One year ago, InjusticeWatch.org was launched to try to fill the growing need for independent, data-driven journalism. Over the course of that year, with the support of our donors, we have demonstrated repeatedly why what we do is so different and vital.
For instance, later today, we are launching another in our ongoing reports exposing the problems of the Cook County Circuit Court bail system — work that highlights one of our most important qualities: the ability to focus formidable resources to drill down into complex problems and expose hidden systemic injustices.
This study of arbitrariness in the court system took weeks of work by a team of 14 reporters, fellows and interns — all working together to dig deep into the system.
That is the kind of in-depth investigative reporting that too many news organizations have given up even trying, because it is costly.
But it is the kind of work that we need more of. Fact-based journalism to counter the dangerous growth of made-up news that pretends to be knowledge.
It’s also a good example of another thing we do that is special: Once we dig into a problem, we don’t just write about it once and move on.
Instead, when we see a problem like hundreds of people convicted of nothing but being locked up because they cannot afford bail, we dig deeper and deeper. We look at what works elsewhere. We talk to officials about the problems and the solutions. And we push to make sure that the issue gets on the front burner where it belongs.
But bail is hardly the only area of interest to us. We remain concerned about the process of electing judges. Judicial elections present voters with critical choices but most voters know nothing about their judicial candidates.
So we provide voters with information about judicial candidates that they cannot get elsewhere.
And this week, we presented our first long-form article, together with audio interviews of three former Chicago cops describing the challenges that come with the badge. That’s another thing we do: to try to look at issues from all sides.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen lots of reasons why this kind of in-depth investigative journalism is needed more than ever.
The press is under attack as never before.
More alarming still, minorities and people viewed as “the other” are under attack, their rights increasingly threatened.
The need for independent and vigorous reporting exposing injustice could not be more clear.
And yet, there is a reason there is less and less of this work being done: It is expensive, and traditional for-profit news organizations, with declining audiences and revenues, have had to cut to the bone.
And so, on this Giving Tuesday, we ask:
Please consider a donation to Injustice Watch today.
Help support independent journalism exposing injustice anywhere. Injustice Watch is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and your contribution may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes.
Thank you for any help you can provide to us as we fight to make our public institutions more just and fair.
Rick Tulsky and Rob Warden
Co-directors of Injustice Watch