The TRiiBE, aka Chicago’s premier Black digital news platform dedicated to changing the narrative of Black Chicago, had a running start in 2017 and has not slowed down since. The TRiiBE was founded by Morgan Elise Johnson, who made the Forbes 30 Under 30 media list in 2019, and Tiffany Walden, selected in Poynter’s 2018 class for Poynter’s and the National Association of Black Journalists’ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media. The publication has only ever had one or two staff writers at a time, but with help from their freelancers and editors, the team has consistently put out more compelling and relevant election coverage than any of the legacy publications in the city. The impact is strengthened because it is one of few publications to focus so specifically on Black Chicago in a very Black and heavily segregated city.
From interrogating the politics of former Chicago progressive leaders who have reappeared to Black voters wearing a liberal guise; interviewing all the Black mayoral candidates before the election and keeping readers up to date on them after the election; staying on the tail of Mayor Lori Lightfoot with compelling interviews moderated by Black Chicago leader Bella BAHHS; and engaging with the controversial opinions of Black locals, such as: “Are there too many Black people running for Chicago mayor?”, the TRiiBE has reached over 43,000 followers combined on Twitter and Instagram.
It’s refreshing that the TRiiBE exists in a news media culture where all-white editors in a newsroom are the norm. Because of that, some of these legacy publications don’t necessarily have the cultural scope and know-how to address Black Chicago directly, correctly, and confidently like the TRiiBE can. Kudos to y’all, and long live the Black Press.