What’s Going On? – a conference on covering violence

“So, why is this happening? Why so much violence?” asks a guy sitting beside me.

“I don’t think it’s one thing,” I reply. “I don’t think its just gangs. It’s more. But what makes it so explosive, I can’t say.”

We’re sitting among groups that deal with youth violence in Chicago.

But I get the sense that some folks understand what gives Chicago a homicide rate twice that of New York or Los Angeles. I get this from listening to city and county officials and organizations deeply involved in dealing with violence.

Are they correct?

Do others agree?

Are we stuck on not understanding what’s happening?

Reading Greg Hinz’ column tells me that we are stuck and we want to know what’s going on.

Here’s the column.


And here I read about work in Chicago that seems to make a difference. But it doesn’t tell me what’s at the root of what’s going on.

Here’s the article from the Huffington Post:


This is why we are holding a workshop this Thursday, June 28th, for the news media to meet those groups here who work with violence day in and day and city and county officials who are looking at what can be done. Think speed interviews. We’ll also provide an extensive list of sources of contacts for your reporting.

WBEZ reporter and South Side bureau chief Natalie Moore is the moderator for our event.

Our goal is to help Chicago’s news media tell the whole story about youth violence, and to know where and how to get the information from those closest to what’s happening.

Where: 33 East Congress, first floor, Columbia College, journalism building (Congress and Wabash) CTA bus and train stops are nearby. Link here for a map: http://mapq.st/LzUNYs

Time: 9 am to 11:30 am

Please click here to let us know you are joining us:


Contacts: Stephen Franklin, Community Media Workshop, office – 312 369 7782, cell – 773 595 8667, steve@chicagoistheworld.org or

Rebecca Levin, MPH, Strategic Director, Injury Prevention and Research Center

Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, T 312.227.6948 | F 312.227.9475 | rlevin@luriechildrens.org

This is an effort of the Community Media Workshop’s We Are Not Alone/No Estamos Solos project on youth violence and Strengthening Chicago’s Youth, an anti-violence campaign anchored at Children’s Memorial Hospital

The Chicago Headline Club, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, is a co-sponsor of this event.

And Marvin has the last word.

by Carlos Javier Ortiz









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