Community Engagement


This community online news and information project is devoted to investigative and enterprise coverage of social, justice and economic issues in east central Illinois.

Through its website and social networks, CU-CitizenAccess offers the opportunity for members of the community - including citizens, journalists, and university students - to share news and information, raise and discuss important issues, and suggest solutions. The project also serves as a platform for new and innovative journalism techniques and practices.

Brant HoustonBrant Houston, the Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois, oversees the project. Houston served for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a 4,000-member organization, and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years. He is a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Investigative News Network and advises nonprofits newsrooms in the U.S. and internationally.

Learn more about CU-CitizenAccess

Illinois Journalism Education Association Conference

Each fall, between 600 and 1,000 high school students from around the state participate in a one-day conference on journalism issues regarding law, ethics, production and creative endeavor. College of Media faculty and industry professionals present the sessions. IJEA was founded in 1921 as a link between the journalism program at the University and students and advisers who publish high school newspapers and yearbooks.

Learn more about IJEA

Illinois Public Media

Illinois Public Media is a not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media at the University of Illinois, educating, entertaining, inspiring and empowering by airing the best of public television and radio programs, producing local content for broadcast and the Web, and working with community partners to address needs and concerns.

Learn more Illinois Public Media

International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry 

This international conference attracts almost 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. Each congress engages attendees in discussions regarding how qualitative, participatory research methods can be used to address concerns of democracy, social justice and inequity at the local community level. The congress is open to the public.

Learn more about International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Registered Student Organizations (RSO)

Several of the RSOs associated with the College offer engagement opportunities to their membership. Students learn through hands-on experiences by working with not-for-profit organizations in the community. Others organize public lectures and presentations for the education of members and the community.

Learn more about RSOs

Roger Ebert Center

The Roger Ebert Center will be the premiere center for reasoned deliberations on the past, present and future of the moving image, its production, distribution, exhibition, criticism, technologies, industries, economies, and cultures. Above all, the Center will be a place dedicated to championing the power of cinema and to furthering Roger's vision, high standards and mission to challenge, encourage and honor filmmakers, critics and writers who follow their hearts and work to illuminate and improve the human condition - who embrace life itself. 
To support the center, visit our giving page.

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival

Ebertfest—founded by the late Roger Ebert, an alum of the College of Media and a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic—takes place in Urbana-Champaign each April and is hosted by Chaz Ebert. Producers, writers, actors, directors and film lovers from around the world attend the festival and its associated events.

Watch a retrospective of the festival.