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Chicago News Cooperative Suspends Publication

The nonprofit Chicago News Cooperative is suspending publication effective Feb. 26, it announced today.

“Unlike similar start-up efforts like the Texas Tribune in Austin, the Bay Citizen in San Francisco and ProPublica in New York, we never recruited the kind of seven figure donations from people of means concerned about the declining quality of news coverage around the country,” editor and CEO James O’Shea wrote.

The financial issues were “too complex to discuss in any detail in a note like this,” he said. But the Chicago Reader reported Friday that CNC asked the New York Times, to which it contributed content, for the funding it would need to continue and was turned down.

O’Shea’s post, published today, did not reference the Reader, but said that “Early stories and twitter posts on our problems were inaccurate. The reporting was sloppy and simply reinforced in my mind the need for solidly reported, well-edited journalism, the kind that professional CNC journalists have been doing on our website and in the New York Times since November, 2009.”

The site counts 30 staffers among its ranks, the majority of them involved in newsgathering or journalism.

The nonprofit will be “examining our potential to see if we can identify an alternative path” in the next few weeks.

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