If you know Chicago news, then you know CBS-2’s Dave Savini is one of the top investigative journalists in the market.
Savini is a Chicago guy, he has worked at CBS-2 since 2004, he is a father, an Emmy winner and generally known as one of the “good guys” in local media circles.
He reports the news with a professionalism that at times can be hard to remain unbiased, but Savini pulls it off, even in the toughest of circumstances.
So it was more than a little interesting to see a posting on his Facebook page a little over a week ago that went after the city of Chicago and just about everything in it.
"I have seen so many heartbreaking sights in the city of Chicago the last few days and I really feel the need to tell you that this is one messed up city.. I am reporter and investigative reporter at that and what I have witnessed includes a way of life. a standard of living... where the very basics are not even there. And then there's the garbage all over the streets! It makes me wonder if any one cleans or street sweeps these neighborhoods. From Englewood, to Humboldt Park to Garfield Park and West Madison street this is some tough living folks. If the house isn't falling down it has an X on it for demolition . Old people struggle with walkers or canes .. Kids shout at street corners when I go past to warn others that cops or someone not invited is coming down the street. Drug dealing everywhere. I get out of the car with my co worker and they run all hooded and scared but in reality we know they are most likely armed. I can't help but feel a bit overwhelmed at the image left with me... and its not like I haven't seen this before but day after day makes it even more real. I get out of the car and people talk to me and I see the humanity that exists within their struggle but mostly I just see numbness. America?"
We tried to contact Savini on the phone and on Facebook for a comment about his “rant,” but he never responded.
Is Savini "slipping?" Is he about to have a on-air breakdown during a live shot? Or is he just a human being?
It’s hard to say exactly what Savini was thinking, but here’s something to mull over.
I have been working as an investigative journalist for 25 years, producing true crime documentaries and other crime related shows. I have had to sit down and interview killers, their victims and on several horrible instances the children of victims.
I have looked over crime scene photos and autopsy pictures that would give most “normal” people nightmares.
I have seen the absolute worst humanity has to offer up and in one very unlucky year, I had a gun held to my head not once, but twice.
All of that has made me very leery about the world and the condition it is in. You can’t un-see some of those things and they come back to visit you in the middle of the night, again and again.
As a documentary producer, we go out and film once every three months. Savini is out there in the streets every single day.
Unless you just moved to Chicago from Mars, you know that people are dying in our streets at an alarming rate, babies are being killed where they sleep and Savini has to go out and cover it, time and time again.
When you are a reporter, there is a lot of “hurry up and wait,” meaning you might be standing around to do a live report for hours. It’s during that time, you have a chance to look around and see exactly “where you are” and the condition of things. You notice rats, garbage, needles in the streets, kids selling drugs and on and on. When the red light on the camera turns on, you are not allowed to scream, “this is insane, why are we treating each other like this!!!”
No, Savini and his colleagues have to look straight down the barrel of that camera and deliver the awful news to you, with a clear look in their eyes and strong tone in their voice.
It ain’t easy.
Savini posted this on his Facebook page as a response.
"Thanks for all your comments it really is just a perspective... and all of your perspectives are important. Point is you really feel helpless when you see the totality of what is happening no matter where you want to point blame. My feelings were more about human nature and how what I keep seeing touched me to the core. It is the old people and little children that hit home the most, but seriously Chicago is a beautiful city for tourists and there are many great neighborhoods. Its just that many people don't wander to the areas I end up in unless they are lost in their cars. I am in the neighborhoods that make news every night where the little kids are shot and the dealers run rampant. Suburban kids know where these places are because they are popular destinations for our heroin using youth that think using this drug is sheik.. Its all one big circle, one segment of society needs the other to survive or at least feed an addiction. Heck we wouldn't need all the police if the crime didn't exist and maybe not need reporters either:) But we do document history in a way so yay for my fellow journalist. This is not a jaded look at the world it is just reality and I walk away from it all a humble man."
Reporters in this market may make six figures and get wardrobe budgets, which is nice. Then they have to go out the doors of the station into the crime, filth, poverty and murder to do "their jobs." I have said it before, but reporting like Savini is a "calling," it takes a certain kind of crazy to do what Savini and his colleagues do.
Here's to hoping that he has less to rant about on Facebook and we get to see more of Magan Mawicke reporting on the Cubs in the World Series than babies dying on our streets.
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