Total score: 30.6
News quality: 3.2
The website of this weekly magazine is packed with content (“so much content … it gives me anxiety,” said one reviewer). The site is a go-to source for arts and entertainment listings as well as for Robert Feder’s media coverage, but one reviewer voiced a preference for the printed magazine. Stories or features did not appear to consistently offer comments. The Twitter feed is helpful “in small doses” according to one reviewer.
Total score: 28.8
News quality: 2.4
The website for the daily commuter paper distributed by the Tribune is heavy on photos. They use Facebook and Twitter to engage with readers and encourage comments, and they share content from other news sources, such as Gapers Block and WBEZ.
Total score: 28
News quality: 3.5
The Chicago outpost of the Eater family of websites brings together news of the dining and drinking scene in Chicago, focused on the South and North sides as well as the Loop. They provide both original reporting and aggregation. The site features reader comments and has a dating site tie-in. Reviewers considered the content organized by neighborhood to be useful. The site’s Facebook page features a great deal of reader engagement.
Total score: 27.1
News quality: 3.4
Newcity.com is the flagship of a family of sites covering the arts in Chicago. Reviewers praised their coverage of music, arts, theater and literature, given that relatively few online sites cover arts, but sought more expansive articles. Reviewers also noted that the site covers the entire city but tends to provide greater focus on the North Side. Reader engagement on the site or via social media appears to be low.
Total score: 26.3
News quality: 3.1
The Chicago branch of Grubstreet makes great use of video and slideshows and also makes good use of aggregation to other food coverage. The site has a useful restaurant finder. Grubstreet encourages readers to upload photos of food and restaurants to a Flickr pool. Social media engagement seemed limited, and it was hard for reviewers to find contact information for Chicago editors.
Arts, Culture and Entertainment: Honorable Mentions
Additional sites that play an important role in Chicago’s online news ecosystem.