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.

Sign up to get the newsletter in your email inbox each week.

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

Five years ago, Chicago approved historic reparations for survivors of torture under former police Cmdr. Jon Burge. The city promised to create a memorial. It hasn’t.

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

The killing of George Floyd by police has sparked a reexamination of other systems in this country that are also weighted against Black people. Ticketing is one of them.

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

Schools often teach the Civil War in terms of “free states” and “slave states.” Illinois complicates those definitions. We spoke with a historian and high school teacher about slavery’s legacy in Illinois.

A Sundown Town Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest

Most people I met in Anna, Illinois, wish the racist lore behind the city’s name would go away. Some say Anna’s first Black Lives Matter protest is a step toward real change. But what is next?

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

Our country’s long history of structural racism stands at the center of why police brutality, COVID-19 and the opioid crisis are disproportionately killing black Americans, including in Chicago.

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

In the coronavirus era, nurses are called heroes. Sometimes, the lives they save are those of other nurses.

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

We spoke with families and friends of 22 victims of Chicago’s first 100 recorded deaths from COVID-19. Here’s how we kept reporting, and what those families want you to know.

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

Early data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health wasn’t granular enough for an accurate picture of the coronavirus’ impact on Chicago hospitals versus hospitals in areas with fewer cases. Here’s how we pushed for specifics.

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

Attention: Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. Accel Entertainment became the largest video gambling operator in Illinois. Now it has its eyes on you.

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

Our Q+A with Illinois state Sen. Celina Villanueva, who introduced a bill to end driver’s license suspensions for unpaid red-light tickets.

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

If you are discussing your community’s history of racial exclusion, or if you would like to start, let us know.

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

ProPublica’s “Credibly Accused” database lists names and info of abusers currently or formerly in the ranks of U.S. Catholic dioceses. Here’s a rundown on Illinois.

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

Researchers at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois and other institutions disclosed potential conflicts totaling at least $4 million, according to our “Dollars for Profs” app.

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

While reporting on the use of physical restraint in schools, I wanted to understand if school workers properly used their training in the classroom. They often did not.

The Best of Us: ProPublica Illinois 2019

In our second(ish) year of existence, here’s a selection of our work that, as a whole, best shows who we are as a newsroom, what we do and why we do it.

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

Where we live becomes part of who we are. It affects our quality of life. That’s why I report on low-income housing.

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

“I want accountability,” the boy’s father said. The video prompted one of 21 investigations into abuse at an Illinois school that secluded students more than 1,700 times last school year.

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

After some confusion, Chicago officials said residents who smoke marijuana in their backyard or on their balcony will not be arrested or ticketed.

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

Close to 1,300 people have downloaded data from our app, The Ticket Trap. We talked with some of them.

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

A day after our reporting, Illinois ended isolated seclusion of children in schools across the state. What happened? Children’s voices were heard.

Follow ProPublica Illinois

More from ProPublica