About This Blog

The Austin community, home to more than 100,000 people, is rich in diversity, culture and life. AustinTalks seeks to reflect this richness and provide the residents of Chicago's largest neighborhood with news and information not available anywhere else.

Many of the stories, photos, video and audio you'll find on AustinTalks are produced by undergraduate and graduate journalism students at Columbia College Chicago. Other contributors include experienced journalists, as well as people who want to make Austin all it can be.

Suzanne McBride, associate chair of Columbia College's Journalism Department and a former newspaper editor, coordinates AustinTalks. You can reach her or other contributors at 312-369-8907 or

Help us make this a meeting place that showcases all Austin has to offer. Tell us what stories you want to see, or submit your own story - a photo, some video or something you've written yourself. It takes just a minute to register for the site and get started. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

This site is made possible thanks to a generous grant from The Chicago Community Trust. AustinTalks was one of 12 projects selected in November 2009 to receive a Community News Matters grant out of a pool of 86 applicants. The Community News Matters program was spurred by a lead grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Community Information Challenge, and is jointly funded by The Chicago Community Trust and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Thanks also to the invaluable support of Columbia College Chicago and Dan Sinker, our tech adviser.

With the help of the Austin community and in collaboration with The Chicago Tribune - which features AustinTalks on ChicagoNow - our site came to life in April 2010. AustinTalks also has formed a partnership with the Austin Weekly News.

"We're honored to have been given the opportunity to partner with residents, business owners, civic leaders, educators and people of faith in Austin," said McBride, co-founder and co-publisher of the local news web site ChicagoTalks. "Help us make it the site you need and want."

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