January 11, 2015

Precious Lives: Two-year project will examine gun violence among youth and seek solutions

Precious Lives logo

Today’s story — Bullets exacted terrible toll on children, African Americans — 
is the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s first report for Precious Lives, a newly launched two-year project investigating the problem of gun violence among young people, its causes, and potential solutions in the Milwaukee area and statewide.

Precious Lives is led by Milwaukee-based 371 Productions and will include weekly public radio reports (100 episodes, five to seven minutes each) and a community engagement campaign about gun violence.

Media partners WUWM (Milwaukee Public Radio) and WNOV (890 AM) will broadcast the story series and air related interviews on their stations. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will offer the stories as podcasts on its website, along with additional reporting. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism will produce investigative reports focusing on state youth and gun violence issues.

More than 50 partners, including the Milwaukee Health Department and community groups such as Urban Underground, plan to use the stories as part of a community-wide effort to reduce gun violence among young people. Funding is provided by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Helen Bader Foundation. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s coverage is supported by The Joyce Foundation.

Precious Lives aims to frame gun violence among young people, both homicide and suicide, as a public health problem. Stories will explore multiple perspectives, seeking to understand the victims and the shooters, learning about the weapons and their pathways to crime, and examining factors behind the tragedies.

The Center welcomes coverage suggestions. Please contact us at tips@wisconsinwatch.org or WCIJ, 5006 Vilas Communication Hall, 821 University Ave., Madison WI 53706.