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CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --, the award-winning online source for neighborhood news, brings its unique brand of neighborhood reporting to the streets of Chicago today with the launch of Chicago (  Staffed by a fast-growing team of experienced journalists that includes some of Chicago's finest reporters and editors, the digital news service will provide comprehensive coverage of the city's neighborhoods and the forces that shape Chicagoans' lives.

"We're doing shoe-leather reporting in the best Chicago tradition, but we're doing it with a new medium," said Leela de Kretser, editorial director and publisher of "Our reporters are embedded in neighborhoods across the city – from Rogers Park and Lakeview to Englewood and Chatham."

"We couldn't be more excited about bringing to Chicago," said founder and CEO Joe Ricketts. " Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and neighborhoods are what is all about."

Added de Kretser: "Our focus will be on covering the stories, and breaking the news that Chicagoans care about. is produced by Chicagoans, for Chicagoans. We're telling the neighborhoods' stories in Chicago's own voice."

The launch of Chicago comes three years after made its debut in New York City. Since then, New York has won numerous awards and established itself as a leading source of neighborhood news in the Big Apple, regularly beating the major New York dailies and attracting more than 2 million visits per month. Chicago launches with a staff of 20 reporters and editors, all proven Chicago journalists. They include Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mark Konkol , formerly of the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as senior editors Dave Newbart and Justin Breen , formerly of the Sun-Times and the Times of Northwest Indiana , respectively. Jen Sabella and Lizzie Schiffman both join from Huffington Post Chicago. Erin Meyer joins from the Chicago Tribune and veteran journalist Ted Cox , formerly of the Daily Herald, will cover City Hall and politics for's New York site launched in 2009; its mission was, and is, to do objective news reporting in all five boroughs of the city. From the beginning, founder Ricketts told his editorial staff "to cover the news fairly and fearlessly."

Ricketts' business plan calls for to be run as a for-profit venture selling advertisements to community businesses in the neighborhoods it covered – and to provide original reporting, not aggregation of other outlets' coverage. also arms its reporters with the latest in newsgathering technology, enabling them to file stories and videos from their laptops and phones as news breaks.

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