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In a first for the network but a sign of things to come, the teams of CBS News, the CBS local stations and CBS News Streaming have teamed up on an investigative series that will appear across the company’s platforms.
The series, Crime Without Punishment, is being led by correspondent Jim Axelrod, with reports set to appear on the CBS Evening News, CBS News Streaming and on local newscasts across the country, as well as other CBS platforms. CBS News Streaming will also debut a 30-minute CBS Reports documentary tied to the series tomorrow, June 30.
The series, which includes national and local reporting from both CBS News and local CBS journalists, focuses on an unusual trend: “Police are closing a smaller share of murder cases than at any other time in American history,” the network says.
The series “looks at the sobering reality of a justice system in crisis, puts faces to the staggering statistics, and examines why the once sacrosanct promise of no murder going unsolved is now routinely being broken — with solve rates at a 50-year low,” the logline continues.
The series is the first major joint investigation between the national news team and CBS’ local journalists. Better integrating the stations and national news division have been a priority for CBS since naming Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon co-presidents of CBS News and Stations last year.
News events like the Surfside condo collapse in Miami and recall election in California laid the groundwork for the new series.
“This is what CBS News and Stations was built for,” McMahon tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Collaborative investigations like these push us to produce something that is distinctive and impactful. These trends we’re looking at are not just a national headline. The issue of crime without justice or punishment affects local communities deeply. We have an opportunity to connect the dots for our audiences and help them understand this is a systemic and layered issue.”
And there are already plans for future iterations.
“The sky’s the limit with what we can do when we work together,” Khemlani says. “As we think about future topics or areas of focus, we are considering issues that help create a more informed electorate, more informed participants in their local communities. Those could include climate change or environmental justice, voting rights or even a follow-up to what we’re exploring with Crime Without Punishment.”
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