Editorial: Acknowledging what’s missing in The Daily’s current coverage of the Clark Street Beach shooting


Content warning: This article contains mentions of gun violence and death.

On Wednesday, a young man lost his life. Two 15-year-old boys were injured, one gravely.

Though much of The Daily’s coverage so far has centered on the impact Wednesday night’s Clark Street Beach shooting had on Northwestern students, we know the effects go far deeper for the Evanston and Skokie communities. Jacquis Irby’s friends and family lost a loved one. Family members are still waiting for news about a 15-year-old in critical condition. Many Evanston and Skokie residents are heartbroken and hurting. 

NU students were asked to shelter in place for more than an hour Wednesday night, and we recognize the fear and uncertainty that they experienced. But the violence that took a life did not impact the University community in the same way. 

We want to acknowledge that our initial reporting on the shooting did not sufficiently document its impact on Evanston and Skokie residents, especially family and friends. Nor did we honor the life of Irby, an 18-year-old who played basketball and cared deeply about his younger brothers. 

As student journalists, our responsibility is to report ethically and accurately on what we know. On Wednesday night, we delayed a print paper we were in the middle of producing when we went into lockdown. On Thursday night, we were required to publish a paper.

After the previous night’s events, and given that we needed to produce a paper, we knew we wanted to report on the shooting as thoroughly as possible. It didn’t feel right to cover anything else in Friday’s paper.

At the time, we knew we wanted to honor Irby’s life — but we also felt it was far too soon to reach out to his loved ones. Writing an obituary without their perspectives would have omitted key memories of who he was. Though we eventually would like to write a story commemorating Irby, we need to let his family and friends determine the timeline.

Working with only senior editors, we discussed how to cover the shooting and Irby’s death. But we are also students. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t know if all elements of our approach were right, but we worked with the information we had and tried to minimize harm.

Though we felt it was important to cover the impact of the shooting and its immediate aftermath, we hope this isn’t the end of our coverage. We’ll wait until people have capacity and desire to speak with us, and we understand that time may never come.

Our primary goal on Thursday was to gather as much information as we could without imposing a burden on Irby’s family and friends, acknowledging students’ and residents’ experiences to the best of our ability. We know we didn’t reflect the experiences of everyone — or even most people — in Evanston and Skokie, and we are working to improve.

If you would like to speak about your memories of Irby, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] if and when you feel up to it.


Alex Perry, Editor in Chief

Avani Kalra, Print Managing Editor

Aviva Bechky, Print Managing Editor

Pavan Acharya, Print Managing Editor

Russell Leung, Print Managing Editor

Erica Schmitt, Digital Managing Editor

Ava Mandoli, Digital Managing Editor

Wendy Zhu, Creative Director

Lily Ogburn, Illustrations Editor 

Shannon Tyler, City Editor

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Ella Jeffries, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Micah Sandy, Opinion Editor

Lawrence Price, Sports Editor

Danny O’Grady, Design Editor

Anna Souter, Design Editor

Lucas Kim, Development and Recruitment Editor

Kara Peeler, Development and Recruitment Editor

Jay Dugar, Newsroom Strategist

Saul Pink, Newsletter Editor

Kaavya Butaney, Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Charlotte Ehrlich, In Focus Editor

Nicole Markus, In Focus Editor

Nicole Tan, Social Media Editor

William Tong, Staff Editor

Davis Giangiulio, Copy Chief

Eugenia Cao, Web Developer

Selena Kuznikov, Stipend Coordinator

Alyce Brown, Audience Engagement Editor

Mika Ellison, Audio Editor 

Kimberly Espinosa, Photo Editor