• Ethan Michaeli

The greatest days of the Chicago Defender are long past. The latest bad news was reported in late October by the Sun-Times. The paper’s “months behind on its rent,” wrote Maudlyne Ihejirika, and just laid off executive editor Lou Ransom, news editor Rhonda Gillespie, and a noneditorial employee—a sixth of its 18-person staff. Its weekly circulation was about 16,000—this at a paper that in its day was a daily with a circulation above 100,000 and a reach so vast that it was virtually the house organ of the Great Migration of blacks from the south to Chicago.