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James Edwards

James Edwards

Podcast Producer

James Edwards is a podcast producer for WBEZ's content development team. He has held a variety of producing, reporting, and digital roles at such public media outlets as WGBH, WNET, and Public Radio International (PRI). At WGBH, he was a TV segment producer, a digital producer, and a general assignment reporter. He contributed to the station’s breaking and investigative coverage on the Boston marathon bombings, and worked on enterprise projects. For PRI, he helped oversee digital efforts for Global Nation Education, a yearlong initiative that looked at education for immigrant and first-generation students in the U.S. He has also been a researcher on book and documentary projects, including the book First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School by journalist Alison Stewart.

A native of Chicago's Chatham neighborhood, James holds a B.A. in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago and an MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. But his proudest achievement might be winning a free trip to Mexico as one of the winners of the Outguess Ebert Oscar contest (the year The Departed won).

Recent Stories

The Trouble


After a police shooting near her home, Ashley became a full-time activist. She confronts the emotional and mental toll it has taken on her.

Making Obama

Preview: 16 Shots

Making Obama host Jenn White introduces a new podcast from WBEZ and The Chicago Tribune called 16 Shots. Almost four years ago, Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, was fatally shot by Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago Police officer. Police reported McDonald was attacking officers. A video from the scene told a different story. Trust in Chicago police and officials crumbled. Now Officer Van Dyke is awaiting trial for murder. wbez.org/16shots

16 Shots

Ep 3: The Fallout

Protesters take to the streets. Critics attack the mayor and police department. A federal probe finds a pattern of abuse by Chicago cops.

16 Shots

Ep 2: Pattern & Practice

The fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald aggravated longstanding tensions between Chicago police and the city’s black residents. We look at how a troubled police department spun a narrative of the shooting, how that narrative fell apart, and how the city reacted when it did.

16 Shots

Ep 1: The Night Of

The police shooting of Laquan McDonald forces Chicago to prepare for potential riots. We piece together details from McDonald’s too-short life and hear from Officer Jason Van Dyke in his first interview since the shooting.

The Trouble


Onstage, Rebecca’s comedy career was taking off. Offstage, she feared for her life.

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