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Examining the state of college newspapers: A period of retooling, rebuilding and reinventing (WITH VIDEO)

CollegesBurnhamCollegesHendricks

CollegesKrauseCollegesKreten

CollegesPlevkaCollegesHeimerman

A panel of advisers for collegiate student newspapers talks with moderator Christopher Heimerman during a virtual roundtable discussion May 27.

By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN
For Illinois Press Association

College newspapers are facing many of the same challenges legacy newsrooms are navigating: declining advertising revenue, the rapid shift to the digital product, and news illiteracy.

But there are some distinct differences, and five student advisers recently joined the Illinois Press Association for a virtual roundtable on the struggles, adaptations, and potential solutions.

 

Evaluating the viability of print

The Vidette at Illinois State University recently published a 28-page commemorative section that was as awe-inspiring as it was tear-jerking.

After all, it marked the end of an era. After 132 years of publishing, the Vidette has ceased its print publication and has gone online-only.

“Going back through 132 years of papers and seeing the paper survived all these other crises, knowing we couldn’t make it through this was especially hard,” said John Plevka, general manager of The Vidette. “But it’s the right thing. This is the right direction to go. As good of a job as we were doing post-COVID, a lot of those newspapers were ending up in the recycling bin.”

That same problem on other campuses prompted many college newspapers to rein in their frequency, and the Western Courier at Western Illinois University also went digital-only after the spring 2020 semester.

The Daily Eastern at Eastern Illinois University is part of a dying breed: college newspapers that have continued to print daily. The newspaper hit stands each weekday this past semester. Lola Burnham, director of student publications and editorial adviser at EIU, said one reason it’s survived is that the Daily Eastern is printed on a press on campus – right on the other side of the wall of her office, in fact. But she’s running out of other areas to cut.

“We have cut and cut and cut and cut every expense that we can,” she said. “Our goal is to keep it as long as we can afford it, but the times they are a changin’.”

Plevka said the last businesses standing as advertisers in the Vidette … well, they aren’t standing anymore.

“The only advertisers we had left were a few bars and restaurants, and COVID did them in,” he said.

In fairness, at least the Vidette was able to provide an advertising platform for the bars. Not the case at St. Xavier University in Chicago, which is a couple of miles away from two premier breweries that call Peter Kreten, director of student media, every semester asking him to take their advertising dollars.

“So each new supervisor I get, I go to them first and ask if we can take breweries as sponsors, because there’s a lot of money there,” Kreten said, “and every time they fly it up the flagpole and it gets shut down. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world. I’m at the point where I might need to ask for forgiveness, rather than asking for permission.”

“I wouldn’t run it up the flagpole if I were you,” said Marla Krause, faculty adviser of The DePaulia at DePaul University. “I’d just take the ad and see what happens.”

While Kreten said increasing revenue is “the $64,000 question,” he said collaboration between the campus newspaper and radio station on advertising packages has paid dividends. He said focusing on fostering relationships with advertisers will always be part of the solution. He’s playing the long game with the owner of a local bookstore by continuing to run his ads, even though he can’t pay for them until October.

“I know in talking with him that he doesn’t have the money for it, but in 6 months he will, and he’ll start paying again,” Kreten said “It’s working out strategies, and trusting those relationships with your sponsors.”

 

Pandemic crushes recruiting opportunities

In a typical summer, The Northern Star at Northern Illinois University would get about 120 applications from its fun, ultra-inviting recruiting events on campus. A little more than half of those applicants would show up at initial training, about 20 would say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and adviser Shelley Hendricks would net about 50 employees.

With that recruiting opportunity canceled by the pandemic, she got about 10 new employees going into fall of 2020.

“It’s been a huge struggle for us, and I was surprised we were able to get anyone, honestly,” Hendricks said. “But we were able to get just enough people to do the work we need to do. The staff is pretty much as small as it’s ever been.”

Burnham said all her recruiting events are virtual again this summer, so she’s taking the few students she’s able to recruit and immediately turning them into recruiters.

“It’s been that old confirmation class from church,” she said. “Each one bring one. You’re responsible for bringing one in. Usually if we can get someone into the newsroom, we can talk them into at least giving it a try.”

Kreten and Krause both said their communications faculty members have welcomed opportunities for representatives of the newspaper to speak to their classes. Krause is brutally honest with students.

“I tell them, ‘You need these clips, and you need this on your resume. Nobody cares what your grade-point average is when you look for a job. They care that you worked for your school newspaper,’” she said. “We don’t say that in front of the dean.”

Hendricks said rethinking recruiting is part of an ongoing top-to-bottom overhaul of The Northern Star.

“We’re kind of reinventing the Star from the ground up, and how we recruit is going to be one of our big pushes,” she said.

She said the newspaper is shifting from topic-based beats to a community-based system. She also said those uber-welcoming tables will be visible year-round – not just during the summer.

“We’re kind of stealthily hoping some people will join,” she said. “We’re hoping by engaging with communities, rather than saying, ‘We’re going to cover this topic,’ we will be more personable and more in the faces of different communities, and that more people will join our staff.”

On the subject of rethinking engagement …

 

We need to talk about social media

Perhaps the days of ignoring trolls of every shape and size are gone. After all, one of them ended up working at The Daily Eastern after staff responded to his chiding and posed a challenge.

“It was sort of, ‘Oh, you think you can do this? Come on in and give it a try,’ ” Burnham said. “That kid rose to the challenge, and that worked. I don’t necessarily think he’s going to end up being a journalist for a career, but he is quite opinionated and has made some contributions for the opinion page.”

Burnham said getting chattier on social media has been part of her newsroom’s evolution. Although simply keeping up with the revolving door of platforms is a whole thing of its own.

“Know your audience and adapt to whatever the strengths and weaknesses of those particular platforms are,” she said. “Also know that by the time you graduate, if you’re a freshman, by the time you’re a senior, all those platforms, it could be something completely different.”

Kreten said students laugh at him when he mentions Facebook, but he points out that he’s not the only perceived dinosaur.

“The president and provost are on Facebook, not Instagram,” he said.

Burnham echoed that many alumni, townspeople, faculty and staff are predominantly on Facebook, while a certain age of alumni are on Twitter, and current students or recent grads are on “whatever the platform of the day happens to be. I’ve been here long enough to watch all that change.”

 

Shifting to digital-first

Most advisers the IPA has interviewed in the past year agree that a silver lining in the pandemic is that student media has been forced to shift to a digital-first mentality – just like legacy newspapers.

“A lot of the bad habits we used to have just don’t exist anymore,” Hendricks said. “It used to be that our online product just kind of got whatever energy was left over. That’s been a huge part of the reinvention.”

She’s still grateful The Northern Star will stay in print, even if it’s dropping from twice-weekly to weekly, with that edition effectively being a digest.

Hendricks said more than 25 percent of the student body “has never been on campus to step over a Northern Star on the floor of the student center. A lot of them don’t even know we exist.”

“So for us, just to get readership and get in front of students’ faces, we need that print product still. We see our print product almost as our calling card.”

Kreten is something of an old soul, so he’s excited to strike the balance between print and digital.

“It’s like an unshaped piece of clay,” he said. “We get to mold it for what we need to reach our students. It's an opportunity, and it’s what we make of it.”

He did say, however, that he continues to drive home his appreciation of the print product, and that he subscribed to the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune and routinely drops copies in front of his students, then asks them what’s going on in the world.

“By having them have that paper in the office, they’re picking it up and reading it, and they’re getting it,” he said. “They’re getting the journalistic style of writing. If they don’t read it, they’re more inclined to do this very blog-style, Tumblr-style of writing. I’m seeing them falling in love with print.”

Plevka wishes he could be so lucky.

“I’m not seeing that,” Plevka said, adding that he rarely sees his own staff holding a physical copy of The Vidette. “I have not experienced that in the classroom or at the paper. I wish I did, because it’s such a great learning tool for everything – in news literacy, but it’s also a built-in how-to manual.”

Since he brought it up …

 

News literacy is as crucial as ever

“Politically, this is the most news illiterate group I’ve seen,” Plevka said. “It scares the crap out of me. Every 4 years they get fired up about a presidential election, and then it goes away. How much spinach journalism can I make them eat? How much are they going to listen to the old man in the room?”

He said teaching virtually has only compounded the problem.

“If I could look them in the eye with as much sincerity I could muster, and tell them that this is vital that you read and understand these things and begin sharpening your filters,” he said, throwing his hands up in the air.

Krause recalled a member of her staff at DePaulia discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that a friend had told her it’s been going on a couple of years.

“I refrained from bursting into tears, at the fact that this girl wants to be a journalism major,” Krause said. “I don’t know what to do about it, and it’s terrifying.”

Burnham shared some heartening news: EIU has begun offering a general education course in news literacy, which she hopes will be required at some point.

Another get-with-the times course is being offered at DePaul.

 

Gig Economy 101

The few students working at college newspapers who decide to enter the field will face a new, burning question: to go after the full-time job, or to string together a living as a freelancer?

In response to the growing rate of reporters-for-hire, DePaul has begun offering a course in freelance journalism.

“Students are learning how to pitch a story, how to negotiate pay for a story, what to do when you don’t get paid for a story and you have to go back at them,” Krause said, adding that the course is quite popular.

Plevka, recognizing a quorum of the Illinois College Press Association board was on the call, asked Krause to get the instructor to speak at the next convention.

“You want those coming out of here with significant bills to pay to land that job that’s rich with bennies and job security, so we push that as hard as we can,” Plevka said, “but the reality is, there are significant freelance opportunities out there. As papers rely more and more on independent contractors to do a lot of heavy lifting, there’s experience to be had.”

Hendricks said she puts her students in “buckets,” including students who would thrive as freelancers, or covering a niche market such as law or aviation.

“Then you have a few who are so strong, they will be working for major legacy newspapers,” she said. “I’m here for those people, because society needs people of that caliber. There are also some people who won’t be able to make a career of it, honestly. For those people, I see my role as a citizen, and for the future of democracy, that my role for them is to help them be very aware news consumers. That they learn to think critically and be part of the discussion. That might be the only role The Northern Star has for them.”

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Press Releases

 

 

 
 

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month spotlights new advancements and greater understanding

By Thomas Daberton, MBA


June 1, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

More than 40 million people in the United States are living with migraine disease and headache disorders. Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine disease. I had my first migraine in my teens, and it was one of the reasons that motivated me to lead the National Headache Foundation.

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month; our time on the national stage, and I hope you will join me in finding a way to help yourself, a loved one, friend or co-worker better understand migraine disease and headache disorders.

It is important to know and share how emerging treatments, pharmaceuticals and proactive physician-guided action can reduce missed workdays and increase time with your family. Our fundraising for research and programs are paying huge dividends and offering much-needed relief.

While we are serious about migraine and headache disorders, we are also having some fun while calling attention to our key messages and calls to action.

Today and throughout the month of June, we are wearing purple T-shirts and neckties, and planting purple flamingos to “put our foot down” to address migraine disease and headache disorders

In 1990, the National Headache Foundation secured a week dedicated to awareness on migraine disease and headache disorders, and that has now grown into a month of activities and action items for patients, physicians, policymakers and communicators to share the latest research, drug breakthroughs, treatments, support activities and ways to better understand and tackle headaches and migraine attacks.

At the NHF, we offer meaningful, proactive and cutting-edge programs, including:

  • Primary Care Initiative- training for primary care providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists on the latest prevention, diagnosis, and medications. These are the health professionals that are often first called upon when an individual has symptoms of migraine, and now these professionals will receive continuing medical education (CME) credits and the latest information in prevention and treatment measures.
  • Migraine University – mobilizing students and campus health and wellness staff to be aware of signs of migraine disease that can be exacerbated by long hours of study and stress. Fifty colleges and universities are rolling out the program this fall.
  • WorkMigraine – online workplace wellness programs that help employees and their managers understand migraine disease and how to reduce the costly impacts such as reduced productivity and increased absenteeism. Studies show our program can reduce both the incidents of migraine as well as lost workdays caused by them. 
  • Certificate of Added Qualification in Headache Medicine (AQH) - created in 2000 to recognize medical practitioners with an advanced level of expertise in headache medicine. Almost 250 healthcare providers have earned this valued certification.
  • NHF Annual Gala – our major fundraising event of the year allows us to celebrate Headache Heroes who are making a difference in the migraine and headache community.  We also pay tribute to healthcare providers and researchers who have moved the field forward and contributed to our important mission. The NHF’s Annual Gala has raised millions of dollars to go towards migraine and headache research, education, awareness and advocacy.

 
We encourage you to discuss migraine and headache issues with your primary care physician or seek out a headache expert from our provider finder page. Stay up to date on the latest news by signing up for NHF’s free e-newsletter at www.headaches.org.

# # #

Thomas Dabertin, MBA, is executive director and chief executive officer of the National Headache Foundation based in Chicago. He is also the chairman and co-founder of Pierogi Fest, one of Chicagoland’s and the state of Indiana’s largest annual festivals. Tom can be reached at info@Headaches.org.

 
 

Illinois Psychiatric Society
welcomes new leadership

President Steve Weinstein, MD, DFAPA,
and President-Elect Abdi Tinwalla,
MD, MBA, MS (Pharmacy), DFAPA, CCHP,
look forward to making a difference as mental health challenges come into stark focus post-COVID


May 26, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Mark Peysakhovich, communications consultant

312-217-6664
mark@mbmadvantage.com
 

CHICAGO – The Illinois Psychiatric Society welcomes incoming President Dr. Steve Weinstein and incoming President-Elect Dr. Abdi Tinwalla, for their 2021 – 2022 terms. Both are experienced professionals well equipped to provide leadership at a moment when the nation’s mental health takes center stage.

Incoming President Steve Weinstein, MD, DFAPA, is a graduate of Rush Medical College and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is Board Certified in Psychiatry and has a subspecialty in Addiction Medicine. Dr. Weinstein also holds a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. He serves as the Medical Director at Thresholds, which provides outreach, medical and psychiatric services for individuals with severe mental illness. Dr. Weinstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and holds an academic appointment with the Department of Psychiatry at University of Illinois at Chicago, where he enjoys teaching and mentoring. In addition to serving as the President of the Illinois Psychiatric Society, he will continue to Chair its Recruitment and Retention Committee.

“I look forward to working with the amazing staff and physician volunteers to engage our membership, maintain safe practice in the field and improve access to psychiatric services for everyone who needs our help,” said Dr. Weinstein. “There has never been a more critical moment for psychiatrists to step up and find ways to make mental healthcare and healthcare in general more accessible and equitable for everyone. Now is the time to be part of the solution.”

Incoming President-Elect Abdi Tinwalla, MD, MBA, MS (Pharmacy), DFAPA, CCHP, received his medical degree from Medical College of Ohio, Toledo and completed his psychiatric residency at Rush University Medical Center. He completed his Forensic Psychiatry fellowship from University of Rochester, New York. He has a Physician MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Currently, Dr. Tinwalla serves as the Behavioral Health Medical Director for Amerigroup/Anthem. In this role, he supervises the provision of behavioral health services to approximately 900,000 Medicaid recipients. He also provides treatment at the Department of Human Services Treatment and Detention Facility for the Sexually Violent Person in Rushville, Illinois and in the community. He holds an academic appointment with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is actively involved in teaching of the Forensic Psychiatry Fellows.

In addition to his duties as President-Elect of Illinois Psychiatric Society, Dr. Tinwalla also serves on its Executive Council and is an active member of its Governmental Affairs Committee as well as the Forensic Committee. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He has presented nationally and internationally on several topics in Correctional Psychiatry and on the Treatment of Paraphilic disorders.

“I am cognizant of the gargantuan task we psychiatrists face as we help the nation heal its multiple wounds. Whether we are talking about COVID, which plagues our bodies, or whether we talk about racism, which is just as insidious and deadly, there is a role for us to play in moving towards being healthier as individuals and as a community.,” said Abdi Tinwalla, M.D., MBA, M.S., CCHP, DFAPA.

# # #

 

Dr. Steve Weinstein

 

Dr. Abdi Tinwalla
 

 

 
 
 

Illinois Court Help launches
in response to COVID-19 pandemic
 


May 17, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Chris Bonjean, communications director to the Illinois Supreme Court

312-793-2323
cbonjean@illinoiscourts.gov
CONTACT: Terri Cornelius, Illinois Courts Help
708-257-4010
tcorncomms@gmail.com
 

Illinois Court Help was launched today in order to connect people to the resources and information they need to go to court in Illinois. It is the first personalized court information service offered by the Illinois Courts and one of the latest innovations created during the COVID-19 pandemic to make the courts and information more accessible.

People can call or text 833-411-1121 to connect with a trained court guide who can provide up-to-date Illinois court information and answers to specific questions about the court process. Illinois Court Help guides will also connect people to the resources they need to go to court, from filing forms to accessing legal aid. Initial hours of operation are 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Monday through Friday, with expanded hours to come over the next few months.  

“Illinois Court Help really is a gamechanger for people who, due to economic hardship, must represent themselves in court and have had access to in-person assistance restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke said. “This easy-to-use service closes the information gap and helps people go to court with more confidence.”

COVID-19 has made going to court for in-person information and assistance a challenge due to social distancing restrictions. This comes at a time when more lower income residents are facing eviction and other legal issues and cannot afford a lawyer to help them navigate the court system.

Nationally, an estimated 3 out of every 5 people in all civil legal cases go to court without a lawyer, according to the Self-Represented Litigants Network. Here in Illinois, half of all family law cases and 56% of domestic violence cases had at least one person representing themselves in 2020. At the same time, less than a quarter of Illinois courts have dedicated self-help staff to assist people representing themselves.

Illinois Court Help guides will provide step-by-step instructions on how to file court documents and explain how to appear in court on Zoom. Users will also be able to access one set of easy-to-read forms that can be used in any Illinois court. Lawyers who practice in multiple Illinois counties can find courthouse information. The new service will not provide legal advice but allows for guides to connect people to legal aid and other community services.

This service builds on other innovative changes instituted in response to COVID-19 to improve people’s access to the court system.

“Just as people now attend court hearings through Zoom, Illinois Court Help allows people to find the court information they need no matter where they are,” said Justice Mary K. Rochford, Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. “By guiding people through the court process through an emphasis on customer service, Illinois Court Help has the added benefit of reducing court delays and helping our courts operate more smoothly and efficiently.”

More information on Illinois Court Help can be found by going to www.ilcourthelp.gov

# # #

 
 

 

Illinois State Bar Association announces
Rural Practice Fellowship Program fellows
 


May 6, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rhys Saunders, senior manager of communications
rsaunders@isba.org

217-747-1433
 

Editors: Please note local interest.

The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) is pleased to announce the names of the 14 Fellows selected to participate in the 2021 Rural Practice Fellowship Program, which is designed to meet the critical need of providing access to justice for those living in rural areas with a declining lawyer population.

“We were extremely pleased with the overwhelming response to this program from throughout the state of Illinois,” said ISBA President Dennis J. Orsey. “The demand far exceeded our first-year expectations.”

The ISBA Special Committee on the Rural Practice Initiative created two fellowship programs to address the issue.

The Rural Practice Summer Fellows Program connects law students with rural practitioners to give them experience working in rural communities before they leave law school. The program includes a $5,000 fellowship stipend and mentoring.

The Rural Practice Associate Fellows Program places graduating law students and new attorneys as permanent associates with rural practitioners. The program includes a $5,000 stipend at the beginning of employment, and an additional $5,000 stipend if the associate is still working for the same firm after one year.

2021 Summer Fellows:

Fellow: Jacquelin Pulak (Northern Illinois University College of Law)
Firm: Berger Law Firm, LLC, Byron, Illinois (Ogle County)

Fellow: Alex Pullen (University of Illinois College of Law)
Firm: McGrath Law Office, P.C., Mackinaw, Illinois (Tazewell County)

Fellow: Emily Wiedeman (Loyola University Chicago School of Law)
Firm: Heller, Holmes & Associates, P.C., Mattoon, Illinois (Coles County)

Fellow: Avery Lubbes (Saint Louis University School of Law)
Firm: Stumpf & Gutknecht, P.C., Columbia, Illinois (Monroe County)

2021 Associate Fellows:

Fellow: Paul Loss Dunham (University of Illinois)
Firm: Becker Law Office, Genoa, Illinois (DeKalb County)

Fellow: Glenn Hoskin (Loyola University Chicago)
Firm: Tobin & Ramon, Belvidere, Illinois (Boone County)

Fellow: Tristyn Criswell (Northern Illinois University)
Firm: The Cosentino Law Firm, St. Charles, Illinois (DeKalb County)

Fellow: Staci Vazquez (Northern Illinois University)
Firm: Malmquist, Geiger & Durkee LLC, Morris, Illinois (Grundy County)

Fellow: Elizabeth Reynolds (Southern Illinois University)
Firm: Jacob J. Frost, Attorney at Law, Spring Valley, Illinois (Bureau County)

Fellow: Tiffany Ketchum (Southern Illinois University)
Firm: Vawter Law Ltd., Macomb, Illinois (McDonough County)

Fellow: Megan Ryan (University of Mississippi)
Firm: Rammelkamp Bradney, P.C., Jacksonville, Illinois (Morgan County)

Fellow: Jacob Schlosser (Saint Louis University)
Firm: Woods & Bates, P.C., Lincoln, Illinois (Logan County)

Fellow: Edward Siemer (Saint Louis University)
Firm: McDevitt, Osteen, Chojnicki & Deters, LLC, Effingham, Illinois (Effingham County)

Fellow: Parker Louis Seely (Saint Louis University)
Firm: Bigham, Tanner & Foster, Pinckneyville, Illinois (Perry County)
 

# # #


 

 

 
 

Serving people with disabilities in Illinois


April 27, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: John Herring, executive director, Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living
101 W. Old State Capitol Plaza
Suite 501
Springfield, IL 62701

217-525-1308
john.herring@illinoiscils.org
 

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living is a network of people with various disabilities who connect statewide. The 22 Centers for Independent Living that make up INCIL share information, skills and experiences. While supporting each other, barriers to inclusion are removed and Independence achieved. People acquire methods to remain in their home and many financially trapped in nursing facilities are freed.

INCIL has been connecting people who have disabilities statewide since 1995. It is the hub for Independent Living services, while monitoring and educating our state about disability issues. All these organizations are “consumer controlled” run by and for people with disabilities. Each center is responsive to their communities’ needs and INCIL brings people together in this network of cross disability purpose with strength from unity. For more information call 217-525-1308 or go to INCIL.org.

 


 

 
 

 

Alliance For Climate Education launches
billboard campaign to grow support for passing
the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA)

 


April 21, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Leah Qusba, executive director, Alliance For Climate Education (ACE)

262-880-8661
leah@acespace.org

CHICAGO – This week, the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) is launching a billboard campaign to create awareness about the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and mobilize Illinoisans to take action to demand that the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker pass CEJA in 2021. As we face the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change driven by fossil fuel consumption, it is a critical moment to pass CEJA to help Illinois get positioned for the renewable energy revolution and to bring thousands of clean jobs to Illinois residents.

ACE’s mix of digital and vinyl billboards have been placed in prominent neighborhood and highway locations in the Chicago and Springfield areas, encouraging passersby to take action by going to: PassCEJA.com or “Text CEJA to 42108”. A total of 11 billboards – seven billboards in the Chicago area and four in Springfield – are now viewable.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) is a comprehensive climate and energy bill that centers on equity and puts Illinois on track to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Here’s how passing CEJA will make Illinois a leader in the just transition to renewable energy:

● Creates a path for 100% renewable energy in IL (17,000 MW solar/6,300 MW wind)
● Directs resources and support to BIPOC energy sector workers and contractors
● Invests $2B in clean energy for BIPOC, low income,and environmental justice communities
● Provides $50M/yr in rate relief to low-income consumers
● Puts Illinoisans to work building and maintaining clean energy infrastructure
● Saves consumers $700M/yr through expansions of electric and gas energy efficiency programs
● Supports electrifying the equivalent of 1.2M vehicles by 2030 including public transit & fleets
● Provides electric vehicle (EV) rebates and EV access for low-income communities
● Makes utility profits contingent upon making the grid more affordable, clean, and equitable

The billboards will be visible through the month of April and into early May, mobilizing support for passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) while April “Earth Day” month brings our public attention to the climate crisis and opportunities for taking action to ensure a livable planet for generations to come.

###

More About Alliance for Climate Education (ACE): ACE’s mission is to educate young people about the science of climate change and empower them to take action. We believe that young people have the power to tip the scales toward just climate solutions that match the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. ACE’s strength is in our work at the intersection of youth, climate, and democracy, taking an integrated approach across all of our programs to empower young people to become effective civic engagement and climate advocacy leaders.

A sample of the billboard creative:

 

 


 

 

Illinois Farm Bureau to fund Illinois Press Foundation grants to student journalism programs

 

April 16, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jeff Rogers, Illinois Press Foundation director

217-241-1300, ext. 286

jrogers@illinoispress.org

 

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Farm Bureau will be the financial sponsor of this year’s Illinois Press Foundation mini-grants program that assists existing media programs at public and private high schools throughout the state.

 

Selected schools receive grants of up to $1,500 from the Illinois Press Foundation to pay for a computer, software or other equipment needed for a high school’s student media program to produce print or online newspapers. School media programs will be receiving application information Monday, with requests due on or before May 14. Funds or equipment will be received in September.

 

“We’re excited to have Illinois Farm Bureau as a partner in this effort,” Illinois Press Foundation Director Jeff Rogers said. “Both of our organizations feel passionate about the opportunity to help young journalist and student news organizations.”

 

The mini-grants program will provide funding or equipment to as many as 15 high school media programs.

 

“Illinois Farm Bureau is really excited to be a part of program that will assist Illinois high school students in developing their writing and reporting skills while also sharing the news of their school,” said Chris Magnuson, executive director of Illinois Farm Bureau’s News and Communication division. “These types of hands-on opportunities typically create future career goals, and it’s exciting to think that some of these students could one day help tell agriculture and rural America’s story.”

 

Jerry Reppert, president of the Illinois Press Foundation Board, called Illinois Farm Bureau’s sponsorship “great news,” and added the mini-grants program has always been special to him.

 

For more information about the Illinois Press Foundation’s mini-grants program, email Rogers at jrogers@illinoispress.org.

 

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 378,237 and a voting membership of 77,909. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

 

The Illinois Press Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting free expression through educational activities that foster the practice and respect of First Amendment principles and values, to enhance the quality of services provided by newspapers to their communities, and to support reading and literacy efforts.

 

The IPF was established in 1982 as the charitable arm of the Illinois Press Association.

 

Its news service, Capitol News Illinois, has provided daily coverage of state government for Illinois’ newspapers since it was formed in 2019.

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Partners in Recovery:
Sangamon County Recovery Oriented System of Care
 


April 8, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Teagan Shull,

217-544-9858, ext. 3108
tshull@fgcinc.org

(Springfield) – Systems of recovery have been forming across the state of Illinois. The goals of these systems?  To support recovery. Family Guidance Centers, Inc. (FGC), a not-for-profit behavioral health care organization that treats and prevents substance use disorders, as well as an array of other behavioral health care concerns, received a grant to create a recovery oriented system of care (ROSC) right here in Sangamon County. What does a ROSC do?

ROSC is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resiliencies of individuals, families, and communities to achieve recovery and improved health, wellness, and quality of life for those with or at risk of substance use disorders. The central focus of a ROSC is to create an infrastructure, or “system of care”, with the resources to effectively address the full range of substance use disorders within communities. These goals include:  

* Building a culture that builds and nurtures recover
* Building capacity and infrastructure to support a recovery-oriented system of care;
* Developing commitment to implement and sustain a recovery-oriented system of care.


“The goal of a ROSC is to create a system that works for individuals in recovery. This means that individuals in recovery have access to the resources and support they need. Recovery is a lifelong journey not just a 28-day program and individuals, their families and the community all need to work together to support that journey,” said Tegan Shull, program manager of Sangamon County ROSC. “Currently the council is working on conducting a community needs assessment and developing educational materials to facilitate conversations in the community about recovery and start reducing the stigma that surrounds substance use disorders. Recovery truly takes a village and affects the entire community”

"The current system of care is complex and often poses barriers versus points of access. Individuals and family members struggle to navigate services that are disjointed and often times stigmatizing. Sangamon County needs a connected system with multiple points of access to treatment and recovery services,” said Trenda Hedges, manager of Wellness and Recovery Operations for Beacon Health Options. “The phrase ‘nothing about us without us’ has been the chant of individuals in recovery for decades. ROSC creates the opportunity for the voices of those most affected by substance use and misuse to be heard and implemented into a system of care that supports recovery."

Sangamon County Partners in Recovery (ROSC) meets monthly and all are invited to attend. If you or your organization would like to get involved, visit the ROSC website at Sangamon County Partners in Recovery (godaddysites.com) or email Teagan Shull at tshull@fgcinc.org.
 

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120 N 11th St., Springfield, IL 62703, (217) 544-9858
Website: Sangamon County Partners in Recovery (godaddysites.com)
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/SangCoROSC

 
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