Editor and Publisher Susan Smith Richardson

Who else will tell these stories?

Sept. 18 was my first day as editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter. It’s rare when you can bring your values and skills to a job. I’m privileged to do that at the Reporter, an organization that shares my commitment to investigating race and poverty.

A victory against bigotry

The “I-Word” is becoming an endangered species. This is one creature we don’t want to save. For years, immigrant advocates have been lobbying news organizations to cease using the term, “illegal immigrant.”

“Illegal” took a welcome blow last month when the Associated Press announced it was dropping the term from its iconic stylebook. “The AP Stylebook,” a guide for grammar, punctuation and usage, is a staple in many American newsrooms, including The Chicago Reporter. “Illegal Immigrant No More,” announced the April 2 blog post.

Laura S. Washington

Time to sound the alarm

It could have been Drew. That thought has been my personal preoccupation lately. I think often about my younger brother, who could have been a casualty of multiple wars—in Afghanistan, Iraq, and right at our back door—on the South Side of Chicago. Drew could be just another number, one of the 506 people killed in Chicago last year. On Dec.

Laura S. Washington

Decades of dedication

In 1972, veteran civil rights activist John McDermott imagined a monthly publication that would investigate and analyze racial issues. McDermott and co-editor Lillian Calhoun met to plot the first issue, Calhoun recalled years later. “To save money, we decided on a newsletter, printed in good, clean Helvetica,” she said. “We chose extra-thin paper for inexpensive postage. Folded to letter size, it could fit in a busy executive’s pocket or purse.” That little newsletter became The Chicago Reporter.

The accountability search

As Reporter Jeff Kelly Lowenstein reveals in our collaboration with ColorLines magazine, the police department’s own practices must change dramatically for police to turn from foe to friend in the minds of many. It appears that a large percentage of those who shoot and kill have been sued before. And nearly all of them were affirmed to be under department guidelines.