How Is CWB Different?

Unlike most news outlets, CWBChicago's team follows stories from start to finish. We believe in telling the full story from original report through the court system.

And, we get this question all the time: Why aren’t mainstream news outlets reporting the details that CWBChicago has? The answer is incredibly simple.

Nearly all of our neighborhood's crime-related stories that you see on mainstream outlets originated in one of two places: a Chicago police email alert to media outlets or a media-only website where the police department publishes information—a site known as “Media Major Incident Notifications (MINS).”

Other outlets just do not have the resources to commit to covering our neighborhood like our team can. We live here, so we learn about stories quickly and can immediately follow-up with trusted sources and traditional city channels.

When an email alert or MINS release is issued, mainstream outlets rarely dig for details or provide context outside of what the CPD has provided. By comparison, CWBChicago puts stories into bigger context and always aims to connect you with the essential details that press releases don’t offer.

Here’s an example of how a recent crime announced on CPD’s MINS service was reported by the mainstream media compared to CWBChicago

MINS Alert (Information released by CPD to news media)
500 block of N. Columbus on January 29, 2018 @ approx. 11:45 p.m. – 18th Dist.
Victim a male 47 was sitting in his vehicle at a red light when a male black offender opened the passenger door and entered the vehicle. The offender then demanded the victim’s property and struck the victim several times in the face before fleeing with an unknown amount of USC. No one is in custody. Victim was taken to N/W in good condition. Area Central investigating.

Chicago Tribune report of the incident (LINK)

A man stopped at a red light in Streeterville was attacked by a robber who jumped into his car late Monday, authorities said.
The victim, 47, was stopped in the 500 block of North Columbus Drive about 11:45 p.m. when a man opened his car door and got inside, police said.
The robber demanded property and hit the man several times in the face before fleeing with an unknown amount of money, police said.
The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition.
You may have noticed that there is virtually no difference between what the police department released and the Tribune published. Compare that to our reporting on the same incident:

CWBChicago’s report (LINK)

Then, around 11:45 p.m., a passer-by found a disoriented man on the ground who said he had been in an auto accident near Columbus and Grand. An investigation by police revealed that the man had actually been attacked in his car as he waited for a nearby red light.
Police said the robber opened the passenger side door of the 47-year-old man’s car, demanded his property and punched him repeatedly in the face. After getting cash from the victim, the offender fled westbound on Grand Avenue. He is described as black, young, and wearing a red hoodie.
The second victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition.
By digging deeper and asking questions, CWB learned more about the case for you, including a suspect description. Our story also reported on a second robbery that was reported nearby the same evening—information that would be important to someone who lives or works in the area.

Because we have a focused purpose—covering public safety issues on the North Side—we are better able to devote the necessary time to develop and report detailed information in a way that citywide outlets cannot.

Please Support Our Work

Our all-volunteer reporting team lives right here on the North Side where we've been covering public safety news since 2013. We need your financial support to help fund equipment needs and, ideally, allow us to commit more time to deep-dive reporting that makes an impact. We have a variety of subscription plans, each with its own member perks, starting at just 94-cents a week.  Click HERE for options.

Can we count on you?
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