AustinTalks gets funding to go live

Columbia College Chicago has received a $45,000 grant from The Chicago Community Trust to develop a Web site for and by the residents of the West Side Chicago neighborhood of Austin. With the help of the Austin community and in collaboration with The Chicago Tribune, assistant professor Suzanne McBride plans to launch the Web site in spring 2010. The site – – will serve as a clearinghouse of news and information, featuring stories, photos, video and audio about the people, places, events and issues important to Austin. “We’re honored to have been given the opportunity to partner with the residents, business owners, civic leaders, educators and people of faith in Austin,” said McBride,  associate chair of the Journalism Department and co-publisher of the 2 1/2-year-old local news Web site she started with Associate Professor Dr. Barbara K. Iverson. “We see a direct link between civic journalism like this and democracy, and we’re looking forward to working with the citizens of Austin as we’ve done in other neighborhoods with ChicagoTalks,” Iverson said.