Sagging pants? Jail time from one Cook County Judge

By Medill Watchdog on November 18, 2014
By the staff of Medill Watchdog Here’s how the criminal justice system worked for Stevon James: After James pulled his cellphone out to record a police disturbance on West Congress Parkway in July, the police arrested him for using a “communication device while operating a bicycle.” And when James went to his court date on… View Article
If you’re like us, you’ve probably been waiting with bated breath each week for the latest episode of Serial. For the uninitiated, the new podcast from Sarah Koenig of This American Life is a season-long dive into the mysterious 1999 murder of a Maryland high school student. Back then, teenager Adnan Syed was convicted of… View Article

Finding truth: Risky business

By Rick Tulsky on October 31, 2014
In a city with 400 murders a year, it’s hard to imagine any of them having greater impact than the 1982 double murder of Jerry Hillard, 18 and his girlfriend Marilyn Green, 19. This is a crime that happened 32 years ago  at Washington Park on Chicago’s South Side in the early morning hours. There’s… View Article

Of bright lines and political interference

By Rick Tulsky on October 25, 2014
We’re big believers that our currency as journalists is our credibility; we worry about most anything that leaves an audience doubtful of journalists’ reporting. So we paid attention when Dave McKinney, the Sun-Times’ respected statehouse reporter, resigned this week and posted on his website a letter accusing the newspaper of buckling to special interests. Or,… View Article

Hollywood is not a newsroom

By Rick Tulsky on October 18, 2014
Joseph Pulitzer’s newsroom wall bore a sign that cried: “Accuracy, Accuracy, Accuracy!” That would not be a sign you’d find at Fox or Columbia or Warner Brothers. Gary Webb was a dogged reporter. But journalists always have to be mindful of not overstating what they find, and making sure the conclusions we write are supported…. View Article