For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI LAUNCHES AN ONGOING COMMUNITY DIALOGUE ABOUT VIOLENCE IN ROCHESTER WITH A SPECIAL “NEED TO KNOW” BROADCAST AUGUST 21

Rochester, New York (August 12, 2008) – Since 2007 there have been 68 homicides in Rochester. WXXI’s Center for Public Affairs takes a look at how the community is impacted when another young black male is murdered in Rochester in a special one-hour edition of Need to Know: Response to Murder, airing Thursday, August 21 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11), and on City 12 on Friday, August 22 at 7 p.m. Co-hosted by WXXI’s Julie Philipp and WDKX’s Liz Medhin, and featuring WXXI reporter Carlet Cleare, the live call-in program begins with a documentary-style look at the May 12, 2008 murder of Danny Davis.

The 16-year-old Davis is just one of more than a dozen young African-American males killed in Rochester since the beginning of 2007. Reporter Cleare traces what happened after Davis was shot to death in a stranger’s driveway. Through the voices of people connected to this incident, Need to Know: Response to Murder looks at how the community’s law enforcement, emergency services, media, educators, teens, and many others react when a young black male is lost to violence

After his story is told, Philipp and Medhin will talk with Rochester Police Chief David Moore, and take viewer calls commenting on issues raised by the program. Calls will be taken at 1-800-295-9994 or 585-454-6300.

The Need to Know special begins an ongoing community dialogue about violence in Rochester on WXXI television, radio and Web.

  • 1370 Connection on Tuesday, August 19 from 1 – 2 p.m. on AM1370/HD91/5-2  WXXI’s Bob Smith will be joined by Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy.  Youth violence and the “Youth Priorities in Action Report” will be among the topics discussed.
  • 1370 Connection on Wednesday, August 20 from 1 – 2 p.m. on AM1370/HD91/5-2    WXXI’s Bob Smith will be joined by Doug Ackley, Director of The Center for Teen Empowerment in Rochester, and two members of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council to discuss the “Youth Priorities in Action Report.”  Simulcast on City 12.
  • 1370 Connection on Friday, August 22 from noon – 1 p.m. on AM1370/HD91/5-2      WXXI’s Bob Smith will be joined by Jason Scott, Criminologist at Rochester Institute of Technology, to discuss latest findings regarding curfew and other area anti-youth violence initiatives.
  • Need to Know on Friday, August 22 from 9 – 9:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11)  WXXI’s Peter Iglinski will host a follow-up panel discussion with Leslie Barnes, Deputy Probation Administrator for Monroe County Office of Probation, Victor Saunders, Director of Pathways to Peace, and a young person who experienced challenges similar to those faced by Danny Davis.
  • Response to Murder Web page beginning week of August 11 at <WXXI.org/ntk> The page features current reporting on violence and crime by the WXXI Center for Public Affairs, along with video and audio podcasts, a video promo of the Need to Know (NTK) special, a Q & A with Carlet Cleare, and photographs.  It also allows visitors to leave comments online.  The page will initially be accessible from the NTK homepage, but will be accessible from the front page in the days immediately surrounding the broadcast of the NTK special.
  • Newsroom Reports on AM1370/HD91.5-2  The newsroom is producing long-form radio reports around the issue of youth violence. The first will air during the week of August 18.  Produced by Walt Gabalski, it focuses on Project No Return’s fight for funding of the safety net program for young adults released from prison.

WXXI’s Center for Public Affairs is committed to exploring the issue of violence through diverse perspectives to increase community awareness and understanding.  This initiative is an outgrowth of the Center’s vision to be the most relevant and trustworthy source for news, information, and dialogue to educate and inspire people who live in Greater Rochester, and connect these people to each other and the rest of the state, nation and world.

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