Solutions Violence Reporting Fellowship

Reducing and Preventing Violence: Strengthening Reporting About What Works

jelani cobb

Jelani Cobb

Media coverage of violence in American society is skewed too often towards the sensational “if it bleeds, it leads” approach. While conscientious journalists make an effort to cover the debilitating effects of violent crime—particularly in low-income and vulnerable communities—deadline and newsroom pressures still leave a critically important dimension of the story unreported: What can be done—and what is working—to reduce or prevent such violence?

This is a missed opportunity. Reporting that covers the solutions as well as the problems can be empowering. Instead of passively accepting the “reality” of violence in their communities and neighborhoods, people can see possibilities for change—and build upon them.

The Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College (CMCJ) selected 27 journalists as Reporting Fellows for a special year-long project (2015-2016) aimed at strengthening reporting on solutions to the problem of violence in America. The fellowship program, sponsored by the Solutions Journalism Network, launched  September 21, 2015 with a two-day symposium at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, entitled Reducing and Preventing Violence: Strengthening Reporting About What Works.

Speakers at the workshop included: Jelani Cobb, Staff Writer at The New Yorker and Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut;  Cathy Spatz Widom, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at John Jay; Arthur C. Evans, Jr., Commissioner of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services; Jack Glaser, Associate Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley; and Dean Esserman, Chief of Police in New Haven, CT.

For a full program agenda, please click HERE.

NOTE: Vincent Schiraldi, who was listed as a speaker in the program, was unable to make the workshop.  He was replaced by Howard Pinderhughes.

 The John Jay/Solutions Journalism Network Reporting Fellows will spend the fellowship year in their home newsrooms, with assistance from CMCJ and Solutions Journalism staff, working on special reporting projects using the skills and research tools learned during the workshop. Their efforts will be published in their own media outlets and cross-posted in The Crime Report.

Keynote address, delivered by Cathy Spatz Widom, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice: 

 

How Cities Can Promote Resilience: A Presentation by Arthur Evans, Jr. Commissioner, City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. 

 

Closing keynote, delivered by Jelani Cobb, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut and Staff Writer at The New Yorker: 

Please check in regularly for updates on this page!

 We will also post handouts or research presented during the conference and after, as well as podcasts and videos from the proceedings as they become available.

The CMCJ thanks the Solutions Journalism Network and, through them, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for supporting this important project.

For a full list of the Fellows, please click HERE.

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Fellows Stories

Captive Lives: The ‘Invisible Victims’ of Incarceration
Jill Tucker, The San Francisco Chronicle
With gun violence a regular occurrence in Trenton, could hospital-based intervention benefit city?
Penny Ray, The Trentonian
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Healing the Children of Violence
Krista Torralva/Caller Times
Black Wounds Matter: Violent-crime survivors have emerged with an alternative policy vision for criminal-justice reform
Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker
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Minneapolis uses citywide plan to reduce youth violence
Ashley Luthern, MIlwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Milwaukee leaders set to add positions focused on youth violence
Ashley Luthern, MIlwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Divided On Arrival: Even In Diverse Schools, New Immigrants Face Bullying
Armando Trull, WAMU 88.5
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Violence Interrupted: Rochester, N.Y., police keep one step ahead of street disputes
Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Canton police vow to maintain momentum despite budget concerns
Kelly Byer ?, The Repository
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School system looks to restorative justice to curb police interventions
Amy Friedenberger, The Roanoke Times
Read the full story »

Resources from the Conference

Violence in the Lives of Young Children (presentation)
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Dealing with Trauma and At-Risk Families (presentation)
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Dealing with Trauma and At-Risk Families (ACE chart)
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Dealing with Trauma and At-Risk Families (ACE study)
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Ending the Cycles of Childhood/Adolescent Violence and Trauma
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Promoting Effective Parenting to Reduce and Prevent Violence and Aggression in Families (Presentation)
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Looking Forward: The Promise of Widespread Implementation of Parent Training Programs
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Participation of Homeless and Abused Women in a Parent Training Program
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Two-Year Outcomes of the Early Risers Prevention Trial With Formerly Homeless Families Residing in Supportive Housing
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Conference Audio