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Illinois Newsletter

Dive Deeper Into Our Reporting

Each of our email newsletters are written by a ProPublica Illinois journalist, and we also republish each edition here online. One week, you may get a reporter’s take on what’s left out of a recent story. Another week, maybe you’ll read a Q&A between a reporter and a source on a particular topic. Sometimes, we may ask you to weigh in on a specific topic or issue. Your input can help fill gaps in our reporting, as well as shape what we cover and how we cover it. Regardless, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get a lonely, skeletal feed of headlines in your inbox. We’re all people here.

Check out the archive of newsletters on this page. If you really like something we’re doing on here — or really don’t — or if you have ideas that can help shape our newsletter, let us know. We’re all ears.

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Impact of Our Reporting

The Pandemic and Illinois Schools

Illinois Will Start Sharing Data About COVID-19 Outbreaks in Schools

As educators and parents assess the risk of returning to the classroom, some felt frustrated by the lack of public data about COVID-19 in schools. After a ProPublica and Chicago Tribune investigation, the state will start publishing the data.

The Stolen Childhood of Teenage Factory Workers

La niñez robada de obreros adolescentes

The Questionable Line Items of Illinois’ COVID-19 Spending

Your Guide to Voting in Illinois

What’s It Like to Be a Contact Tracer? We Spoke With 3 to Find Out.

When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting and a Lawmaker Not a Lawmaker? When It’s Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.

Mobilizing the National Guard Doesn’t Mean Your State Is Under Martial Law. Usually.

Hundreds of Children Are Stuck in Psychiatric Hospitals Each Year Despite the State’s Promises to Find Them Homes

Trabajadoras temporales luchan contra supuesto acoso sexual y dicen que sufren represalias por hacerlo

Temp Workers Fight Back Against Alleged Sexual Harassment and Say They Face Retaliation for Doing So

A Closer Look at the Public Art at Chicago Police Stations

In Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, Bridges Have Become Barricades

Illinois Has Promised to “Infuse Love” in Its Juvenile Justice System, but What Will Actually Change?

4 Perspectives on the Christopher Columbus Statues

What People Who Live in Mostly White Towns Need to Know About History

“I Can’t Breathe.” It Happens at Schools, Too.

The Nation’s First Reparations Package to Survivors of Police Torture Included a Public Memorial. Survivors Are Still Waiting.

I’ve Reported on How Chicago’s Ticketing System Has Hurt Black Residents. Now, the Conversation About Reform Is Changing.

Slavery Existed in Illinois, but Schools Don’t Always Teach That History

A Sundown Town Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest

Police Brutality, COVID-19 and Overdoses in Chicago Follow the Same Deadly Pattern

A Nurse With One Lung Had COVID-19. Other Nurses Saved Her.

Families Were Grieving and Planning Funerals. They Still Wanted to Share Their Stories.

How We Used FOIA to Track Ventilator and Hospital Bed Availability in Illinois

What Other States Can Learn From What Happened in Illinois After It Legalized Gambling

A State Senator Had Thousands of Dollars in Ticket Debt. Now She’s Fighting to Make Sure Others Won’t.

It’s Time for Sundown Towns to Become a More Visible Part of Illinois History. But How?

Sexual Abuse Reports From Illinois’ Catholic Dioceses Are Still Missing A Lot of Data

Use This Tool to Find Potential Conflicts of Interest at Public Universities. We Did.

Inside a Training Course Where School Workers Learn How to Physically Restrain Students

The Best of Us: ProPublica Illinois 2019

My Home Is a Place That Feels Safe. For Too Many Families, That’s Not the Case.

A 7-Year-Old Complained About a Scary Office at School. This Is the Video His Parents Saw — a Month Later.

Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here’s How Communities Across the State Are Dealing With the New Law.

How People Are Using Our Chicago Parking Ticket Data in Their Research

Readers Choked Back Tears. Some Struggled to Keep Reading. We Understand.

What Readers Told Us About Our Story, “The Legend of A-N-N-A”

An Illinois Superhero You’ve Never Heard Of

How Much Money Has Your Doctor Received From Drug Companies?

I’m Looking for My Next Story

Where Do Illinois Lawmakers Stand on Impeachment?

Here’s What to Expect From Chicago City Council’s Ticket Reform

As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students

How a Video Gambling Company Helped Bankroll Local Politicians

Inside the Illinois House Hearing on the Financial Aid Scandal

How We Got the Story About Parents Transferring Guardianship of Their Kids to Win Financial Aid They Wouldn’t Otherwise Qualify For

She’s Risked Arrest by Driving With a Suspended License for Seven Years. This Week She Got Some Big News.

“How in 2019 Do We Not Have Enough Spanish-Speaking Caseworkers?”

Tuberculosis. Chicken Pox. Traumatized: 5 Updates on Immigrant Youth Shelters in Illinois.

How Chicago, a Hospital and Private Companies Make Money Off the Poor

How to Clean Up the “Hot Mess” That Is Chicago’s Ticketing and Debt Collection Practices — According to a City Task Force

Let’s Break Down Some Numbers in Illinois’ New Gambling Expansion Bill

Of Course This Happened in Illinois. Why Wouldn’t It?

Losing Aldermanic Privilege, and How Unprepared Illinois Is for the Next Recession

Three Ways Chicago’s City Council Keeps Its Committees Out of the Public Eye

We Stick With Our Stories Until We See Results

Zero Tolerance: Inside the Secretive Network of Immigrant Youth Shelters in Illinois

Chicago in a Single Tweet, and News From Elections Around the State

Legalized Betting Could Change How We Watch Sports

The University of Illinois Withheld Public Records for Months. Guess What They Showed?

5 Things You Need to Know About the Closing of Immigrant Youth Shelters in Illinois

When Illinois Laws Meet Real People

Feeling Trapped by Vehicle Tickets? Let’s Talk About It — Live

Happy Holidays From ProPublica Illinois

How to Use the Ticket Trap, Our New Database That Lets You Explore How Chicago Tickets Motorists and Collects Debt

We Want to Hear About Your Experiences With Vehicle Tickets, So We Created a Facebook Group

What Chicago Voters Can Look Forward to in a Very Crowded Mayoral Election

Here’s What We’ve Been Reading This Week

What We’re Thankful For: Being Able to Make a Difference in Illinois

Get Out of Jail for a Price: The First Investigation From Our Illinois Reporting Project

Reporting on the Layers of Potential Harm for Children in Psychiatric Hospitals

What We Learned From Letting a Mother and Her Son Tell Their Own Story

Explore Racial Disparities in Hundreds of Illinois Schools and Districts

It’s Our Birthday

Illinoisans on Illinois: Tips and Tales From Around the State

Southbound on the Amtrak Saluki, and Getting to Know Illinois

What More Can We Learn From Chicago Ticket Data?

Crossing the Divide: The Challenges and Rewards of Working in Spanish-Language Media

Did Three Immigrant Teens Run Away From a Chicago Shelter Last Month?

Why Trump Should Have Read “Ask ProPublica Illinois” Before He Tweeted

Looking at the Archives From the Time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and Seeing Familiar Themes

“Do Something, Please,” Doctors Testify at DCFS Hearing

When Mapping the Many Disparities in Chicago, It Can Feel Like It’s the Same Story Being Told

We’re Writing About Problems at the Immigrant Shelters Housing Children and Teens — in English and Español

The “Terrible” Consequences of Chicago’s Ticketing Policies

Download the Gang Databases We Got From Illinois State Police, Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Chicago Police Department

All the Ways You Can Help Our Reporting Right Now

How ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Worked Together to Find Thousands of Duplicate Tickets in Chicago

I Went in Search of Abandoned African-American Cemeteries

Who Are You, Readers? And Do You Trust Us?

Understand “Variety.” Listen to Young People. Pay Attention to Changing Community Reputations.

Where Is “Home” for Children in State Custody?

About That Hate Crime at a Western Illinois Cemetery

How Journalist Susie Cagle’s Illustrations Help Us “Follow The Money”

You’re Entitled to Government Transparency

Takeaways From Our Urbana-Champaign Free Street Theater Journalism Workshop

Those Questions You’ve Been Asking About Journalism? We Ask Them, Too.

How We Found Sources for Our Research Misconduct Story — And How You Can Help Us Find More

Chicago’s Gang Database Isn’t Just About Gangs

Six Things We’ve Learned in Six Months

Takeaways From Our First Free Street Theater Journalism Workshop

Seeing Journalism Make a Difference in Election Results

Getting to Know Illinois — And You

We’ve Updated Our Campaign Widget to Better Help You Follow the Money

She Owed $102,158.40 in Unpaid Tickets, but She’s Not in the Story

Bringing Theater and Investigative Reporters to You

How We Made Our Illinois Governor’s Campaign Finance Widget

We’re Going to Toulon

Sometimes, Impact Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

A Chicago Cop’s Facebook Posts and a City’s Struggle With Racism

Watchdogging a Nonprofit Watchdog

Help Us Figure Out Where in Illinois to Take Our Theater-Journalism Project

How Does Journalism Work? Ask Us Questions. We Can Explain.

Calculating the Work Behind Our Work

Highlights From Our ‘Mediathing’ List So Far

Molly Parker on Growing Up in Southern Illinois

I Spent Years Reporting on Chicago’s Property Tax System. Here’s What Got Me Out of the Weeds.

Let’s Make a List of Useful ‘Mediathings’ in Illinois

I’ve Been Interviewing ProPublica Illinois Reporters. Here’s What I’ve Learned.

Journalism Made Possible Because of the Freedom of Information Act

Returning to the Scene of a Trauma

Downstate-of-Mind: Your Responses to Defining ‘Downstate’ Illinois

A Story From the Saline County Jail

Defining ‘Downstate’ Illinois