What is a digital subscription? How much does it cost? Why is a subscription so important?

You can find the options to subscribe at the top right of any page on the Chicago Journal, or at the following link:

To get a better idea of what a subscription does and why it's so important to us, please continue reading.

Why is a subscription so important?

As we also mention on our About Page, we’re a small, privately-owned, independent operation that believes in hard work and that Chicago is the Great American City. We're committed to telling the good, the bad, the ugly, and the funny story of this town.

We refuse to cater to outside shareholder investment or change course based on the whims of venture capital. We refuse to rely on donations or apply for federal and/or non-governmental organizational grants. While we do work with advertisers, annual budgetary decisions are made solely upon the readership/subscriber base.

We do all this to protect our publications, because we're uncompromising in our belief in our creative and editorial independence. Strictly operating this way allows our business to remain committed to both our employees and our readership/subscriber base and it allows us and them greatest amount of freedom in thought and opinion.

We can't do it without your support. The only way to accomplish this is by a commitment from subscribers.

It’s our goal to, one day, become a digital destination and essential resource in the lives of our readers. We invite you on this journey and we hope that you’ll stick with us as we do our best to grow the Chicago Journal into something special.

To expound further, if you want an independent voice that is free from influence, there's simply no getting around it. The internet and digital media has changed publishing forever. Gone are the days where a reader/user/viewer would pay a set price in exchange for one copy of a daily newspaper, a monthly magazine, or even a film. All of it, the entire history of mankind and a metaphorical universe of potential information has been compressed and ordered and linked to in little 1's and 0's being transferred back and forth and to and fro through, for all we know, what we may as well refer to as the ancient mythical element, æther. We're simple and we're not going to pretend we know how this is all going to play out on the great stage called life but, hey, it's how things work now.

We could try and fight it. We choose to embrace it.

Yes, times of great technological upheaval can be turbulent, but we're deeply excited and feel blessed that it's us that get to live through and witness these profound advancements and changes in the ways that humans fundamentally communicate with each other and explore and discover and learn and share new information. We mean that with all sincerity.  

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a digital subscription? How much does it cost?

A digital subscription provides access to the Chicago Journal at Currently, the Chicago Journal does not operate any additional official releases but by purchasing a subscription, you help us grow and we thank you.

At just $26/year, an annual subscription is our best value. Alternatively, you can subscribe for just $4/month.

2. What if I don’t want to subscribe — can I still read for free?

Visitors are able to enjoy the news page, some features and interviews chosen by the editors, the glossary, and real estate sections without a subscription. The site also may publish newsletters from Chicago Journal writers and artists, as well as podcasts, videos, slide shows, interactive graphics, and contests which may be able to be accessed without a subscription. The site also invites its guests to connect on social media where some posts may be accessed for free.

3. How are digital subscriptions billed?

As a digital subscriber, you can pay via debit card, credit card, or Stripe. Your payment method will be charged automatically on a recurring basis. Your subscription will be renewed automatically, and you will be charged in advance of each billing cycle unless you cancel.

Please note: "Challenge Media, LLC." will appear on your billing statement.

4. How can I share my digital subscription?

Unfortunately, you can not share a digital subscription. We will notify all subscribers in the event this changes in the future.

5. What is the cancellation and refund policy?

You can change or cancel your subscription at any time by contacting Customer Care. When you cancel, we will stop charging your account the following billing cycle.

6. How do I change the email address that’s associated with my digital subscription?

To change your email address, visit your account area. In the Account Details section, simply change your email address where it says Email Address*. Enter a new address, and then select Save Changes. If the email address you want to use is already associated with a different account, an error message will appear. To resolve this, please contact Customer Care.

7. How do I change my digital subscription?

Currently, you must contact Customer Care to change your digital subscription.

8. Can I give someone a digital subscription as a gift?


9. Do you have an education, group, or corporate subscription program? Are there any subscription discounts?

We do not currently offer any type of discount to groups, corporations, or for education. We will notify active subscribers in the event this changes in the future.

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