Stand Up For Local News

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NCTV17’s role in the community has grown and changed a lot over its 35 years, with much of it taking place in the past 10 years.

NCTV17’s local news coverage is essential to staying true to our vision of creating, “An informed, engaged and connected community.” News is part of how we tell local Naperville stories on-air and online.

But why is local news important?

Naperville thrives because it has informed citizens. On a daily basis, NCTV17 provides impartial, fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that affect the quality of life in Naperville, such as safety, education, and the cost of living.

When you have local information, it’s easier to feel engaged and connected to your home town.

Local news is a shared experience…it engages us in something bigger than ourselves. We all want to be part of something. NCTV17’s hyper-local news coverage gives us the information needed to make decisions on a local basis and to get involved in our community.

Whether its neighbors coming together to clean up after a tornado, or getting to know more about a local non-profit, or experiencing the Last Fling in downtown Naperville… watching those stories builds a sense of belonging.

Naperville is the 4th largest city in the state of Illinois. It covers more than 44 square miles and looks different from just 35 years ago, when NCTV17 was founded. But Naperville is special in that its residents still want to feel like neighbors. Naperville has grown into a large and thriving community with all the amenities of a large city…but it’s also succeeded in holding dear that small-town culture. A culture that prides itself on a strong work ethic, neighbors helping neighbors, and welcoming everyone.

News, journalism, and NCTV17 are at a crossroads.

The reasons are too numerous to mention here, but a critical one is financial. For NCTV17, older sources of revenue, like the cable franchise fees, no longer support our mission as they once did. The cost of a 24/7 news cycle has increased.

The distribution channels for NCTV17 have also grown.

As the consumer, you have demanded content when, how, and where you want it. The use of mobile technology is revolutionizing the way television is consumed. NCTV17 responded to that consumer demand more than a decade ago and met it head on – in some cases ahead of the networks.

We went from offering up one weekly newscast that residents could watch on Channel 17 to offering it up via simulcast on our website, then on-demand video, followed by offering up each individual news story on-demand–not only on our website, but also on YouTube and social media channels.

That demand for more hyper-local news led us to launch NCTV17 News Update in 2016 offering residents daily news through email, online at, and NCTV17’s Facebook page.

What’s important to note, and separates us from other local print media sources, is that all of our content is available for free and not behind a paywall. This commitment to ‘accessibility’ goes back to NCTV17’s roots, beginning with public access to media via Channel 17. The bedrock of a healthy democracy is freedom of the press and providing residents with access to the local news they need to make informed decisions at a local level.

NCTV17, as a nonprofit, is embracing a national movement which calls on citizens to recognize, support, and value local news as a pillar of a robust community, placing it alongside other institutes of knowledge like libraries, museums, and schools.

As the executive director of Naperville’s nonprofit television station, I am asking you to stand up for local news and support NCTV17. Help us ensure that Naperville News 17 will continue to keep you informed, engaged and connected to your community for the next 35 years.

Liz Spencer – NCTV17 Executive Director