WWL in New Orleans aired an hour-long documentary in September that examined crime in the city to see what solutions may exist. Nicole Waivers, WWL’s executive producer, says the station wanted to cover the crime problem “in a deeper way instead of just the political finger pointing.”
WWL, Tegna’s CBS affiliate in New Orleans, aired an hour-long documentary in September that examined crime in the city to see what solutions may exist.
Crime, violent crime, is a major problem in most major cities. And when it comes to violent crime in this country, New Orleans doesn’t have the market cornered.
“This problem is definitely not unique to New Orleans,” says Nicole Waivers, WWL’s executive producer.
In fact, New Orleans ranks 18th on the list of the top 20 cities with the highest violent crime rates, according to an article from World Population Review.
So what was WWL’s motivation in exploring a documentary on violent crime in the city?
Waivers says the station wanted to cover the crime problem “in a deeper way instead of just the political finger pointing.”
The documentary, Wounded City tells the stories that violent crime takes on the victims and their families, but also seeks to understand how people find themselves on the wrong side of the law, Waivers says.
But Wounded City also explores historical data to find “what solutions have worked in the past and what solutions have worked in other places,” Waivers says.
To get started, Keith Esparros, WWL’s news director, encouraged her to put together a group from the newsroom, Waivers says.
“My philosophy is always pull all of your best minds together and see what you can come up with,” she says.
“We told those folks stories that they are still living with a lot of that trauma today,” Waivers says.
Did Wounded City reveal any evidence of solutions that have worked in the past?
“Anybody who has been successful in any city in lowering crime have focused on having a strong police force that does constitutional and community policing,” Waivers says.
But also strong social services.
“You have to be able to do both,” Waivers says. “You have to be able to do policing and social services and that is how you are going to reduce crime. According to the research, that is what has been shown to work.”