Journalism Students, NBC Investigate Chicago's Sorry Sidewalks

Photo credit: Brianna Kelly
Update: The Chicago Stumbler teams with NBC 5 Investigates for a second installment of an investigation into the city's poor sidewalk. Check out the coverage on the Stumbler's website.
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Students in Mike Reilley's graduate Reporting for Converged Newsrooms class and RedLineProject.org site teamed with NBC 5 Investigates on a project about the poor conditions of Chicago sidewalks.

The project teamed students working on Red Line's Tumblr blog, The Chicago Stumbler, with NBC Chicago investigative reporter Chris Coffey.

Coffey contacted Reilley and his students after seeing the Stumbler blog, where students document, map and write about poor sidewalk conditions in the city. The blog started as a class project in spring 2013. His story focuses on the millions of tax dollars being paid to people who injure themselves on the city's poor sidewalks.

"This was a great opportunity for our students to work with an investigative reporter in the nation's third-largest TV market," Reilley said. "Chris interviewed our students, took them on field reporting trips where they documented the sidewalks with apps on their mobile phones."

The Chicago Stumbler, started in Reilley's Online Journalism I class in spring quarter 2013, contains nearly 200 photos of poor sidewalks. The sidewalk posts are edited and mapped by journalism senior Lindsey Murphy, who helped found the site. Students upload their photos straight to the site through a Tumblr app on their phones.