Rashanah Baldwin is a member of The Reporters Inc. Board of Directors. You can read more about her on our Team page.

Yes, We’ve Got Crime

But Portrayals of Urban Neighborhoods as Hopeless Only Worsen the Problems

March 2016


This might be shocking to some, but I’m proud to say that I live in Englewood. Yep, uber proud.

Englewood is a neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, a place that’s often described in the mainstream media (paraphrasing here) as a piss poor community full of uneducated black thugs who kill each other. According to societal norms, the urban ‘hoods and “ghettos” are a place where good things are not expected to occur.

I’m none of those things, just a 32-year-old professional journalist, a life-long Englewood resident who gets up and goes to work every day, determined to make something of myself, and my life. In fact I coined the term “Englewoodian” and will tell anyone in an instant that there’s Good In Englewood (now a trending hashtag, also created by yours truly).

Yet every morning when I first pick up my I-phone, I anxiously look to see if there are any Google Alerts about my Englewood friends and neighbors. If there are, more often than not they’re bearing bad news.

Despite the fact that many Englewoodians like myself are actively engaged in improving the quality of life in our community, those efforts are rarely covered (more…)

Audrey Edmunds with her three daughters in 1996, shortly before a jury convicted her of first-degree reckless homicide, sending her to prison.

An 11-Year Nightmare

Suburban Married Mom Wrongfully Convicted of 'Shaken Baby Syndrome'

March 2016

Editor’s Note: On October 16, 1995, a seven-month-old girl died while in the care of a 34-year-old Waunakee, Wisconsin married mother of two, Audrey Edmunds. An autopsy revealed extensive brain damage and a pathologist determined the cause of death to be Shaken Baby Syndrome. Audrey, pregnant with her third child, was arrested, charged and convicted of first-degree reckless homicide.

Never wavering from her claims of innocence, it took nearly 11 years for Audrey to clear her name. With the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project and new medical research that cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of Shaken Baby Syndrome, a court of appeals overturned her conviction in 2008.

During her time behind bars, her husband divorced her, and she missed out on the childhoods of her three young daughters. Today, she continues to pick up the pieces of her life.

Audrey will be featured in The Reporters Inc.’s upcoming documentary about wrongful convictions, The Innocent Convicts. You can watch clips of her interview, and see photos from her life, here.

Along with her friend and co-author Jill Wellington, Audrey has written a book about her ordeal. It’s called It Happened to Audrey: It Could Happen to You (A Terrifying Journey from Loving Mom to Accused Baby Killer) and The Reporters Inc. is (more…)