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Site aims to answer journalists' questions about this toddlin' town

by David Kashi
May 16, 2012

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The out-of-town journalists' tool

A home-cooked meal for a hungry out of towner?


That's one of the plans to help journalists get to know the city a little better.

The Chicago NATO Host Committee, as a way to help journalists enjoy their stay while covering the event, has extended an invitation for a home-cooked meal.

The idea?

As the invitation states, "so you can relax and enjoy an aspect of our city you might not otherwise get a chance to experience.”

The committee has arranged for families in Chicago to host meals.

“There is more to Chicago than the summit. If people are coming from around the world they should see Chicago,” said Jonathan Eyler Werve, director of the Community Media Workshop.

“They can look at the city and say that this can be an interesting place to write stories.”

Mayhem will descend on Chicago as the NATO Summit kicks off this weekend with the thousands of expected protesters, high-level officials, security personnel – and the 2,500 estimated journalists who will be covering the summit.

With so many out-of-town working press looking for information about Chicago, a organizers of a special website hope to provide them answers for their frequently asked questions.The Community Media Leadership Workshop has partnered with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to provide resources for journalists.

The goal is to connect visiting and local media directly to sources in Chicago through briefing papers ranging from security to topics on the climate.

“We are helping journalist who are coming to Chicago to connect to good local sources,” said Jonathan Eyler-Werve, director of the Community Media Workshop. “Specifically sources that can help produce stories around the NATO summit in a deeper more context driven story.”

That is why the Community Media Workshop’s website,, has lists of sources responses by ethnic communities here affected by the global issues.

Eyler-Werve, explains that he wants to connect news outlets from abroad to their communities here in Chicago. “What is the Italian community? What does it look like here in Chicago? How do they feel about the NATO summit?” Eyler-Werve said.

The Community Media Workshop’s mission for 23 years has been to connect community organizations and non-profit organizations to media so that they can tell their stories more effectively.

With the NATO summit coming to Chicago Eyler-Werve’s organization sees an opportunity to reach a wider audience. “NATO summit is a chance for us to continue our mission with a new audience, on an international stage,” Eyler-Werve said.