Of the 900 participants surveyed for Center for Media Engagement and City Bureau’s Chicago Media Survey, the majority—roughly 57 percent—identified “crime and law enforcement” as the top issue facing Chicago neighborhoods. The second most frequently selected answer, “housing, zoning and land,” garnered just 12.7 percent. Yet the majority of West and South Side residents (67.8 percent and 54.2 percent respectively) said that stories about their neighborhood are too negative. So how and when should we report on crime in Chicago?
City Bureau has teamed up with Block Club Chicago and the Journalism + Design program at The New School in New York to host a variety of community organizations and local journalists to begin to answer that question. We’ll kick off the workshop with a brief panel discussion about the current state of crime reporting and how we can start to reframe coverage of this issue. Panelists will address some of the following questions: What is the role and opportunity for journalism when it comes to systemic problems like violent crime? What does comprehensive coverage of the different forces that feed into crime look like? How can we produce news and information that can create positive change in the communities most affected by crime?