Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Another name change
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Another name change

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

* Robert Feder

Illinois News Network, which provides coverage of state and regional issues to media outlets across Illinois, has changed its name to The Center Square. The rebranding is intended to stake out a nonpartisan centrist position. But it also can be seen as a break from the organization’s controversial past ties to the Illinois Policy Institute. Since 2017 INN has been owned by the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. “For each of us associated with this project, our name serves as a reminder that we’re working with the highest journalistic ethics and precision in mind,” said Chris Krug, president of the Franklin News Foundation. Krug previously served as publisher of the Pioneer Press suburban newspaper chain and as vice president of Shaw Media and editor of the Northwest Herald.

* Chicago Public Square

Confusion, Squared. The Illinois News Network, a once-reliable state government watchdog whose recent past has been spotty (2016 link)—including funding from the conservative Koch Brothers (2018 link)—is taking a new name: The Center Square – Illinois.

■ It’s backed by the Franklin News Foundation, which ranks just one star (of four) from the nonprofit-evaluation site Charity Navigator.

■ Please don’t mistake it for Chicago Public Square, which comes to you courtesy of four-star supporters including Lora Engdahl, Frank Heitzman, Joseph Sjostrom and Teresa Powell—whom you can join here for a few cents a day.

* The organization’s website lists its address as 200 W. Madison St., Ste. 2100 in Chicago. That appears to be a “virtual office” which is also home to a wealth management firm and the former address of InTouch Cuddle Therapy, which is now defunct.

* From the president and publisher

Our company has been renamed Franklin News Foundation, which is about as straightforward as it gets. With a nod to Benjamin Franklin, our nation’s best-known publisher, we’re a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political, no-nonsense organization whose mission is to connect content and audience with news from state capitals and across the states that simply isn’t reported elsewhere.

Our journalism platform is When a reporter is on target within their beat, they’re said “to be hitting the center square.” I’ve always liked that saying, because rather than writing “a story,” I’ve always preferred that our reporters write “the story.” For each of us associated with this project, our name serves as a reminder that we’re working with the highest journalistic ethics and precision in mind.

Over the past two years, we’ve watched as partisanship has permeated reporting from Washington. And, state by state, as we’ve increased our staff and dialed into state-level issues across the country, reading thousands of competitive stories, we’ve seen how this same bias creeps into capitol-level news coverage – pushing readers and journalistic reputations out to the right and the left.

Commentary has overwhelmed straight-news content, and caused significant distortion for time-pressed readers disinterested in becoming professional fact-checkers. Too many people are reading someone’s take on a story before they’ve read the story.

Millions of Americans seek news from the vacated middle ground – from that center square – and simply want to understand what is happening in their state capitol, and how it affects their lives.

Our reporters are keenly interested in economics and finance, how tax dollars are generated and how they’re spent. We talk to our readers in terms that they understand rather than through the wonky, inside baseball that so often stands for statehouse reporting.

Legislative mechanics already are complicated. Reporters should be educating the reader and simplifying the news, rather than showing off and making the activity or inactivity of the statehouse more confusing. We commit to write in plain English.

I Googled “‘hitting the center square’ reporter” and came up with one result, the column excerpted above. Not quite a Googlewhack, but still unique.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Reality Check - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    They can call it whatever they want. Unless and until they show proof that IPI no longer owns, funds, supports or pays staff of Franklin/Watchdog/Center Square, then it’s just another propaganda arm of IPI.

    That’s what it’s been and that’s what even their most recent tax filings have proven it to be.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    That’s troncalicious.

    If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with b.s.

    Who’s the publisher of The Center Square — Paul Lynde? (You youngsters at home who don’t get it, use the google).

  3. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    ===Paul Lynde===

    Well played Word. And fast too.

    I had to look it up because I almost confused him with Charles Nelson Reilly, but that was Match Game.

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

  5. - unspun - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    So the reporter from the formerly known INN will tear off the INN velcro patch from the microphone, stick on a Center Square patch, then cash the Koch paychecks just the same. And MJM will still ask, at every turn, whether the reporter is from the Policy Institute. Same as it ever was. Half-truth, cherry-picked information, inflammatory rhetoric, ginned-up bases.

  6. - Peter Torque - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
    A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

  7. - Jocko - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    Curse you both for beating me to Northwestern’s very own Paul Lynde. Circle gets the square (exclamation point).

    To the post, INN is to centrist as Paul Lynde was to straight.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    –I had to look it up because I almost confused him with Charles Nelson Reilly, but that was Match Game.–

    Both were notorious for taping their best shows after long, liquid lunches. Same with Wally Cox and Charley Weaver.

  9. - A guy - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    “Get your grubby mitts off my cage, kid”.

  10. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    I tried Googling them earlier to file a complaint. Apparently I need to visit a park in Lemont in order to do so.

  11. - Annonin' - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    I think Dom Delouise is getting left out
    Should be a laugh riot …almost as good at Tilman at the Globe

  12. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    Q: In what state was Abraham Lincoln born?
    Paul Lynde: Naked and screaming like the rest of us.

  13. - olddog - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    “Center Square,” eh? If these guys are anywhere near the center, I am the assistant deputy people’s commissar for communications of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic .

  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    Nothing on InTouch Cuddle Therapy? I worked hard on this post, people! lol

  15. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    ===Nothing on InTouch Cuddle Therapy?===

    I heard Sen. Sandoval just proposed a tax on professional cuddling service providers to fund a vertical capital budget.

  16. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    They are the Fox News of IL political journalism… shoveling red meat to the radical right.

  17. - very old soil - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    Does Mr. Krug know the difference between precision and accuracy?

  18. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    There are so many ways that commenting on Cuddle Therapy could bring down the banishment hammer that it becomes untouchable.

  19. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    What is the over / under in months until the next name change?

  20. - Juvenal - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    Benjamin Franklin is renowned for many things.

    “Publisher” is not one of the first that comes to mind.

    But as a publisher, he was not known for being much of a centrist - not surprising - or for being unbiased - also not surprising.

    Franklin also was not known for his integrity as a newspaperman, either. Like Poor Richard’s Almanac, he often ran stories in his paper under pseudonyms, and even published a news story about his kite-flying experiment in the third person.

    Seems on-brand for this crew.

  21. - CEA - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    “For each of us associated with this project, our name serves as a reminder that we’re working with the highest journalistic ethics and precision in mind”

    All The News We’re Paid To Print ™

  22. - Annonin' - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    What got me blocked
    Dom DeLouise
    or the Globe joke

  23. - Annonin' - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    Never mind we see we finally got on the board —so to speak

  24. - anonymous - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    My favorite part was that detail about cuddling.

  25. - Annonin' - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    Capt Fax: Here is what we missed
    About this Event

    InTouch Cuddle Therapy Grand Opening

    platonic . consensual . nurturing touch therapy

    “Healing Humanity, 2 People at a Time”

    Saturday January 19th 2019 from 12p to 4p

    200 W. Madison Chicago, IL 60606 - Lounge @ 200 (9th floor)

    Free Admission (pre-registration required)*

    1 Door Prize Raffle Ticket with Admission

    + a :30 minute Guided Meditation session (12:30p-1p)

    + a :30 minute Yoga (BYOM) for Stress & Anxiety class (1p-1:30p)

    ^ lead by Prof. Cassandra Powell, BS, MA, MA, PhD(c) of Light of Living Kindness

  26. - Blast from the past - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    From the deep archives: Chris Krug and Dan McCaleb were running the Northwest Herald back in 2006, when it endorsed both Republican Judy Baar Topinka for governor and Democrat Pat Quinn for lite guv:

  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:20 pm:

    Aside from Proft, the IPI/INN, and the Chicago Tribune editorial board, I’m not really seeing any clear partisan bias in statehouse journalism.

    Yes, Gov Rauner accused the statehouse press corps. Because they refused to print his press releases verbatim. That’s not partisan bias, that’s just doing your job.

    Turning to INN under any masthead to provide straight News is like buying a bucket of water from the guy who set your house on fire. Pro-tip, that’s probably more kerosene in that bucket, not water.

  28. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:29 pm:

    Cuddle Therapy…..hmmmmmm
    Maybe I can do that
    after I get laid off at DHS.

  29. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    Does Chris Krug read what his staff produces?
    His statements make me think not.

  30. - Jibba - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    ===Another Name Change===

    Because the first rebranding didn’t work.

    Rich, they must have thought you were too busy with your wonky, inside baseball to notice their fake news slogan, which is priceless to have in the roll out of their new plain talk branding.

  31. - Cailleach - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    Thanks for the laughs, Paul Lynde:
    Q. Why do bikers wear leather?
    A. Because chiffon wrinkles.

  32. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Q: What is one reason to pound meat?

    Lynde’s answer would get me banned.

  33. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 5:31 pm:

    Most liberals only see bias among right leaning media.

    They are blind to left leaning bias because it reinforces their views.

  34. - Sonny - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 6:31 pm:

    That’s the kind of garbled newspaper media nothing speak that helped get the industry where it is now.

  35. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 6:57 pm:

    ===Nothing on InTouch Cuddle Therapy?===

    Isn’t that what got Robert Kraft in trouble?

  36. - John Gregory (ex-IRN) - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    “The rebranding is intended to stake out a nonpartisan centrist position.”

    I needed a laugh today.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker thanks Dr. Ezike, extends financial protections, points to progress, says no more daily COVID-19 briefings - Calls Trump tweets "reprehensible" - "I want to send my condolences to the family of George Floyd, and also to every African American in this country" - Defends budget decisions - Credits Illinoisans for progress against virus - No bill signing ceremonies - Hopes testing progress continues - "It seems as if President Trump is withdrawing us from the rest of the world" - No out of state travel plans - Talks contact tracing - Asks Illinoisans to be careful during reopening - Will sign Medicare for undocumented seniors bill - Refuses to criticize Lightfoot for Trump comments - Talks about difficulties in securing testing locations - Dr. Ezike and Pritzker respond to question about what they've learned about themselves and leadership - "We're no longer in a stay at home order"
* 1,622 new cases, 86 additional deaths
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What in the heck is going on in Rockford?
* COVID-19 roundup
* All metro areas reporting record high unemployment rates
* School seclusion and restraint bill derailed after opposition
* Attorney DeVore asks appellate court to dissolve another TRO
* Question of the day
* Madigan issues new guidance to members, staff
* Architects abandon alternative reopening plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* House of worship attendance limit expected to be removed from stay at home order
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Sheriffs file suit against state for refusing to accept jail transfers
* Pritzker says IDPH has offered "suggestions" to churches - Says he's received "pushback" from some private nursing homes - IDPH will file new rule on nursing homes - Still looking at what to do about IDPH rule - Dodges question about Willie Wilson - Employers should use "common decency" when bring workers back - Will wait on feds before making any more budget decisions - Central Illinois hospitalization numbers improve - "We might potentially have to move backwards in the phases - "Not our intention" to make changes to Phase 4 guidance - No plans to dine at restaurant this weekend - No decision about ending daily briefing - Repeats that he has never encouraged police enforcement - Suggests GOP demand for IDES audit could be a "political move" - Still pondering school reopening - All testing is free - Asked about dangers of Legionella in large buildings - Testing and tracing metrics are "internal goals" - Points to federal rules on unemployment and workers who refuse to return - "Difficult for us to open theaters in the near future" - Dr. Ezike talks rules for malls - Dr. Ezike monitoring outbreak at county jail with ICE detainees
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller