CU-CitizenAccess.org produce reporting on public health and related issues in Champaign County and east central Illinois. Among the issues are the effective delivery of health care to the elderly and to those in rural areas, risky behavior such as drug use and gun violence, and environmental dangers.

The funding will allow CU-CitizenAccess to employ four part-time professional journalists—editor, editor/reporter coach, photographer/videographer and copy editor—who will work with students to cover these issues and develop the next generation of technology-savvy journalists who are fact-based and credible.

CU-CitizenAccess.org  is intended to create as many avenues as possible for students, citizens, and journalists to address community issues, including this website, in-person, email, social networks such as Twitter, cell phones, photos or news stories.

CU-CitizenAccess is overseen by the Brant Houston of the journalism faculty, who is is a professor and the Knight Chair of Investigative Reporting.

"The Stevick Foundation has been invaluable in providing an excellent platform for  student work," Houston said. "The students gain solid experience in doing in-depth reporting that serves the public interest in eastern central Illinois.”

The Stevick Foundation, which is the owner of News-Gazette Media, has been a key supporter of CU-CitizenAccess, which began in 2010 with financial assistance from the Stevick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and University of Illinois. The Stevick Foundation supports organizations that provide services in the areas of enhancing the lives of seniors, beautification of Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding area, and promoting excellence in reading and writing. Funds are distributed through the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois.


For more information about CU-Citizen Access, contact Brant Houston at houstonb@illinois.edu or visit cu-citizenaccess.org.