Alternative Media – Same Bad Reporting

Alternative MediaThe idea behind the need for alternative media is that the alternative is supposed to be better than the regular. In Chicago when it comes to crime reporting, which is all the rage now, nobody does more of it than the Crime in Wriglyville and Boystown Blogish thing now going by CWB Chicago. If you love your crime and violence reporting juiced Up on steroids and without any context this is the outlet for you

Today we are going to examine a one of their recent posts titled “Weeks after prosecutors dropped murder case against him, man’s accused of grabbing teen girl on NW Side”. Yes, all of this is the headline for the post.

The sad thing is that after reading the post you really come away with no more understanding of what happened. Just like you feel when you read the crime reporting from the Sun-Times and Tribune. So, at least this alternative media outlet has that going for it.

The general premise seems to be true that prosecutors had to drop charges against a man with whom they had DNA evidence that supposedly proves that he committed a crime. That man then after spending what appears to be 4 years in jail gets out and goes on to commit another crime trying to lure a teenage girl away but she escaped and flagged down a passing police care and the man in question is arrested.

The article quotes the SAO as saying a ruling on DNA evidence by Illinois appellate court in 2017 change the playing field and as such the SAO did not have the evidence to convict the man so he was released.

Interesting quote! So responsible for them to make the call and get it. My question is why does the reporting stop there?

I can think of some questions that should have been asked that most likely would not have been asked by the mainstream but you would like the alternative media to report out.

  • What does the ruling say?
  • Is the SAO being honest about the ruling?
  • What evidence was there to begin with and how did that evidence change after the 2017 ruling?
  • Did the police or prosecutors fail to follow some leads?
  • Was all the evidence the CPD gathered accepted in to evidence or was some portion thrown out for illegal collection methods by the CPD thus leaving the case in this position?
  • If they were going to drop charges why didn’t they soon after the sulking instead of waiting until 2020 to release the man?

This is just a few but they are pretty important. See, when you are just looking for sensationalized headlines so you can get clicks, increase membership, and drive you political agenda asking all the questions is not necessary.

See the alternative media is only different in the demands they make on the mainstream press. They are very much do what I say not what I do people. Their alternative reporting is just as bad as the mainstream. Actually, it might be worse because they seem to be clueless about much of what academics and experienced journalists know about crime and justice issues.

It is not a surprise to anyone in the justice system or criminological field that this guy may have reoffended. That unfortunately is a common problem that nobody has seemed to find a easy answer for.

The original crime and the alleged crime are both horrible, however, exploiting them for political purposes and as clickbait is also distasteful. This alternative media outlet provides half truths, hides behind anonymous reporting, and drives their political agenda with every post.

One wonders why they have to hind their identities. Are they that scared of owning their reporting? If that reporting worth reading if that is how it has to be done? Can and should we trust it? All good questions they should be required to answer before anyone subscribes to their sensationalized juiced up crime reporting.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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