Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Book Blues

The Chicago Tribune had a couple of impressive stories in Sunday's paper. In "Aging Textbooks Fail Illinois Kids," Diane Rado and Ana Beatriz Cholo spells out how nearly 80 percent of school districts surveyed in Illinois use out-of-date textbooks. Cholo and Rado give excellent examples of how some students are using rubber bands and duct tape to hold together their decrepit books because state funding doesn't match the rising costs of textbooks.

In the same edition, "Stateway's Swan Song" by Tribune reporter Antonio Olivo paints a vivid portrait of the people living in the last remaining building of Stateway Gardens, an enormous public housing project that is meeting the wrecking ball.
Chris Walker's powerful photos also give us a strong sense of the residents' lives.

Not to be out done by their cross-town rivals, the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times put together incredibly comprehensive coverage of the guilty verdict for former Illinois Gov. George Ryan. The main story by Natasha Korecki, Abdon Pallasch, Mark J. Konkol and Steve Warmbir (full disclosure: Pallasch and Warmbir are friends of mine so I'm biased) and the dozen or so sidebars are great examples of how to cover the big story in town.


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