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Tio Hardiman Headshot

No Violence -- No News in Chicago

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It's rather amazing that when homicides are actually happening down in Chicago the media does not give the same attention to the progress that has been made in regards to reducing homicides. In 2013, Chicago has experienced the lowest level of homicides throughout the months of February, March, and April. All of the major news stations descended on Chicago when homicides were up in 2012. CNN camped out and covered the rising number of homicides in Chicago, MSNBC booked special guest to appear on their show to discuss the uptick of violence in Chicago, and all of the local news stations talked about the violence on a daily basis. So, the question is, "why not cover the big reductions the same way the media covers the major increases in violence?"

If Chicago is getting better one day or one month at a time in the area of reducing homicides then it is just as newsworthy as high levels of violence. Imagine if several news stations were to provide around the clock or day by day coverage informing Chicago residents and the world that there was a 41 percent reduction in homicides in Chicago covering the period of February 2013-April 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. People would really get the message that things are turning around in Chicago. Hopefully, the message would filter down to the shooters and a good majority of the shooters would be forced to think before they shoot because violence is not the norm anymore in Chicago or throughout the nation.

Covering the reductions in violence is good because this is one way that we can change the perception of Chicago being a violent city to a peaceful one. The media plays a very valuable role as it relates to overall messages and how people view the world. We could take this time to pick up the volume by booking guest on different news programs to discuss what is being done to keep the violence down in Chicago. We all know the power of the media and people can help promote the reductions all across the city while making residents feel safe and proud to be a Chicagoan. The time has come to push for peace on every level. At the pace we are going right now, there is a great chance that this city will experience less than 300 homicides in 2013. This is no excuse for the many people that have lost loved ones over the years. However, the media could help make a big difference by giving much needed attention to the peace process and cover the homicide reductions as if it were a major televised event.

People need a break from consistently viewing violence all over the news and when we have good news to report that things are improving, we as leaders should step in and push the envelope by advocating for continued coverage of the significant reductions in Chicago homicides.