Karen Kring interviews Chicago Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika for Media Curious

Karen Kring here: I’d been sharing news stories that offer glimpses into what it means to be a journalist in this day and age on Twitter via @Media_Curious for a few years now.

It has been my ambition to start a podcast that would offer the public the chance to know Chicago area news and media workers better, get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into some news rooms and to gain some perspective on what media is about in the 21st century.

I still might do the podcast, but upon getting familiar with Zoom’s technology, I chose to start with video.

So at last at the end of May I did my first interview with my friend and colleague Maudlyne Ihejirika.

She is an award-winning columnist with the Chicago Sun-Times. She writes the paper’s Chicago Chronicles, long-form columns on what makes the city click. She recently penned a book about her family’s survival during the Nigerian-Biafran War and the miracles that brought them to the U.S. in 1969, Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War.

Chicago Public Radio’s Goli Sheikholeslami on the impact of smart, real journalism

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Goli Sheikholeslami, CEO of Chicago Public Radio, explained why strong, non-partisan journalism matters to the health and wealth of our communities, our country and every citizen during the City Club of Chicago lunch program on May 25, 2017.

Shannon Heffernan and her story Excruciating Choice: Trading Parental Custody for Mental Health Care was mentioned as an example of a story that helped move the State of Illinois to act to stop psychiatric lockouts and helped legislators access data about lockout previous unattainable. (Heffernan’s work garnered a 2017 Lisagor Award.)

Sheikholeslami also mentioned an investigation that revealed that more than 300 young people were kept at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center for for as long as a week after release orders were signed. One young man waited 190 days for DCFS to pick in up. Due to that report, a monitoring system is in place and fewer young people are stuck in jail needlessly.

She also shared the audio from a story about why people pick up guns.

Distrust of media, threats to our fragile media landscape, drastic newsroom staffs reductions and their affects our country were discussed, as well as the opportunities and threats that lies ahead for hers and other media outlets.

Hear her whole 30+ min. address here.


Crain’s Lynn Marek talked to Goli in 2015.

Ordinary and Miraculous

Karen Kring here: Besides a media strategist, I am a photojournalist. I appreciate rare scenes, hunting them down, capturing them. However, as an artist I also appreciate seemingly average scenes. This scene is seemingly average. At least that is my wish, that worldwide cousins and little ones are cuddling with those who love and respect them. Given the context of this picture, this is not an ordinary scene. This is a picture of a miracle.

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Four-month old Dakota Harrison and her cousin Dwyane Wade share a cuddle during a break in the action at Dylan’s Candy Bar on Saturday afternoon, December 17, 2016. Wade, with his foundation, Wade’s World Foundation, and Dylan’s Candy Bar on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, hosted a holiday party for three Chicago families who have been affected by gun violence, as Wade’s had been. His cousin, Nykea Aldridge, Dakota’s mother, was killed on Chicago’s South Side while pushing Dakota in a stroller on her way to register her kids for school in late August 2016.

This is an outtake from images I made while on assignment for the Chicago Sun-Times.