Chicago-1 Purpose, Mission, Methodology and Ethics

What is Chicago-1 News? - Purpose and Focus

Chicago-1 News exists to pick-up on local Chicago public safety news where corporate media ends their coverage. Chicago is a large media market, and every corporate media source known to the area has breaking news covered. Chicago-1 takes the position that while there is a need for breaking news coverage, especially breaking coverage of violent crimes, the public needs and deserves a news source that spends time digging into the details of public safety incidents involving violence.  

Chicago-1 practices long-form journalism which means that Chicago-One is focused on creating news projects based on quality, not quantity. Everything published at Chicago-One is true. Chicago-One does not publish opinion, satire, parody, or other non-factual information. The projects at Chicago-one take weeks or even months to produce.

A secondary focus of Chicago-1 is local public transit issues, travel into and out-of Chicago O'Hare International Airport / Chicago O'Hare AIrport Operations, Metra and Amtrak travel into and out-of the city. The transit and travel priority at Chicago-One is a focus on transit system crime, security, safety, and issues involving terrorism / prevention of terrorism. 

Extreme weather is a focus at Chicago-1 on a case-by-case basis. Chicago-1 relies upon the Chicago Office of the National Weather Service, radar and satellite information from Radarscope, and the College of DuPage Nexlab website, all of which generates the very same information you see on TV and hear on radio broadcasts. The owner of Chicago-1 is a trained weather spotter and was trained by the National Weather Service.  

The National Weather Service no longer issues certificates or registration, identification cards, etc, to trained storm spotters. Some weather spotters are sworn members of public safety agencies whether paid or in a volunteer capacity, and their respective agencies have credentialed them as trained spotters. This means Chicago-One does not rely on reports from those claiming to be trained storm spotters unless they are known to be members of those agencies. Such reports are without factual merit until such time as the National Weather Service issues a watch, or a warning. 


Chicago-1 uses multiple trusted sources and conducts research using Illinois FOIA law, and the U.S. federal Freedom of Information Act, court documents (when available and when NOT under seal), and statements from city public safety agencies. Common practice among all news media is to obtain story leads via local public safety radio system frequencies. Chicago-1 engages in a growing form of modern journalism that combines public safety radio traffic with the usage of FOIA laws at the state and federal level, and research of local public safety agency policies and practices.   

Chicago-1 recognizes the impact of violent crime on individual and public health. This means you'll see Chicago-1 publish pieces from public information sources on sensitive topics such as psychiatric incidents within the city, death/suicide investigations, and violent crime investigations involving death. 

Chicago-1 obtains the full investigative files of the Chicago-Police Department, COPA, FBI, DEA, USSS, ATF, and all U.S. federal intelligence agencies and makes them available in-whole as part of the story so the public can see that the file snippets used in news stories indeed came from an actual government record, and also so the public can see the entire record for themselves as evidence for purposes of credibility, context, and transparency. 

Beyond the here and now: Chicago-1 has a focus on historical journalism:

This means that Chicago-1 routinely submits Freedom of Information Act Requests to the city, county, state, and federal governments for documents regarding historical events, and produces news pieces from those documents as a way to help the public understand the operations of the government, and to present history through the documents that detail those moments in time. Chicago-1 recognizes that this type of journalism is of continuing public interest. You'll see this practice between long-form news pieces at Chicago-1. Occasionally, a historical piece based on local, county, state, or federal records might be long-form.

Historical public records news pieces are clearly marked as such. 

Sourcing and Story Formatting: 

Besides government radio traffic and documents obtained via the state and federal FOIA laws, Chicago-1 reviews local and national news coverage of major violent crimes in Chicago published by multiple sources, highlights relevant portions of those pieces, provides those highlights with the source named and given full-credit. The link to that specific story and source are provided. This complies with federal copyright laws/DMCA/fair usage laws. 

Chicago-1 lays out each story in a simple, easy to read format consisting of the basic data: 

Address, Date, Time, CPD RD Number and OEMC Event Number/Federal Agency case number, Beat of Occurrence, Beat or Beats Assigned, Supervising Beat, and Summary. Map area graphic may or may not be provided. 

At the conclusion of the story you'll find the full case report, arrest report, and investigative file when available. Due to FOIA restrictions, CPD/County Sheriff/State Police, and federal agencies may have to wait until certain legal criteria are met before releasing the full file. 

Open-Source Intelligence/Major News Coverage Section:

This section of each story provides further credibility and links to other coverage of the story or information presented so readers can have full, multi-source access to all the details of the story/information presented. 

Original Chicago-1 news/information pieces that are not covered by any other sources will not have this feature unless Chicago-1 has obtained original open-source intelligence/information.

Credibility Indicators: 

These are selected and confirmed by Chicago-1. 

Original Reporting - The article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents. 

Sources Cited - As a news piece, the article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by Chicago-1 in accordance with journalism ethics and copyright/DMCA law.      

Chicago-1 usage of Style-Guides:

Chicago-1 routinely looks to the AP, Reuters, BBC, and other style-guides. Generally speaking, style-guides are just that, a guide, not a hard and fast, rigid rule structure that restricts the practice, form, or approach of journalism. Style guides are used primarily to guide when there needs to be clarity as to matters involving spelling, grammar, punctuation, phraseology, and presentation of a wide range of matters where clarity needs to be be sought.

Chicago-1 Ethics:
Chicago-1 recognizes that journalism is under attack by extremist rhetoric through-out the political spectrum that relies on false information. Beware of false claims such as the following:

1. Only "credentialed" corporate news employees are journalists

There is no law at the local, county, state, or federal level that confirms or requires any kind of special credentialing, licensing, or other government approval. Under the 1st Amendment, no level of government may place such a restriction on news gathering activities or the production of editorials, opinions, art, or works of scientific, academic, political or social value.

The city of Chicago media ID cards given-out by the Chicago Police Department are quite factually only good for entering police facilities for press conferences in designated areas of those police facilities. Those ID cards are not a license of any kind in regards to government authorization to practice journalism.

2. Cries of "fake news" - This is a nefarious tactic used to deny facts, and replace fact with unproven political and religious opinion (propaganda)

There are various operations that use satire, and satire is not what Chicago-One does, although many people mistake satire for being misleading or false information.

3. Claims of "pseudo-journalism"

This is a re-worded and cleverly disguised way of using the nefarious cry of "fake news" most-often used by corporate media with elitist attitudes and those with extreme political ideas.

4. News or other journalism can only be trusted according to the platform it's published on

This is the same nefarious claim as numbers 2 and 3 above. News, research, editorials, opinions, etc, can be published on ANY platform, and ALL platforms are protected equally by law at the state and federal levels.

5. The news media is the enemy of the public

This is false in every possible way, and is propaganda created maliciously to target journalists of every practice for silencing and violence.

6. Simple mistakes in spelling / grammar / simple everyday human error is the same as intentionally presenting false information

This is simply not true, and like all the other false claims presented above, is not supported by evidence. Journalists are human, and the public should not be surprised that human error sometimes occurs.

7. Journalists MUST never participate in personal political speech outside of their work, and must never participate in elections as a voter or as an election judge because it disqualifies their professional work, no matter what

This is another falsehood for which there is no evidence to support. The practice of journalism is itself political in nature, even if and when an individual journalist or news company totally avoids political commentary in any form. There is also no such thing as "liberal" or "conservative" news. These labels are often misapplied to news in general, but are only applicable to those who perform partisan editorial / op-ed.

8. News information branding / news and information brand names are invalid if they have no corporate legal papers

This is yet another falsehood that is not backed-up by evidence. Today's world of advances in technology means that the concept of business licensing is outdated, and only applies to those businesses who have a need to operate from a commercial building. The First Amendment plays into this as well, as the government cannot require any practice involving speech and information to be held to unreasonable burdens such as costly licensing and license regulations.     

9. Quoting news information gathered by other news sources is unethical / illegal, even when the source is given full attribution and credit for the information

No, it isn't. This is another way of falsely accusing news journalists of violation of journalistic ethics or even serious federal violations of copyright law. Time-honored common journalism practice and tradition has always been that news sources will quote each other's work if /when needed.

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