Our mission
Public Narrative is a Chicago-based nonprofit that facilitates training, programming and resource building focused on cultivating media literacy, uplifting community voices in media, and shifting narratives around public health, public safety, and public education. We balance the public narrative through equity, inclusivity and authenticity frameworks in all aspects of media coverage: from storytelling to consumption and the production and promotion of all media forms. We leverage the organization's expertise in communications training and leading courageous discussions across diverse stakeholder groups, including journalists, youth, educators, members of law enforcement, researchers and other community members. We engage in storytelling, interviews, focus groups and events for implementing narrative change strategies toward long-term, sustainable systemic change.

With nonprofits:

We teach community groups and leaders messaging and storytelling across platforms. We reconnect people to their mission, help refocus their staff and reprioritize their work. Many of the people we work with are underrepresented voices, people of color, women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community — audiences that must be better represented by media outlets and hear more complete stories about themselves and their communities.

With journalists:

We teach best practices in journalism and provide resources that can help with issue reporting. We remind journalists that a complete story does not just outline the problem, but also recognizes those working on solutions and the resources being disseminated. We help journalists find the people in the community dealing with the issues they cover and teach best practices in authentic relationship building with the audiences they serve.

With both groups and the communities they serve:

We bring neighborhood thought leaders, key organizations and journalists together to tell better and more equitable stories.

What we believe:

  • We believe a free and informed press, as well as an educated public, are the cornerstones of democracy.
  • We know also that an uninformed civil society not only suffers from being left out but falls victim to myths and stereotypes.
  • And we know that a media that does not reflect its audience and understand those concerns becomes irrelevant
  • Public Narrative's goal has always been to amplify nonprofit and neighborhood voices, so they are not only heard but are part of the ongoing conversation on issues that affect them.


Public Narrative has been elevating community voices in journalism for more than 30 years. Our programs support more than 200 community and ethnic news outlets and for-and not-for-profit organizations, building meaningful relationships across Chicago, greater Illinois and beyond.

Talking Points

Diversifying the voices in the news

Equipping community organizations with media literacy training and resources

Connecting the community with the media

Teaching journalists better issue reporting

Promoting news that matters