WGLT's Investigation of Race and The Law Spotlighted

WGLT's award-winning pre-Ferguson investigation of Twin Cities racial issues was again in the spotlight this week, in a featured spread by the Washington-based communications website Current.

In a story also featuring Not In Our Town: Bloomington/Normal leader Camille Taylor and photography from a recent police-community gathering, Current's Henry Scheider relates how the Illinois State University-owned station began reporting for its five-part Police and Race series in August 2014, spurred by an Illinois-mandated study of traffic stops that indicated that people of color were being stopped and searched significantly more often than white drivers.

The study also revealed that canine searches were ordered more often during traffic stops involving people of color, though white drivers were more frequently found with illegal drugs or weapons. WGLT's coverage drew local interest, "and then the situation in Ferguson brought that to everyone’s attention nationally,” Bruce Bergethon, WGLT’s general manager, told Schneider.

WGLT’s four-person newsroom sought "a balanced picture” of the relationship between police and minorities in the community, according to Bergethon. Over the next four months, WGLT reviewed recordings of police interactions with minorities, examined court records and interviewed public officials, scholars and residents of Bloomington-Normal.

The resulting series, which aired last December, received two National Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

For the complete story, visit Current at http://current.org/?p=146973.