50 years of a Chicago weekly
The history of the Reader reflects the larger history of newspaper publishing in the United States. This timeline traces the paper’s changing fortunes over the course of a half-century.
The long haul
My not-quite-50-year love affair with the Reader
What the first Reader theater review got wrong
A longtime critic and former editor provides the missing context.
It beats dancing about architecture
The Reader’s current music writer surveys all 50 years of the paper’s coverage and reports back.
No assignments, no deadlines, no promises, no job
How I met and fell for the Reader (great editors: part I)
‘House of Screams’ revisited
The reporting is an icon of the paper’s journalism, but John Conroy wonders what it actually accomplished.
Journalism and Police Accountability: Perspectives from the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Torture Justice Center
Watch the Newberry Library virtual event from January 19, 2022
Break a leg, kid!
Our editor in chief is still standing.
When the hog butchers left
Looking back 50 years to the closing of the Union Stockyards
Like Tinder in print
A look back at the love stories that started in the pages of the Reader, no swiping necessary
‘The narrative was the key’
The True years (great editors, pt. II)
From stage to page
An incomplete look at 50 years of Reader theater and dance coverage
‘Hello, woman of color’
On whiteness, journalism, and leading the most diverse staff in Reader history
The Reader’s first food critic was a diabetic undergrad with an appetite for the undiscovered
Most people remember Sally Banes for her prodigious dance writing, but she was the paper’s prodigious chowhound first.
Two priests, a rabbi, and the Sex Pig
My 25 years shooting for the Reader
Queer history through the eyes of the Reader
A reflection on how LGBTQ+ issues, subjects, and writers have appeared on the paper’s pages over the last five decades.
Long live the classifieds!
A young person’s dive into the history of the once lucrative section and its humble future.
A note on this week’s cover
And also a goodbye
The Future of the Reader
An update on our nonprofit status as we approach our 50th anniversary
In 1971 the Reader’s free classifieds hosted a future folk star
Music discovery has changed a lot in 50 years, but the Reader is still around—and so is Bonnie Koloc.
Spelunking in the Reader of 1971
The music ads in the paper’s very first issues add context—and curiosities—that the stories alone can’t provide.
With a little pluck
There have been some fledgling flashes of how to survive our national nightmare.