WTTW’s, Making Sense of 2020 Focuses on an Unprecedented Year.

Making Sense of 2020 focuses on the year from a journalists and newsroom perspective. The year 2020 is a year unlike any other, and Chicago newsrooms and journalists, were challenged to cover the multitude of issues and events happening simultaneously. WTTW’s new series, Making Sense of 2020, explores the problems Chicagoans faced this year.

WTTW Making Sense of 2020 Chicago DefenderIts debut episode explored the beginning of 2020 before the pandemic. The nation was watching President Trump’s impeachment, the legalization of marijuana, the release of the disgraced governor, Rod Blagojevich, and the death of Kobe Bryant. The news of a virus outbreak in China was a crisis none of us expected to reach our city. On January 24, however, the first COVID-19 case was reported in Chicago.

Coronavirus began to take over news coverage around the country. On March 21, 2020, Gov. Pritzker issued a statewide Stay at Home order, and journalists had to pivot how they covered Chicago news. Simultaneously, in the middle of a pandemic, the city was exploding with anger as the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery took center stage in the news. Protests exploded around the world and in Chicago, along with violence and looting. The National Guard was deployed, and the city issued a mandatory curfew. Making Sense of 2020 explored how they had to shift in covering it all.

From live streams, live-tweeting, and setting up news shows in a different neighborhood each night, journalists relied on social media and technology more than ever to provide up to the minute coverage of what was happening in Chicago neighborhoods. Making Sense of 2020 also explored new questions newsrooms and journalists asked themselves. How do we spotlight communities and people doing extraordinary things during such unprecedented times? What can we do as a newsroom to share more positive stories of black and brown communities that are typically portrayed negatively by news media?  In response to those questions, WTTW launched two new programs, Latino Voices and Black Voices, to give a platform to previously underserved communities. These shows provided an opportunity to highlight stories relevant to these communities and highlighted the good coming out of these communities not often shown in mainstream media. WTTW Making Sense of 2020 Chicago Defender

WTTW President & CEO Sandra Cordova Micek says, “in Making Sense of 2020, we help our audience process and navigate a year of upheaval, uncertainty, and rebound”.

WTTW’s, Making Sense of 2020″ airs on all WTTW platforms. The special will re-air, Saturday, December 12, 2020. For more information on the Making Sense of 2020 series, visit their website at www.news.wttw.com/making-sense-of-2020.

Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersofficial.

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