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WXMI Announces New Initiative to Combat a Rise in Youth Crime

May 26, 2023

In response to the pressing issue of youth crime, Scripps Media's WXMI-TV/FOX 17 (Grand Rapids) is taking a proactive approach by spearheading 'A Path Forward.' Rather than simply reporting on the increase in youth crime, this initiative aims to be part of a broader solution. By uplifting young people, FOX 17 seeks to connect families with crucial resources, address obstacles, celebrate successes, and create lasting change.

FOX 17 began working on 'A Path Forward' in July 2022. First, they met with over 60 community members representing law enforcement, community organizations, and business owners to hear their perspectives on youth crime in our community. Following those initial meetings, a Community Advisory Board was created, consisting of over 16 individuals.

Since its formation, this advisory board has met three times, discussing rising youth crime in West Michigan and how the community can come together to address it.

"We believe in the power of collaboration and the potential for positive change," said Kim Krause, Vice President/General Manager at FOX 17 - WXMI. "With 'A Path Forward' we are committed to working hand in hand with our community, law enforcement, businesses, and nonprofits to create a brighter future for our young people. By utilizing our platform, we can make a significant and lasting impact on youth crime and contribute to building a safer and more prosperous community for all."

In response to a noticeable surge in stories related to youth crime, the team at FOX 17 has undergone a transformative shift in attitude. What once started as a mere consideration of how to cover these stories has evolved into a determination to address the underlying issues. As members of the community, the FOX 17 staff has recognized the pressing need to go beyond traditional reporting, asking themselves a crucial question: "What can we do about this?"

"As a journalist, it is crucial for us to recognize the urgent need for change in how we report on crime, particularly when it involves youth. We must acknowledge that our traditional approach may unintentionally worsen the problem," said Dan Boers, News Director at FOX 17 – WXMI. "Through our community advisory board meetings, we have gained valuable insights and knowledge. It's clear that we have a long journey ahead, but we are unwavering in our commitment to being part of the solution."

In the spirit of collaboration, FOX 17 invites concerned citizens, organizations, and community leaders to join them on this transformative journey. By working together, we can create a positive and lasting impact, empowering young individuals and fostering a safe and promising future for our community.

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