The coverage of justice issues in Chicago overall has and continues to be a huge problem for the Chicago media. The hyper-concentration on gun violence and the daily tally of shootings has taken center stage across the various mediums for which Chicagoans can consume news.
The legacy outlets also have to compete with agenda driven political operations that camouflaging themselves as media operations pushing constant theme of violence being out of control to stir fear and stoke racial tensions with little concern for justice.
This combination has a very real impact on the ability of policymakers and criminal justice officials to bring about reforms to the justice system that may in fact has some substantive impact on the violence over the long-term.
A prime example of this phenomena is the media’s coverage of bail reform in Cook County and of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The media and political operations continue their daily hunt for any sign that anyone that has been released through the bail reform program has re-offended while awaiting a conclusion of their case. These rare events are then blown up in the coverage as demonstrations of the program’s overall failure despite the fact that the re-offending rates are remarkably low overall.
On today’s show we discuss the media’s coverage of justice issues with Mick Dumke, a reporter and columnist for ProPublica Illinois.
Here is the special prosecutor’s report detailing his findings related to the investigation of the Jussie Smollett case.
Also, just a quick note for context. We are mere weeks away from suing the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for violations of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Find out more insider details about our work through our Patreon Campaign.
Below is a video of our discussion posted on our YouTube Channel. You can find clips from this discussion, our Facebook Live show, and all of our discussions about justice issues on our YouTube Channel.