Medill Reports Chicago Blog

A new home for Medill Reports Chicago

This site is an archive of stories from the Medill News Service through August 2014. We have a new home, with new features and reporting tools. Click on the headline to take you to the link.

Scores of CPS homeless students persevere despite hardships

by Vanessa Beene

In Chicago, as many as 2,000 youth experience homelessness every night. At Tilden Career Community Academy, where nearly half of the students are identified as homeless, students strive to not become a negative statistic.

South Side church prepares to hit streets to meet violence with compassion

by Ross Williams and Ella Sonja West

New Beginnings Church is rolling out two community projects that it hopes will help reduce violence in the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. Under the plan, groups of volunteers would stand on street corners en masse and offer mentoring and help accessing public services and job training.


Meditate your way to a stress-free day

by Elise Byun

A new mental fitness course by Thinking Within teaches a technique called "mindfulness meditation" to improve focus and mental well-being. The course will be held once again in Chicago on Saturday.


White House tackles campus sexual assault

by Farahnaz Mohammed

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault is igniting criticism as well as praise in tackling the complexities of this crisis on American campuses.

Anti-trafficking activists torn between educating public, protecting survivors

by Nicole Blanchard

As illegal trade and exploitation of humans grip Chicago, advocates debate whether the need for awareness and prevention outweigh the need for counseling and long-term safe houses. The divide has led to some fragmentation on an issue that is largely misunderstood.


Banking on it: Neighborhoods hit by foreclosure look to Cook County Land Bank

by Robin Amer

Cook County's new land bank is supposed to bring relief to neighborhoods ravaged by the foreclosure crisis. But with more than 51,000 distressed properties to tackle, where does it even begin?


Chicago steps up efforts to attract international, especially Chinese, tourists

by Rose Zhou

Chicago may already be a lure for U.S. vacationers, but to foreign travelers, the Windy City is not on top of their itinerary. Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago is working with international travel agents and expanding efforts in China to raise the city's profile.

A diver in Hoyo Negro.

Underwater skeleton gives common ancestor to first Americans and Native Americans today

by Will Schutt, Farahnaz Mohammed

A teenage Paleoamerican girl fell into a pit about 12,000 years ago. Now, her DNA helps link modern Native Americans to ancient peoples who crossed the Bering Strait land bridge some 17,000-26,000 years ago.

Google Glass Ban

Wearable Technology: The next big thing or privacy nightmare?

by Gordy Stillman

The wearable market, from face-mounted computers like Google Glass to high-tech clothing that measures heart rate or monitors sun exposure, is expected to grow exponentially. But wearable technology is raising new privacy concerns.


Banks' monopoly may be ending as Google, Facebook enter payments market

by Lingjiao Mo

Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are edging into financial services with digital innovations in money transfer and payments, making inroads in a market that’s grown $1 billion and is expected to grow another 20-fold to nearly $60 billion in mobile transactions by 2017.


Despite higher interest rates, mortgage application rise

by Paulo Cabral Filho

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday that the number of mortgage applications increased 10.3 percent in the week ended on June 6, when compared with the previous week, due to an increase in both purchase and refinancing applications. The previous week’s results were adjusted for the Memorial Day Holiday.

Chicago water doesn't satisfy all tastes

by Eman Shurbaji


A small, informal survey of pedestrians at Clark and Adams in the Loop found that most don't drink water straight from the tap, instead filtering it or purchasing bottled water.


Young TV viewers bypass cable

by Aimee Keane

While cable television providers worry about current subscribers threatening to “cut the cord” on service, the real threat to business might be those who have never signed up.