Focus


WILL - Focus - April 26, 2014

An update on WILL-AM’s ‘Focus’

An update on WILL-AM's Focus from Illinois Public Media's news and public affairs director, Scott Cameron

We wanted to give you an update on our plans for the future of Focus. In recent months, we've created a model for what our local, morning call-in show will look and sound like when we re-launch the program early next year. Last month, we let you know that we're searching for a host to build on that vision. As that search continues, we're also now looking for a strong producer to complete our team. Together, they will form the core of our new talk programming staff.  In the meantime, we will end our Friday Focus shows after April 25 until that team is in place. Our reporting staff is again at full strength, and doing the kinds of award-winning stories that you expect. That commitment to great local reporting and storytelling carries over to our call-in talk show … which will return, as planned, in early 2015.

Our Monday through Thursday 10 am program, Tell Me More, will now also air at 10 am Fridays.

Categories: Media and journalism
Tags: focus

WILL - Focus - April 25, 2014

Brain drain in downstate Illinois

There’s been a steady flow of industry and people out of some downstate Illinois factory towns for years. This hour on Focus, we'll look at the numbers and hear from one town that has stopped the outflow of people, even after their Maytag plant relocated.

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(Duration: 35:19)

downtown Decatur

When Archer Daniels Midland told Decatur city officials that it would be moving its global headquarters to Chicago, city councilman Pat McDaniel said the news hurt, but that it wasn’t surprising. “Young people don’t want to locate in Decatur anymore, at least we’re starting to see more and more people want to move to places like Chicago.”

And according to IRS and US Census data, McDaniel might be right. People are moving, around Illinois and out of the state all together. For at least the last fifteen years, more people have moved out of Illinois than have moved in. In order to keep businesses and communities thriving, Michael Lucci of the Illinois Policy Institute says that trend has to stop. It’s costing the state lots of money in tax revenue. In addition, Lucci says it’s a specific demographic that appears to be moving out.

Categories: Business, Community, Economics

WILL - Focus - April 25, 2014

Unmet Needs: “Folk Wisdom” about health perpetuates stereotypes

Talking about mental health and mental illness is hard; sometimes it awkward. Most of the time it’s uncomfortable. Should it be?

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(Duration: 15:35)

Joey Ramp and her ex-husband in WILL's studios.

Joey Ramp gets uncomfortable in large crowds of people. New places also make her uneasy. It’s her service dog, Theo, and her highly regimented schedule that helps her handle her anxiety and cope with her post-traumatic stress disorder. Theo is always with her, and since her disability isn’t visible, she says people are curious. Sometimes they ask; sometimes they don’t. “Most often, when people ask and I say I have PTSD, people want to thank me for my service.”

That makes it awkward for Ramp to explain that she never served in the military.


WILL - Focus - April 18, 2014

Life Itself: director Steve James and Chaz Ebert on the new documentary about Roger Ebert

During this Focus interview, Jeff Bossert talks with Steve James and Chaz Ebert about capturing the life of a critic on film.  

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(Duration: 50:26)

Flm critic Roger Ebert in Chicago in 2005

After he lost his voice, some say film critic Roger Ebert became an even better writer, pouring all his efforts into movie reviews and other columns. As he further mastered his craft, legendary writer, historian, actor and broadcaster Studs Terkel sent him a note about his ‘new’ voice. “This – what you write now, it’s more than about movies. Yes, it’s about the movies but there is something added. A new REFLECTION on life itself.”

Those last words became the title for Roger Ebert’s 2011 memoir, and is now the title of a new documentary about his life. Steven Zailian, screenwriter for ‘Schindler’s List” among other films, first approached director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, 2005) in late 2012 about the project. When James first met with Chaz and Roger about the direction the film would take, no one could have predicted he would pass away just five months later.

During this Focus interview, Jeff Bossert talks with filmmaker Steve James and Chaz Ebert about capturing Roger’s life, and his death, on film. 


WILL - Focus - April 14, 2014

Unmet Needs: three things we learned during our #WILLchat on Twitter

As a part of our series, "Unmet Needs: living with mental illness in central Illinois," we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats. Here's a recap.

As a part of our series exploring difficulties in accessing mental health care in central Illinois, we convened what we hope is the first of many Twitterchats with WILL’s newsroom Friday morning. 

We wanted to talk with you to find out if we are accurately characterizing problems with stigma through our reporting and wanted to find out more about the problems you and others in the area are having trying to find care. Sean Powers, and I learned a lot

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 11, 2014

Unmet Needs: Look onscreen, the doctor will see you now

In many places in Illinois, providers are looking to telemedicine to expand access to psychiatric care. Friday on Focus, we take a look at the nuances of treating patients via a computer screen as a part of our series “Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois.”

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(Duration: 52:06)

Harry Wolin manages Mason District Hospital in Havana, Illinois, one of many clinics in Illinois that provide care to medically underserved areas. The hospital has been treating patients via telepsychiatry, when a patient meets with a doctor via a computer screen, for about four years now. Wolin says they started offering appointments that way after the county mental health center shut down due to lack of funding.

“If we wouldn’t have started offering this service, many of our patients would have had to travel an hour or more to see somebody,” he explains.

In an evolving health care system where cost control and efficiency are key, some are looking to telepsychiatry as a solution; some are more skeptical. Could the technology a way to offer more patients quicker access to a doctor? Is that really the best solution? 

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 10, 2014

Talk to us: Twitterchat Friday at 11:00 a.m. CT

Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, Lindsey Mooon @lindseysmoon will be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.

Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, I’ll be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.

Categories: Health, Mental Health

WILL - Focus - April 04, 2014

Going to college on the G.I. Bill today

Thousands of soldiers who’ve served in the military in the last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan are using the G.I. Bill to finish a college degree, but it’s not easy. 

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(Duration: 40:06)

Colorado soldiers returning home from Afghanistan

Johnny Watts started school at the University of Illinois after serving in the Army for six years. He says returning to the life of a student after serving in the military was a little daunting. He worried he wouldn’t be classroom ready, that other students would be far ahead of him in terms of coursework. But once he found a community of veterans to hang out with, he says it got easier. “It was nice when I found other vets to talk to. You kind of have your own language after being in the service,” he said. “And, then I had someone else besides my wife to talk to about school.”

Watts graduates this spring from the University of Illinois with a degree in electrical engineering, and is moving to southern California with his wife. She’s also a veteran who has been attending the University of Illinois. And, according to a new study from the Student Veterans of America, the Watts’ are among a large group of veterans who’ve taken advantage of the education benefits in the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Categories: Government, Military

WILL - Focus - April 02, 2014

What to read to understand the fight for Crimea

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(Duration: 9:32)

If you’ve been following the crisis in Ukraine and the fight for Crimea, do you have unanswered questions about why Russia is so invested? We do, and we wanted to get a better understanding of the historical context of the conflict. Kathryn Stoner, a political scientist who is a Senior Fellow at the Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, has prepared a reading list that she says go a long way in explaining the Russian perspective.

Continue reading to find her reading list and descriptions of the books and their authors.


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