Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Some questions for our readers

By Jamey Dunn 

As you may have noticed, things have been pretty quiet here at the Illinois Issues blog.

The cause for my lapse in posting is that the magazine is merging with WUIS, the public radio station also based at the University of Illinois Springfield. I have stepped into the role of interim executive editor. Between editorial duties and working on the transition, I have not found a lot of time for blogging. If you read the magazine, you might have caught my column explaining things. If not, here it is. 

Merging with WUIS expands our capacity (both on the editorial and business side of things) and creates a team of smart, informed and hard-working professionals who can focus in on public policy reporting. Statehouse journalist Brian Mackey will be a regular contributor to the magazine and will take over the State of the State column. You will see stories from WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and from WUIS’ Education Desk and Harvest Desk, which focuses on food, fuel and the environment. If you listen to NPR in Illinois, you will hear companion pieces to the print stories we bring to you each month. Our staff will also have more ability to do long-range planning, take on special projects, connect with you on social media and host engagement events, such as public forums.

Illinois Issues will be able to use resources already available to WUIS to update our web presence—a move that is long overdue. That means we may find a new home online, and the format of what we do may change. Because of that, I am asking for your help. Please reach out and let us know why you read our blog. When do you read it? How do you get here? What do you like? What could you live without? What do you find the most useful? What would you like to see that we are not currently doing? If you have thoughts to share about the magazine or how you might want to get our long form content online, we would be happy to hear them, too. We want to make sure that as we rework some things, we are serving the needs of you, our readers. You can reach me at jdunn3@uis.edu. Or you can leave a comment on this post.

I apologize for the lack of posts here. I will try to keep things going with some shorter updates. You can also get your Illinois Issues fix with our July/August environmental issue, which includes a story on the dwindling numbers of monarch butterflies. Our back-to-school September issue will focus on education, and we are planning some thought-provoking election pieces for the October issue. Thank you for reading and please hang in there as we work our way through some changes. If we move the blog, I will keep you in the loop. Whatever tweaks we might make, we are dedicated to maintaining our core mission of providing in-depth impartial reporting on the topics that matter to you.