State Capitol in Springfield

Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

The 21st Show - October 27, 2021

Can a new taskforce save Illinois journalism?

This week, as we ask "Who is in charge of the news?" we look at the new Local Journalism Task Force, signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker. To find out who’s on the task force, their goals, and whether it will save local, independent journalism, we were joined by the bill’s creator, the bill's co-sponsor, the news director at Northern Public Radio, and a journalism professor.

left: Sinclair Broadcasting, upper right: News-Gazette building in Champaign, lower right: WCIA-TV studio in Champaign

Associated Press, Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media, WCIA-TV

The 21st Show - October 26, 2021

Who owns local newspapers and TV newsrooms?

As part of our weeklong "Who's In Charge of The News?" special series, we're focusing on the few companies that own TV stations and newspapers in downstate Illinois.

A gauge shows the rate of papers being printed at The State Journal-Register in Springfield on Feb. 28, 2011. It was the last local run of the SJ-R — after that, the parent company dismantled the press and moved printing operations to Peoria, one of the early cost-cutting moves in what would be a decade of reductions.

Brian Mackey

The 21st Show - October 25, 2021

What a shrinking newspaper costs a community

Some version of the newspaper known today as The State-Journal Register has been published in Springfield and Sangamon County since 1831, but today, The newspaper of today is a shadow of what it once was. Today on the program, we talk about what's lost when a community sees its newspaper shrinks.

The 21st Show - October 24, 2021

Coming October 25: Who’s in charge of the news?

Next week: The 21st is talking about news deserts, news ownership, and news literacy in Illinois. Share your concerns about local news by leaving us a voicemail at 217.300.2121 or emailing

Rochelle Sennet, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of piano, paired suites by J.S. Bach with those by several Black composers for her “Bach to Black” project.

Darrell Hoemann

The 21st Show - October 21, 2021

Bach to Black: Making classical music appreciation more inclusive

Bach to Black is a new project from a University of Illinois professor and pianist that pairs Johann Sebastian Bach's music with works written by Black composers. It's designed to bridge divides in the music community and increase diversity and inclusion in classical music. 

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

The 21st Show - October 21, 2021

Aging as a member of the LGBTQ community

According to the latest report from AARP Illinois and SAGE, more than 60 percent of LGBTQ adults fear neglect, abuse or discrimination because of their identity when accessing long-term care. We spoke with older members of the LGBTQ community about where they’re finding support.

The 21st Show - October 20, 2021

Fiona’s Guardians: Turning a novel into a podcast

Fiona’s Guardians tells the story of Fiona, a 250-year old vampire who uses human guardians to procure her nightly requirement of 10 pints of human blood. The book is now also being turned into a podcast called “Mysterious Journey: Fiona’s Guardians” produced by Artists’ Ensemble Theater in Rockford. We were joined by the novel's author and the playwright who adapted the book into a podcast script.

Midewin Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The 21st Show - October 20, 2021

Prairie preservation vs airport expansion

As part of a 280 acre expansion of the Chicago Rockford International Airport, the prairie, which has gone undeveloped for thousands of years, could be bulldozed, despite concerns that only .01% of Illinois' natural prairie remains.

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