'Chicago Sun-Times' Joins AAM's Audit Program, Ups Digital Transparency

On the day it was sold to Chicago Public Media and joined forces with the city’s WBEZ radio station, the Chicago Sun-Times became the newest verified digital member of the Alliance for Audited Media.

The paper completed AAM’s Digital Publisher Audit Program last month.

AAM requires completion of an in-depth Digital Publisher Audit that validates sources of website traffic, inspects business operations, and evaluates traffic-sourcing policies for publishers. AAM’s verification affirms the Sun-Times has demonstrated its commitment to transparency throughout their entire digital advertising operation, the newspaper said in an announcement.

“AAM serves as a traffic watchdog for media organizations — in the same way the Sun-Times keeps its finger on the pulse of local government and city agencies,” Sun-Times CEO Nykia Wright said in the statement. “We are thrilled to have earned this recognition for the integrity of our operations.”



The Sun-Times has made significant strides in recent years to grow its digital audience through efforts that include site improvements, a vastly expanded email newsletter portfolio, and significant investment in data-driven and interactive online storytelling, she said. The accurate and trustworthy accounting of those initiatives and the Sun-Times’ audience, as validated by AAM, allow the newspaper to “extend the benefits of that growth to advertisers and other partners.”

The audit program maintains continuous oversight of website traffic and audience metrics for verified sites, so advertisers can rely on AAM’s ongoing oversight as the news organization expands advertising platforms, Wright added. Plans for 2022 include new offerings across podcast products and enhanced digital opportunities.

AAM will host training sessions for Sun-Times staff and provide supplemental resources to explain the audit process and the value of verified status.

The Sun-Times joins the hundreds of media companies on the AAM Audited Domain List of verified and trustworthy media platforms, an important distinction in a competitive market like Chicago, according to the statement.

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