WBEZ | media http://www.wbez.org/tags/media Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Can you hear us now? No? Well, here's why http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/can-you-hear-us-now-no-well-heres-why-109727 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/135672786&amp;color=00aabb&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Doug1.JPG" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Doug Schenkelberg: Astute radio listener (Courtesy of Schenkelberg)" />Doug Schenkelberg listens to radio all the time, but he recently noticed that he gets static at a particular intersection in downtown Chicago. This prompted him to ask Curious City:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em style="text-align: center;">&ldquo;Why does radio reception always go bad at the intersection of Canal and Van Buren Street?&rdquo;</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Embarrassingly, the signal Doug has been having trouble with at that corner is none other than WBEZ&rsquo;s and, it turns out, he&rsquo;s not the only <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/1641">listener experiencing trouble near that area</a>. &nbsp;</div><p>For the record, we didn&rsquo;t know the signal in question was ours until we started finding an answer for Doug, but it turns out that the physics that keep FM radio humming &mdash; and create problems &mdash; are shared by public, commercial, and educational broadcasters alike. And, the exercise of tracking down a cause is a reminder that the technology we care about is not always associated with the Internet.</p><p><strong>Some likely suspects</strong></p><p>WBEZ engineer Peter Femal points out that if radio broadcasting technology never existed today and people heard it was possible to &ldquo;build a signal that covers millions of people 50 to 100 miles from one single point,&rdquo; the response would likely be exuberant.</p><p>But maybe radio&rsquo;s overall reliability is partly responsible for its mystery. To straighten things out for Doug, we spoke with broadcast engineers about the obstacles radio signals encounter in cities. Here, we showcase a few common culprits.</p><p><strong>Distance</strong></p><p>Because radio is usually so reliable, the causes of bad reception can seem mysterious. The only exception, maybe, is distance, which is the most common cause.</p><p>Unlike the Internet, which is connected world-wide, radio broadcasts are limited to the signal coverage of their local transmitters and antennas. You probably know this from road trips, which add miles between your car&rsquo;s receiver and your favorite hometown radio station; the farther you travel, the weaker the signal gets and the more static you hear<a name="distance"></a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="383" scrolling="no" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/distanceSmall/index.html" width="600"></iframe></p><p><em>Turn up your volume and drag in the graphic above (or <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/distance/index.html" target="_blank">open a full-size window</a>) to experience the effect of distance on radio reception. As you get further from a station&rsquo;s broadcast location, the signal will weaken, and you will hear static. If another station is broadcasting on the same frequency in another city, you might begin to pick up their signal as you get close to that city. Note: Interactive graphic works best with <a href="http://https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/" target="_blank">Google Chrome</a> or <a href="http://http://www.apple.com/safari/">Safari</a>.</em></p><p>However Doug&rsquo;s problem area at Van Buren and Canal Street is less than two miles away from WBEZ&rsquo;s broadcast tower at the John Hancock Center. In Doug&rsquo;s case, there are more complex issues than distance at work.</p><p><strong>Shadowing</strong></p><p>The simplest, city-based radio problem is called shadowing, which is basically a fancy term for a big building getting in the way.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re in the right shadow of a certain building, our signal might have a hard time coming down into that valley,&rdquo; WBEZ engineer Peter Femal says.</p><p>In Doug&rsquo;s case, there&rsquo;s a mass of skyscrapers between his particular downtown corner and the transmitter at the John Hancock Center. With so many buildings between the Hancock Center and Van Buren &amp; Canal, the shadowing phenomenon means that WBEZ&rsquo;s signal is off to a rough start, and that&rsquo;s before we factor in multipath interference.</p><p><strong>Multipath</strong></p><p>Multipath interference is a bizarre phenomenon, in that it occurs when a radio signal interferes with itself. When a radio station broadcasts a signal, that signal propagates throughout the city, reflecting off of many of the buildings. Even if a signal has a direct path from your radio to the broadcast tower, that signal is also bouncing off the buildings around you. Sometimes a bounced signal and the direct signal hit your antenna together, but the reflected signal travels farther and is a bit delayed.</p><p>John Boehm, a broadcast engineer for Clear Channel, says that sometimes, the delayed signal will be stronger than the direct one. The delay between signal paths results in interference.</p><p>Doug&rsquo;s trouble spot lies in what you might consider an urban canyon; the corner&rsquo;s next to the Chicago River, which is lined with skyscrapers on either side. Radio signals can bounce back and forth from building to building in this canyon, creating prime conditions for multipath interference.<a name="multipath"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="383" scrolling="no" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/shadowSmall/index.html" width="600"></iframe></p><p><em>Turn up your volume and d</em><em>rag around the graphic above (or <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/radio/shadow/index.html" target="_blank">open a full-size window</a>) to experience the effect of shadowing and multipath on radio reception. Shadowing occurs when a building or other obstruction gets between your radio and the signal source. Multipath results when signals reflected off of buildings interfere with the direct signal. Note: Interactive graphic works best with <a href="https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/" target="_blank">Google Chrome</a> or <a href="http://www.apple.com/safari/" target="_blank">Safari</a>.</em></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WBEZCuriousCityRadio-14.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="We listen carefully at the problematic corner. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" /><strong>Other radio stations</strong></div><p>The last radio problem that&rsquo;s relevant for Doug and other urban radio fans</p><p>comes from all the other high-powered radio stations in the city. Peter Femal says that radio stations on other frequencies can make things difficult for listeners if &ldquo;they&rsquo;re near another very high power RF [radio frequency] installation. &hellip; Swamping their radio full of other stuff.&rdquo;</p><p>Under these circumstances, Femal says, car radios can get confused. If the radio station that you&rsquo;re trying to listen to has weak reception, some radios will look for the next most powerful signal, even if it is from a completely different radio station on another frequency. The resulting effect can sound like the ghost of another radio station haunting the one you are tuned to.</p><p>Many high-powered radio stations broadcast from the Willis Tower&rsquo;s antennas, which is right next to Doug&rsquo;s corner. The tower&rsquo;s radio signals give a confused car radio lots of other options. During a test conducted in a car parked at Doug&rsquo;s corner, a WBEZ engineer and I could hear Queen&rsquo;s &ldquo;Crazy Little Thing Called Love&rdquo; coming in from a music station &mdash; even when the radio was clearly tuned for WBEZ&rsquo;s signal.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/path%20alternate%20%281%29.jpg" title="The WBEZ signal travels a treacherous path to get to Doug’s corner. Shadowing from downtown’s skyscrapers, multipath from the Chicago river, and other radio stations from the Willis tower, all contribute to bad reception at Van Buren &amp; Canal. (Google Earth)" /></div></div><p>So unfortunately, at the corner of Van Buren and Canal street, it seems like static is coming from all of the above: shadowing from downtown skyscrapers, multipath interference occurring within an urban canyon along the Chicago River, and other radio stations from the Willis Tower&rsquo;s broadcast antennas. With all those issues, unfortunately, there&rsquo;s not much that can be done to improve reception at that corner.&nbsp;</p><p>But, in this day and age, many of us have the option of enjoying our favorite radio programs delivered static free, via podcast. Curious City, ahem, is just one of many available in <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161" target="_blank">iTunes </a>and <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CuriousCityPodcast">Feedburner</a>. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Mickey Capper is a Curious City Intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/fmcapper">@fmcapper</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/can-you-hear-us-now-no-well-heres-why-109727 Protesters rally against Chicago Sun-Times photo layoffs http://www.wbez.org/sections/media/protesters-rally-against-chicago-sun-times-photo-layoffs-107573 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/c19862c4ceb711e28faf22000a1f99f9_7.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Local reporters, photographers and labor leaders gathered with picket signs outside the Chicago Sun-Times building Thursday, a week after the entire photography department at the newspaper was let go.</p><p>Cars driving by the rally beeped their horns as around 150 supporters chanted &ldquo;quality, not cuts&rdquo; and &ldquo;no more layoffs.&rdquo;&nbsp; Many of the faces in the crowd matched the bylines and names from the newspaper: Longtime Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown carried a sign that said, &ldquo;John H. White - &lsquo;nuf said.&rdquo; White, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, marched just a few steps behind him, along with other former Sun-Times photogs.</p><p>Craig Rosenbaum, executive director of the Chicago Newspaper Guild, says they&rsquo;ve filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board that says the layoffs violate federal law. The Guild represents 20 of the photographers who were laid off.</p><p>&ldquo;This is one of the few cities that has two papers, the Tribune and the Sun-Times,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And how are you going to be able to compete with the competition when you don&rsquo;t have two professional photojournalists?&rdquo;</p><p>Rosenbaum says the Guild is planning another rally for next week.</p><p>A statement from the Sun-Times Media group after the layoffs said the decision was &ldquo;difficult,&rdquo; but noted the media business is changing rapidly, and audiences want more video content with their news.</p><p>Meanwhile, many of the former Sun-Times photographers say they&rsquo;re trying to move on to freelancing and other projects.&nbsp; Rob Hart, who started at the Sun-Times over a decade ago, says he was serving dual roles at the protest Thursday morning: marching alongside his former colleagues, and photographing the protest for a freelance assignment.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/protesters-rally-against-chicago-sun-times-photogr.js" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/protesters-rally-against-chicago-sun-times-photogr" target="_blank">View the story "Protesters rally against Chicago Sun-Times photography layoffs" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 14:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/media/protesters-rally-against-chicago-sun-times-photo-layoffs-107573 Making Media Connections 2013: OhBama! Discover the Tactics behind using technology in your campaigns http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/making-media-connections-2013-ohbama-discover-tactics-behind-using <p><p>The Obama for America team redefined how technology is used to run a successful campaign. Many of today&#39;s campaign strategist have taken notes after seeing what The Obama for America team has done. Knowing how to cater to your community and audience, understanding what tools are available to smaller nonprofit and how to access them is very important for all organizations. Non-profits must keep up with the innovation of technology and use the many communication tools that are out there for their benefit. Learn what technology is right for you and your organization, and how it can help you tell your stories and maximize volunteer and donor engagement.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CMW-webstory_7.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at Columbia College Chicago.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 13:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/making-media-connections-2013-ohbama-discover-tactics-behind-using CPS limits coverage from closing schools http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-limits-coverage-closing-schools-107275 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/CPS Access(1).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education will decide whether to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-proposes-closing-53-elementary-schools-firing-staff-another-6-106202" target="_blank">close 54 schools</a> it says are failing or underutilized.</p><p>Since the recommended list of closures was announced in March, the city has been in a heated debate about whether some schools should be taken off the list. Media access to these buildings has been almost impossible, and some worry decisions will be made without a thorough inspection.</p><p>Arturs Weible is a music teacher at Lafayette Elementary School in Chicago&rsquo;s Humboldt Park neighborhood. He directs the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/lafayette-elementary-string-orchestra-tunes-despite-uncertain-future-107255" target="_blank">only string orchestra</a> at a CPS elementary school.</p><p>&ldquo;We have 85 kids participating in the program. And these kids have higher expectations to keep their grades up. They have to keep their behavior in order,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And so these kids are basically doing above and beyond pretty much anything that&rsquo;s being asked of an elementary school child.&rdquo;</p><p>Lafayette is slated to close because CPS considers it an underutilized building. Weible disagrees, and says all parts of the building are in use, but maybe not at all times of the day.</p><p>He says he wants the public to see the school before a decision is made.</p><p>&ldquo;To not allow media coverage within school hours is not fair to these parents. They don&rsquo;t have a voice otherwise. The media is the voice of the community,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Before CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett announced the closings list, Weible said journalists got into Lafayette easily. Now, it&rsquo;s like a black out with the exception of heavily restricted visits.</p><p>The district said since late March, every media outlet has had access to a proposed closing school and/or receiving school.</p><p>CPS says with less than a week until the board vote, it&rsquo;s denying media access to the closing schools because it would be too disruptive. But a number of news organizations including WBEZ and Catalyst magazine say they&rsquo;ve been denied access to closing schools since the list was made public.</p><p>Some reporters have successfully entered closing schools through other means.</p><p>&ldquo;I was invited to come to Garvey by a parent,&rdquo; said Kate Grossman, deputy editorial page editor for the Chicago Sun-Times.</p><p>She toured Garvey Elementary on the city&rsquo;s South Side earlier this spring. It&rsquo;s another school proposed to be closed because of underutilization.</p><p>She said there are numbers to back up CPS&rsquo;s closing recommendations, but there&rsquo;s also the reality of what&rsquo;s happening inside.</p><p>&ldquo;You can see that by going to these schools and seeing that they have quite a lot to offer kids even though on paper they&rsquo;re underused,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So I think it&rsquo;s a crucial part of the decision making when you&rsquo;re deciding to close a school and consolidate it with another to know what you might be losing.&rdquo;</p><p>Grossman said her visit to Garvey was very different from when she was invited by CPS to tour a receiving school with CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett.</p><p>&ldquo;It was lots of people, and you can&rsquo;t really do a lot of in-depth reporting when you&rsquo;re following a school CEO around. And the principal might not be comfortable speaking her mind,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>A student at Northwestern&rsquo;s Medill School of Journalism also tried to gain access to schools without permission. CPS threatened to sever ties with Medill if it happened again.</p><p>Professor Marcel Pacatte agreed the student was wrong, but said the district&rsquo;s response was extreme.</p><p>&ldquo;A student was told yesterday there would be no more audio recording at closing schools. So that&rsquo;s a fairly draconian issue,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Pacatte said now he&rsquo;s making sure students are going through the proper channels to ensure Medill can continue covering the schools.</p><p>&ldquo;I get where they&rsquo;re coming from but I still don&rsquo;t understand how they think it&rsquo;s beneficial for the citizens of Chicago or the students in the schools of the district in the city itself to prevent stories from being told,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Media restrictions aren&rsquo;t uncommon for urban school districts.</p><p>But Emily Richmond with the National Education Writers Association says too many restrictions can force reporters to find another way into the schools.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s really no substitute for being able to just step back and watch what&rsquo;s happening around you and have that first hand observation. And who knows what stories they would find in there,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Richmond says with an historic number of schools that could be affected, news coverage needs to go beyond statistics and present a clearer view of what&rsquo;s happening.</p><p><em>Susie An covers business for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/soosieon" target="_blank">@soosieon</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 20 May 2013 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-limits-coverage-closing-schools-107275 For some, Boston news coverage highlights need for Muslims in the media http://www.wbez.org/news/some-boston-news-coverage-highlights-need-muslims-media-106753 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP65997749651.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As details continue to emerge about the two brothers suspected of planting bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday, many American Muslims are processing the treatment that this story has gotten in the mainstream news media. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia, but little is still known about their motives or other affiliations.</p><p>Even before the suspects were identified, news shows and commentary programs on outlets such as Fox News, CNN and Glenn Beck speculated that the perpetrator of the attack was Saudi, Arab, &ldquo;dark-skinned,&rdquo; or Muslim. Fox News pundit Erik Rush provoked particular outcry when he tweeted &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s kill them all,&rdquo; in response to a message about Muslims &mdash;a tweet that he later said was sarcastic.</p><p>&ldquo;[The] Islamophobia machine is out there, it&rsquo;s well-funded, well-oiled,&rdquo; said Abdul Malik Mujahid, a Chicago-area imam and founder of SoundVision, an Islamic educational media organization. &ldquo;Muslims have a responsibility to move forward and use the media which they have the freedom to use to say their opinion.&rdquo;</p><p>Mujahid said the coverage has bolstered his belief that Muslims need to play a bigger role in crafting media coverage, whether by creating their own media outlets or by joining the newsrooms of existing ones. It&rsquo;s a battle that Mujahid began nearly ten years ago, with the launching of Radio Islam, a daily, current affairs program that streams online and at 6 p.m. nightly on WCEV 1450AM.</p><p>A recent show focused on Muslims who were at the Boston Marathon as runners or as first responders. Mujahid said the idea is to counter <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/Public-Remains-Conflicted-Over-Islam.aspx" target="_blank">a trend toward unfavorable attitudes toward Muslims.</a></p><p>&ldquo;Despite the fact that Muslims have done a lot of effort to reach out to their neighbors, [perceptions of] Muslims and Islam in America continue to go on the negative side,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>In the wake of the Boston coverage, Mujahid has stepped up a call for donations to expand Radio Islam&rsquo;s programming. He wants to build a new studio downtown to increase the amount of programming, as well as foster the training of Muslim journalists.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve made this switch from more of a victim mentality, more of this idea of please don&rsquo;t beat me up, and kind of scared and not knowing what to expect, as opposed to now taking a more confident and proactive position,&rdquo; said Asma Uddin, an attorney at the Becket Foundation for Religious Liberty and the founder of Altmuslimah, a blog about gender and Islam.</p><p>Uddin said since 9/11, more Muslims have started to think like Mujahid, focusing on how to disseminate their stories through the media. She said she saw the effect of that in the media coverage of the Boston bombings. Although some news outlets rushed to connect the attack to Islam, she said many more were careful not to jump to conclusions.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s become increasingly sophisticated, and part of that, is because Muslims are speaking up and nuancing people&rsquo;s perceptions,&rdquo; Mujahid said.</p><p>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef </a>and @<a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud" target="_blank">WBEZoutloud</a>.</p></p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 20:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-boston-news-coverage-highlights-need-muslims-media-106753 The Consequences of the Media Information Hydrant: A Nation of Silent Spectators with Torey Malatia http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/consequences-media-information-hydrant-nation-silent-spectators-torey <p><p><strong>Torey Malatia</strong> is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Chicago Public Media, Inc. He is a leader in public media strategic thinking, has written and lectured extensively about the public media&#39;s role as a public trust, and serves as Board Chair of Public Radio Exchange, Inc. As an advocate for deepening community commitments, he has spearheaded numerous neighborhood and local reporting initiatives.</p><p>Together with <strong>Ira Glass</strong>, Torey co-founded <em>This American Life</em> in 1995. &nbsp;Under his leadership, Chicago Public Media has developed its most significant national initiatives and programs, including <em>The Third Coast International Audio Festival</em> in 2000, Sound Opinions in 2005, and <em>Wait, Wait, Don&rsquo;t Tell Me!</em>, a co-production with National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. in 1998. &nbsp;In 2001, he was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame as the first not-for-profit representative to receive this honor.</p><div>Born and reared in Oak Park, Illinois, Torey resides in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, artist <strong>Elizabeth Carson Manley</strong>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ASCD-webstory_6.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div>Recorded live Sunday, April 13, 2013 at The Stevenson Center on Democracy.</div></p> Sat, 13 Apr 2013 16:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/consequences-media-information-hydrant-nation-silent-spectators-torey RedEye article sparks discussion about media racism http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/redeye-article-sparks-discussion-about-media-racism-105929 <p><div class="image-insert-image ">On days where the wintry weather overtakes Chicago and you can barely see outside of your window, I&rsquo;m oddly reminded of the 2000 kids&rsquo; movie <em>Snow Day</em>. According to the logic of the film, snow days change things; they re-write the rules. When the snow began to hit in the wee hours of the morning, I poured myself a glass of wine, listened to the new David Bowie and re-posted a photo of the <em>RedEye</em> to Facebook before bedtime. All in all an average night, right?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But I forgot the movie&rsquo;s lesson: anything can happen on a snow day.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">When I woke up Tuesday morning, that photo had been shared from my personal page over 2,500 times and another 600 from the author&rsquo;s page. I figured that a couple friends of mine would comment on it, and we would privately lament the state of media racism in this country, before we move on to eat sandwiches and poop (not at the same time). I&rsquo;ve become so desensitized to racism that I no longer am surprised when things like this happen, because they&rsquo;re such a common occurrence. We want to be newly incensed every time Victoria Jackson says something stupid or people have racist reactions to chips, but at a certain point, these things become the expected norm, yet another dick in the wall</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">On the evening in question, racism just made me sleepy. Call it <a href="http://jezebel.com/5987118/sexism-fatigue-when-seth-macfarlane-is-a-complete-ass-and-you-dont-even-notice">racism fatigue</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">However, the photo going viral Tuesday reminded me how much we need this dialogue, how much we need to be reminded that these issues are worth engaging and that we have a responsibility to spread awareness. It reminded me of my own privilege in being able to shut the computer on racism and ignore it if I want to. I can plug my ears and say la-la-la if I want to, because (as a non-POC) structural racism benefits me. On an unseasonably cold March morning, it was the ultimate alarm call. The best part of waking up is racism in your cup.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">For those unfamiliar, Westgard&rsquo;s photo breaks down the amount of coverage allotted to crime in Chicago, where the shooting of a woman in Rogers Park gets 10 times the word count of four people killed in the Back of the Yards, Englewood, Gage Park and New City. The <em>RedEye</em> piece is a abridged version of Adam Sege&rsquo;s original <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-03/news/chi-overnight-crime-20130303_1_yards-neighborhood-englewood-neighborhood-people-shot">article</a>, which goes further into the incidents in the latter four neighborhoods. It&rsquo;s problematic that Sege had to lead with the woman in the Northside neighborhood, burying the others at the back of the article. But at least it&rsquo;s more equitable. That&#39;s better, <em>n&#39;est-ce pas?</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Spoiler: <em>Non. </em></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/redeye.jpg" style="height: 536px; width: 400px;" title="(Source: Thomas Westgard) Breakdown of racial bias in Red Eye coverage" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Is it sad that I could even think about &ldquo;defending&rdquo; the <em>Tribune</em> for devoting 50 percent of their content to one North Side woman and the other 50 percent to folks in &ldquo;black&rdquo; neighborhoods? Is it sad that we can so easily overlook the fact that the <em>RedEye</em> truncated coverage of everyone not in Rogers Park, deciding that mention of them was all but expendable? Yes, but that&rsquo;s what it&rsquo;s come to these days. It&#39;s sad that this is the reality. You can comforting yourself by saying, &ldquo;Well, at least the <em>RedEye</em> didn&rsquo;t leave out the South and West Side stories <em>entirely</em>. Those folks got a whole paragraph, 23 words of shiny, abridged, motherf*cking inclusion. Where&rsquo;s my wine? Let&rsquo;s get drunk.&rdquo; Welcome to the fatigue.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In Westgard&rsquo;s breakdown of the article, he labels Rogers Park as being a &ldquo;white&rdquo; neighborhood, which (to an extent) it is. Statistics show that the neighborhood has a larger white population than any other demographic, but Rogers Park boasts Black and Latino statistics that nearly match it, with respective counts of 26.3% and 24.43%. If you&rsquo;ve ever been to West Rogers Park, you know that the neighborhood is famous for its thriving South Asian scene, with bustling Indian and Pakistani restaurants up and down Devon. You can&rsquo;t go anywhere without tripping over great South Asian cuisine.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I live in a building that&rsquo;s half-immigrant and half-white&mdash;with Rogers Park&rsquo;s student population blending with its first- and second-generation residents, populations that overlap just as often as they don&rsquo;t. But despite this fact, Rogers Park is perceived to be white, with Loyola University getting most of the credit for generating the neighborhood&rsquo;s energy. Additionally, Rogers Park gets lumped in with the rest of the North Side (often called the &quot;White Side&quot;). Despite enjoying the diversity of everything from Uptown and Buena Park to Andersonville and Albany Park, we stereotype the North Side as a homogeneous Caucasian fantasia, as if Lakeview were the only neighborhood. Even if it&rsquo;s not the reality, the specter of Wrigley takes over the North. We get whitewashed.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Because of the North Side&rsquo;s perceived white centrality, we get the coverage that the South and West Sides do not. Last year, I wrote an article on my experiences living in Chicago, an ode to everything I love about the city after calling it home for almost a decade. The piece was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nico-lang/40-reasons-i-love-being-a_b_1523254.html">called</a> &ldquo;40 Reasons I Love Being a Chicagoan,&rdquo; and it included everything from Big Chicks to Costello&rsquo;s, whose Mess Sandwich I would eat every day if my heart would allow it. I wrote it from my limited view as a North Side resident, where I&rsquo;ve lived every year of my residency here.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">A number of respondents accused me of &quot;Northsider Bias,&quot; charging that I left out perspectives that were reflective of a larger cultural population. I was furthering the stereotype that Chicago only happens on the North Side. Where was Bronzeville? What about Pilsen? Why didn&rsquo;t I mention Bridgeport? At first, I was taken aback by the accusation&mdash;but then I realized they were right. I&#39;d been to the South Side a handful of times, and it was a faint blip on my cultural radar. This is a common reality in Chicago, where you can barely find a train to take you anywhere past Roosevelt. For Northsiders, it can be difficult to get outside of your niche experience or learn to think about Chicago differently. You get trapped in your own reality.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">This ideological infrastructure permeates the ways in which we talk about Chicago and how we live our lives here. When realtors and property agents signify &ldquo;good neighborhoods,&rdquo; they aren&rsquo;t talking about Back of the Yards or Englewood. They wouldn&rsquo;t even show you a property in Englewood. They mean Roscoe Village. When they talk about neighborhoods that are &ldquo;up and coming&rdquo; or &ldquo;on the rise,&rdquo; they mean Uptown. In Rogers Park, Loyola has been buying up a great deal of the property in the area. They now own our building. It might not be a &ldquo;white neighborhood&rdquo; currently, but it&rsquo;s slowly getting there. Baby steps.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As a representation of a city that&rsquo;s heavily segregated, the <em>RedEye</em> article reflects larger issues of racial inclusion in our city, ones that are so pervasive that they are nearly invisible. It&rsquo;s a symbol of a media industry that&rsquo;s equally structurally classist and racist as the city, driven by economic incentives to reach a majoritarian audience of white consumers. The reason I barely blinked at the <em>RedEye</em> article is that coverage like this is so commonplace. It even has a name: &ldquo;<a href="http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2010/07/missing_white_woman_syndrome.php">Missing White Woman Syndrome</a>.&rdquo;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Can you name any non-white woman who has gone missing and gotten major press coverage? Rosie Perez doesn&#39;t count, so me neither. <a href="http://reason.com/archives/2012/06/25/when-it-comes-to-crime-black-and-hispani"><em>Reason</em></a> magazine gives us two telling examples of this:</div><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Remember&nbsp;Laci&nbsp;Peterson, who disappeared on Christmas Eve, 2002? Her case received saturation coverage in the U.S., and widespread coverage elsewhere. You could follow it in the Taipei Times if you cared to. By contrast, Evelyn Hernandez &ndash; like Peterson, very pregnant at the time of her disappearance &ndash; went missing seven months before Peterson did. Her torso was later found in the San Francisco Bay. The case got a few mentions here and there, but was largely ignored.</p></blockquote><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Last summer a jury acquitted Casey Anthony of murdering her daughter,&nbsp;Caylee, in 2008. You remember. Her trial received seemingly nonstop attention across the nation. But as Alexander points out, just about nobody has ever heard of&nbsp;Aja&nbsp;Fogle,&nbsp;N&rsquo;Kiah&nbsp;Fogle,&nbsp;Tatianna&nbsp;Jacks, or Brittany Jacks. Like&nbsp;Caylee&nbsp;Anthony, those girls &ndash; ages 5, 6, 11, and 16 &ndash; were murdered in 2008. Their mother was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 120 years in prison.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>The more you read the news, the more you realize that the axiom isn&rsquo;t <em>if it bleeds, it leads</em>. The reality is that <em>if it bleeds white, it leads</em>. Such framing is meant reach the demographics that media outlets find more attractive as an audience; those with cultural and financial capital get the coverage, whereas less &quot;lucrative&quot; markets are otherized, left out or footnoted. (See: them urbans.)</p><p>Although the woman in the<em> RedEye</em> piece&rsquo;s race was never mentioned, ethnicity is often interpellated as white in news media&mdash;as whiteness has become our socioeconomic default setting. Observe any billboard, newspaper, advertisement or magazine. Turn on CBS, our most-watched network. The media is white people. We&rsquo;re looking at an industry <a href="http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2012/10/26/white-journalists-us/">where</a> &ldquo;white journalists write 93% of front pages in the U.S,&rdquo; and <a href="http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/diversity-at-work/101992/percentage-of-minorities-is-higher-than-last-time-newsrooms-were-this-size/">statistics</a> from 2011 show that just 13.26 percent of journalists overall are writers of color. Hell, I&rsquo;m white and in the media.<em> </em>I&rsquo;m part of the problem.<em> I am the man.</em></p><p>Written at the tail end of the Obama-Romney race, a write-up from <em><a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/10/25/huge_racial_disparities_in_political_journalism/">Salon</a> </em>further addresses this issue:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The percentage of [front page election] articles written by Asian American reporters is 3.3%, by African American reporters is 2.9%, and by Hispanic reporters is 0.7%. This under-representation of minorities reporting on the front page holds true across most media outlets for most ethnic groups. The Dallas Morning News stands out as an exception where 18.8% of their front page stories were written by African Americans. The most striking under-representation of minorities in our data is that of Hispanic journalists, considering the Hispanic population stands at approximately 16.3% of the U.S. population (according to the 2010 Census).&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Although I&rsquo;m happy to see the Internet take the <em>RedEye</em> to task over its exclusion of minorities in coverage, this criticism needs to be shared with an entire industry and city that continues to marginalize voices and perspectives of color. The <em>RedEye</em> is such a tiny fraction of the problem that I worry we&rsquo;re not seeing the forest for the racist trees, but I&rsquo;m heartened by the <em>RedEye</em>&rsquo;s timely response to the criticism.</p><p>In addition to reaching out to Westgard on Twitter, they released a mea culpa on social media within less than 24 hours of the meme going viral. They didn&rsquo;t even try to defend themselves or offer excuses for their gaffe. They simply apologized. It&rsquo;s an incredibly classy move, especially from an outlet often dismissed as tabloid journalism or &ldquo;fluff.&rdquo; This response is anything but. Here&rsquo;s what they <a href="http://redeyechicago.tumblr.com/post/44645507024/please-read">had to say</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The online conversation that&rsquo;s developing around this story is an important one. Thank you for the comments and feedback. This is incredibly important to us, especially as we set out to <a href="http://www.redeyechicago.com/chicagoviolence" target="_blank">shine a light on Chicago violence</a> this year. Conversations like these will continue to inform and improve our coverage. We hope you&rsquo;ll continue to join us in addressing these issues.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>We can shoot the messenger all we want, but as this statement shows, we must target the system along with them. By releasing this statement, the <em>RedEye </em>has recognized that this is a conversation we need to be having, whether we feel burned out on talking about privilege or our eyes are being opened for the first time by the simplicity of Westgard&rsquo;s graphic. In this photo, Westgard makes the allegedly invisible plain and clear. The visual brings the discourse to those who might not think critically about structural racism or take the time to check out <a href="http://www.racialicious.com"><em>Racialicious</em></a> or <em><a href="http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/">Crunk Feminist Collective</a></em>, where these discourses take place every day.</p><p>We need to keep in mind that making the <em>RedEye</em> apologize won&rsquo;t solve racism and remember to take accountability for raising awareness and shining a light on racism&mdash;with whatever tools we have available. Racism isn&#39;t just the<em> RedEye</em>&#39;s problem. It&#39;s everyone&#39;s.</p><p><em>Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can follow Nico on Twitter @<a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Nico_Lang</a> or the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 01:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/redeye-article-sparks-discussion-about-media-racism-105929 Hyperlocal news website Everyblock.com shut down http://www.wbez.org/sections/media/hyperlocal-news-website-everyblockcom-shut-down-105406 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://blog.everyblock.com/2013/feb/07/goodbye/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="314" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/everyblock.jpg" style="float: right;" title="" width="388" /></a></div><p>Community news website Everyblock.com shut down Thursday, to the surprise of its active user base. The decision was made by NBC News, the corporate owner of the site since 2009.</p><p>In <a href="http://blog.everyblock.com/2013/feb/07/goodbye/" target="_blank">a short blog post</a> &quot;increasing challenges to building a profitable business&quot; are cited as a reason for the shutdown. All ten current employees are laid off- seven in Chicago, one in Seattle and two in New York.</p><p>The site was founded in Chicago by Adrian Holovaty in 2007 with a grant from the Knight Foundation. In 2008 the site launched with a four person staff.</p><p>&quot;Adrian Holovaty was an early innovator in using data to drive community,&quot; said NBC News chief digital strategist Vivian Schiller Thursday.</p><p>Schiller answered WBEZ&#39;s questions about the shut down via email.</p><p>&quot;As we continue to grow and evolve the NBC News Digital portfolio, we are focused on investing in content, products and platforms that play to our core strengths,&quot; Schiller said. &quot;The decision to shut down the site was difficult, but in the end, we didn&#39;t see a strategic fit for EveryBlock within the portfolio.&quot;</p><p>Schiller said NBC News looked at various options both inside and outside the company to keep Everyblock running.</p><p>&quot;But sadly, none of them were viable,&quot; she said.</p><p>Msnbc.com bought the site in 2009 for an undisclosed sum, though the original computer code was <a href="http://blog.everyblock.com/2009/jun/30/source/" target="_blank">made available for free</a> in accordance with their Knight grant.</p><p>Holovaty left Everyblock in August 2012 and <a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/rip-everyblock/" target="_blank">says in a blog post on his personal site</a> that he had reason to believe the site&#39;s future was safe.</p><p>&quot;The last time I talked with an NBC News representative, at a conference a few months after I left EveryBlock, he indicated that NBC was optimistic about the site&#39;s future,&quot; the post reads.</p><p>Schiller declined to share any information about Everyblock&#39;s operating expenses or revenues.</p><p>Shocked users are airing their greivances in the comment section of Everyblock&#39;s final blog post. There were nearly 300 comments less than two hours after the article publishing.</p><p>Fans of the site are paying homage on Twitter. Dan Sinker, of @mayoremanuel and Knight-Mozilla OpenNews tweeted, &quot;Long live the huge legacy and hundreds of sites built in the space its founders singlehandedly created.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Everyblock had a small but very loyal set of consumers, particularly in Chicago,&quot; Schiller said. &quot;We hope Everyblock helped them be better neighbors and that they are able to carry that spirit forward on other platforms.&quot;</p><p>In <a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/goodbye-everyblock/" target="_blank">a post from August</a>, Holovaty reflected on his time with Everyblock. He claimed that Instagram founder Kevin Systrom learned much of the coding language that powers the billion dollar app from Everyblock&#39;s source code and personally thanked him.</p><p>Others have credited Everyblock with kick-starting a movement in data journalism. Chris Cast, a web developer from Seattle tweeted, &quot;Sad to hear about&nbsp;<a data-query-source="hashtag_click" dir="ltr" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23everyblock&amp;src=hash"><s>#</s>everyblock</a>. They did more for open data than we realize.&quot;</p><p>Chicago&#39;s Chief Technology Officer John Tolva credited Holovaty with &quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoCTO/status/144187469921910784" target="_blank">starting the fire</a>&quot; of government data transparency.</p><p>Alderman Joe Moore of Chicago&#39;s 49th Ward was an avid user as well. He said, &quot;I know some of my colleagues didn&#39;t always like it because it provided an opportunity to beat up on the alderman, but I thought the benefits outweighed the negatives.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m going to miss it for two reasons: one, it provided me another avenue to communicate with my constituents. And two it provided me a window into what my constituents were thinking. By finding out what my constituents were thinking, I was able to be a better alderman,&quot; Moore said.</p><p>The following statement was posted on the Everyblock blog:</p><blockquote><p>We&rsquo;re sorry to report that EveryBlock has closed its doors.</p><p>It&rsquo;s no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there&rsquo;s an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been able to build an engaged community over the years, we&rsquo;re faced with the decision to wrap things up.</p><p>Thank you for having let us play a role in how you get your neighborhood news. Thanks for the contributions, for the questions, and for allowing us to connect you to each other, in many cases to make great things happen in your community. Along the way, we hope we&rsquo;ve helped you be a better neighbor.</p></blockquote><p>Adrian Holovaty posted the following statement <a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/rip-everyblock/" target="_blank">on his personal website, Holovaty.com</a>:</p><blockquote><p>I&#39;m very saddened by today&#39;s news that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.everyblock.com/">EveryBlock</a>&nbsp;has been shut down by NBC News.</p><p>I founded EveryBlock in 2007 after&nbsp;<a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/knight-foundation-grant/">receiving a grant from the Knight Foundation</a>. It was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/everyblock-launched/">launched in January 2008</a>&nbsp;by an original team of four (<a href="http://wilsonminer.com/">Wilson Miner</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.derivativeworks.com/">Dan O&#39;Neil</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://pauladamsmith.com/">Paul Smith</a>&nbsp;and me) and was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/everyblock-acquisition/">acquired by msnbc.com in 2009</a>. NBC News acquired msnbc.com last year and now has decided to shut down the site and let go all 10 employees.</p><p>The premise of EveryBlock was to offer you a custom site devoted to news in your neighborhood. We showed you nearby public records (crimes, building permits, restaurant inspections), pointed you to automatically indexed articles (newspapers, blogs, forums) and provided a sort of &quot;geo-forum&quot; that let you talk with people who lived near you. I&nbsp;<a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/goodbye-everyblock/">wrote a bit about the site&#39;s legacy</a>&nbsp;several months ago.</p><p>I&nbsp;<a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/goodbye-everyblock/">left EveryBlock in August</a>, after five years, as I was itching to make something new. I had no idea NBC News would be shutting it down (in fact, at the time,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/16/3245325/5-minutes-on-the-verge-with-adrian-holovaty-founder-of-everyblock">I said</a>&nbsp;I expected it would be around for a &quot;long, long time&quot;). The last time I talked with an NBC News representative, at a conference a few months after I left EveryBlock, he indicated that NBC was optimistic about the site&#39;s future.</p><p>I&#39;d like to thank all the EveryBlock employees past and present, along with the members of the EveryBlock community. It was a great site, beautifully designed and lovingly crafted. It made a difference for people, particularly in Chicago.</p><p>More than six years ago, I wrote a blog post that got some attention about how newspaper (and, really, journalism) sites&nbsp;<a href="http://www.holovaty.com/writing/fundamental-change/">needed to change</a>. EveryBlock was an attempt at that kind of change -- in my eyes, a successful attempt. EveryBlock was among the more innovative and ambitious journalism projects at a time when journalism desperately needed innovation and ambition. RIP.</p></blockquote><p><em>This story is developing and will be updated as more information is made available.</em></p></p> Thu, 07 Feb 2013 11:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/media/hyperlocal-news-website-everyblockcom-shut-down-105406 By way of introduction: What TV series' opening credits say about architecture and place http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-12/way-introduction-what-tv-series-opening-credits-say-about-architecture-and <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/kelsey grammar boss.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZFKHg5CP7pk" width="601"></iframe></p><p>I had a fascinating, but all-too-brief, chat earlier last week with a Texas architecture professor who uses the opening credits of television programs to teach her students about architecture and cities.</p><p>She&#39;s on to something. Architecture, history and place are often captured and contextualized &mdash; and quite well, too &mdash; in seconds&#39;-long intros. The professor&#39;s picks included the famous<em> Mary Tyler Moore Show</em> intro, but also that of <em>Frank&#39;s Place</em>, the short-lived, but still sorely-missed 1987 CBS comedy featuring Tim Reid as a Boston college professor who inherits his father&#39;s New Orleans restaurant:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kpig9t0VdEE" width="601"></iframe></p><p>A few weeks ago in my assessment of the now-canceled <em>Boss</em>, I mentioned<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/departed-boss-also-showcased-and-understood-power-chicagos-architecture-104010"> the program&#39;s opening credits</a>. But others come to mind now, such as the intro to <em>All in the Family</em>, with its&nbsp; shots of&nbsp; working-class Queens. Or the above intro to the 1970s comedy<em> Good Times</em> showing a grimy Chicago as it was then, not to mention the long-gone broadcast antenna atop Marina City and the now-bulldozed Cabrini Green housing projects.</p><p>Buildings and place are featured prominently in the BBC <em>Sherlock</em> series:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/166WMvLQ8ss" width="601"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;">And dig the Brutalist campus a brooding Gary Collins strolls through in the early 1970s show <em>The Sixth Sense:</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kWOhyvhXeKM" width="601"></iframe></p><p>Got any examples of architecture-rich TV intros you&#39;d like to share? Email them to me at lbey@wbez.org, along with a few lines explaining your selection. If I get enough responses, I&#39;ll do a follow-up here.</p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-12/way-introduction-what-tv-series-opening-credits-say-about-architecture-and The Steve Edwards Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/steve-edwards-interview-102707 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/SEdwards_120127_034%20b.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px; " title="Steve Edwards, formerly of WBEZ " /></div><p>I was very sad to learn that today&#39;s interviewee would be leaving WBEZ. Steve Edwards was the first person to ever interview me at the station. His good nature and professionalism made me, and I&#39;m sure many others, feel comfortable on-air. After over a dozen years with the station and a stint as the host of <em>The Afternoon Shift</em>, last week Edwards took his leave to work at the University of Chicago&#39;s new Institute of Politics.</p><p>Edwards&rsquo; reports and interviews have been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Chicago Headline Club, the RTNDA, the Associated Press, UPI and Public Radio News Directors, Inc., and he earned a National Headliner Club&#39;s Grand Award for radio.</p><p>I got a little help from Steve&#39;s former colleagues, who will miss him, for some of the &quot;deep cut&quot; questions.</p><p><strong>Your new job sounds very professional but a little confusing to the sleep-deprived. What will you be doing there, in layman&rsquo;s terms?</strong><br />Well, the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Institute of Politics is modeled after a similar institute at Harvard, which was established in honor of President John F. Kennedy to &ldquo;promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the worlds of politics and public affairs.&rdquo; As Deputy Director, Programming, I&rsquo;ll help create public programming across multiple platforms; opportunities for students to become engaged in politics and public service; and a program for visiting fellows &ndash; elected officials, journalists, policy-makers, and the like &ndash; to come to Chicago for an academic term to interact with students, faculty and the public around the important issues of our time.</p><p><strong>As a listener and a guest I&rsquo;ve always enjoyed how professional and prepared you are on-air. That said, can you describe a moment or two when you found yourself completely caught off-guard on-air?</strong><br />There are too many to count, but the one that comes most immediately to mind happened on my very last episode of <em>The Afternoon Shift</em>. Usually, my colleague, Melba Lara, tosses back to me between the 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. hours by saying &ldquo;Hour two of <em>The Afternoon Shift</em> is just ahead. Steve, what&rsquo;s coming up?&rdquo; And then I tell her.&nbsp; At least that&rsquo;s the idea. And the thing is, because we&rsquo;re in separate studios, Melba and I can&rsquo;t see each other. So, you have to trust that the other person is actually there &ndash; and paying attention &ndash; which I wasn&rsquo;t on this day. I&rsquo;d absent-mindedly stepped out of the studio to introduce myself to filmmaker Andy Wachowski before <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-153-steve-edwards-exits-the-matri">our upcoming interview</a>, so when Melba asked me what&rsquo;s coming up next&hellip;there was dead silence on-air. Our director/producer Jason Marck then jumped in to save the day, joking that I&rsquo;d had enough and decided to quit on the spot. And I came racing back, out of breath, and blurted something incomprehensible.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>What accomplishments are you proudest of as a journalist?</strong><br />Most of all, I hope I&rsquo;ve been able to share a few stories and conversations that have deepened our understanding of the world around us, and, as poet Sonia Sanchez <a href="http://soundcloud.com/wbez/afternoon-shift-147-i">put it so well during a recent interview</a>, our understanding of what it means to be human.&nbsp;Then again, a longtime colleague did tell me recently that she thought the single best moment in my career was the WBEZ pledge drive video where I jumped in the lake, fully clothed.</p><p><strong>What tips do you have for other hosts and journalists on how to quickly prepare for an interview?</strong><br />Ask short, focused questions. And listen relentlessly.</p><p><strong>As a journalist, what do you like best about Chicago politics?</strong><br />The fact that it closely resembles a dastardly family melodrama.</p><p><strong>As a resident, what do you like least about it?</strong><br />The fact that it too often serves self-interests rather than the public interest.</p><p><strong>Aside from NPR, what radio stations/podcasts do you most enjoy listening to?</strong><br />I&rsquo;m an omnivore when it comes to audio. I listen to all the AM talk stations, sports radio, WFMT, WDCB, XRT, B96 and V103. I&rsquo;m a huge fan of the shows <em>Tonic</em> and <em>The Signal</em> on CBC Radio 2 and podcasts like <em><a href="http://www.wtfpod.com/">WTF</a></em> and<a href="http://loveandradio.org/"> <em>Love &amp; Radio</em></a>, among others. I also love late night college radio, where you can often find some great extended DJ sets.</p><p><strong>What do you listen to with your kids in the car?</strong><br />Most of the above &ndash; plus lots of our own music. I&rsquo;m not big on the &ldquo;kids music&rdquo; thing, per se. I think great music is great music, regardless of genre or life stage.</p><p><strong>Speaking of your kids, we had fun chatting about <em>American Idol </em>this summer, which we both watched. What else do you watch with your kids?</strong><br />Well, I have younger kids, so<em> Idol </em>was in a class by itself in terms of family watching, though followed closely at times by <em>The Voice </em>and <em>So You Think You Can Dance</em>? (I do, but I can&rsquo;t). My kids are also waaaaayyy into PBS, not just PBS kids, but real PBS &ndash; you know, like, <em>America&rsquo;s Test Kitchen</em> and <em>Chicago Tonight.</em>&nbsp;In fact, he&rsquo;ll hate that I&rsquo;m telling you this, but my son, William, used to stand in front of a mirror at the age of 3 pretending he was <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/about">Phil Ponce</a>. I&rsquo;ve since tried to introduce him to the <em>Real Housewives</em> franchise as well, but without success.</p><p><strong>I&rsquo;ve been asked by NPR listeners whether you look like your voice (I said yes). Have you received any weird comments over the years from listeners who met you in real life who commented on the face/voice correlation?</strong><br />Thankfully, no. I think they save those for behind my back.</p><p><strong>What will you miss most and least about working at Navy Pier?</strong><br />Most: Watching the changing of the seasons via the Lake.<br />Least: Watching the changing of the seasons via the tourists.</p><p><strong>What was your favorite pledge drive giveaway?</strong><br />Hmmm. That&rsquo;s a good one. That Tivoli radio really is amazing, though it&rsquo;s a bit pricey for some. And I&rsquo;m always a sucker for the magazine combos. Oh &ndash; and that free Chipotle burrito coupon they used to give out on certain days? That rocked.</p><p><strong>What celebrity gossip magazines do you read? If one were to set up a celebrity gossip fantasy league, how would that work?</strong><br />Ha! You&rsquo;ve done your research, Zulkey. Nice. <em>US Weekly</em>, of course, <strong>is</strong> the gold standard. And as a former player in such a league, I can safely say that I definitely don&rsquo;t read it enough. We &quot;drafted&quot; celebs and received points based on where and how often the members of your &quot;team&quot; appeared in the magazine. My wife, Andrea, and I played for one year and got spanked. It wasn&rsquo;t even funny. People were trading for celebrities we hadn&rsquo;t even heard of. To give you an idea of how outclassed we were, I gambled big that 2007 was going to be Whitney Houston&rsquo;s comeback year.</p><p><strong>Who is your favorite rock drummer and what&rsquo;s your favorite song to drum to?</strong><br />Favorite rock drummer? Probably either Stewart Copeland of The Police or John McEntire of The Sea and Cake and Tortoise. Favorite song is too hard. &quot;Tom Sawyer&quot; by Rush would be the classic answer here, but I can&rsquo;t stand it.</p><p><strong>Tell me about the time you got into a fight on a party boat whilst in college. Did you win?</strong><br />Damn, you&rsquo;re good! Who is your source on this stuff? Short answer: No. Long answer, I escaped by a TKO. The story is too long to recount here, but for the record, I simply stepped in &ndash; quite chivalrously, I might add &ndash; to defend a good friend of mine who was being harassed repeatedly by a group of drunken party-goers. And &nbsp;you know what I learned? I learned never to do that again. I also learned that one should never wear loafers on a boat deck in the rain when 300 lb. men are trying to beat you up.</p><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 328th person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />Vivifying.</p></p> Fri, 28 Sep 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/steve-edwards-interview-102707