Stories by Jay Smith

A memorial to the victims of the Highland Park shooting is pictured in July 2022. (WTTW News)

On July 4 We Remember Mass Shooting Victims, Names on a List That Continues to Grow

On Monday, WTTW News launches a new initiative, “A Safer City.” In an effort to help facilitate the complicated but necessary conversation around violence, we aim to explore violence in all its forms with depth and nuance.

A band marches in the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park moments before shooting begins. (Jay T. Smith / WTTW News)

Column: As the Band Approached Us, the Gunshots Rang Out in Highland Park

My heart aches. It aches for those who were lost, their families and for the devastating days ahead. I also thought about next weekend, and the weekend after.

Jim Ryan appears on “Chicago Tonight” in a 2002 candidate forum when he was running for governor.

Remembering Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan served as Illinois attorney general for eight years starting in 1995. He twice ran, unsuccessfully, for Illinois governor. He died on Sunday after what his family said were “several lengthy illnesses.” He was 76.

Adlai Stevenson III appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2009 with Carol Marin. (WTTW News)

Remembering Former US Sen. Adlai Stevenson III

In 2009, Adlai Stevenson III spoke with Carol Marin on “Chicago Tonight.” Even though he was a self-proclaimed “reformer,” he still found virtues in the old party machinery. Stevenson died Monday at the age of 90.

Jerry Harkness, Loyola basketball (1960-1963)

Loyola Ramblers’ 1963 NCAA Win Also a Story of Racial Justice

Loyola University Chicago’s NCAA run has put the Ramblers in the national spotlight once again. We remember the 1963 championship team.

‘Chicago Tonight’ at the 2012 Republican National Convention

Paris Schutz has a report from day one of the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa.

‘Chicago Tonight’ at the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley talks about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden from our coverage of the 2008 Democratic Convention.

Tyler Saladino (Courtesy of MBC Sports Korea)

Former White Sox Fan Favorite Playing Baseball in South Korea

Tyler Saladino had some exciting moments on the South Side when he spent parts of four seasons with the White Sox. Now he’s on the field in South Korea.

Jerry Reinsdorf and Jerry Krause appear on “Chicago Tonight” on June 17, 1996. (WTTW News)

Archive: Jerry Reinsdorf, Jerry Krause on Bulls 1996 NBA Championship

In honor of “The Last Dance,” the 10-part ESPN documentary about the Chicago Bulls championship years, we revisit an interview from the “Chicago Tonight” archives.

Bulls Coach Phil Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 26, 1995. (WTTW News)

Archive: Bulls Coach Phil Jackson on Scottie Pippen’s 1.8-Second Strike

The behind-the-scenes story of Scottie Pippen’s infamous refusal to take the court during a 1994 playoff game as told by Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson on “Chicago Tonight” in 1995.

Dennis Rodman (File photo)

Remembering Dennis Rodman’s Entry on Chicago Sports Scene

If you’re watching ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary series “The Last Dance,” you have lots of company — and you may have spotted another familiar face on the series recently.

White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

Baseball Blues: Sox, Cubs Broadcasters Talk About Delayed Season

There is no joy in Mudville (or in Chicago for that matter) as the coronavirus pandemic has struck out Major League Baseball. Jason Benetti and Len Kasper talk about what might have been — and what may happen in the weeks to come.

Jeff Axelrod with is students in Zhangjiagang, China. (Courtesy Jeff Axelrod)

Life, Restricted: Chicago Native Teaching in China on Quarantine Measures

While Illinois residents have been following a stay-at-home order since Saturday, people in China have been dealing with restricted living conditions for months. We speak with a Chicago native who now teaches high school in the Chinese city of Zhangjiagang.

White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

Baseball Season Preview: Jason Benetti, Len Kasper on White Sox, Cubs in 2020

With spring training right around the corner, we look to the coming season with White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper.

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago White Sox GM Wants Team That Can Win ‘On an Annual Basis’

It’s been a busy winter for Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, but after a flurry of moves, it may be time for him to rest a bit. “I think for the most part, the heavy lifting for the offseason is done,” Hahn said.

A still image taken from a 1985 video featuring Fred Rogers in conversation with “Chicago Tonight” host John Callaway. (WTTW News)

From the Archives: John Callaway Interviews PBS Icon Fred Rogers (1985)

At a time of great division in the U.S., a little bit of Mr. Rogers can go a long way to remind us of simpler times. We revisit a 1985 interview between Fred Rogers and original “Chicago Tonight” host John Callaway.

Viewer Feedback: ‘We Must Reduce Dependency on Cars’

Viewers weigh in on a report that says Chicago is one of the most polluted cities in America. And you left some thoughtful sentiments about Chicago Tonight's 35th birthday.

‘Chicago Tonight’ Turns 35

On this date, 35 years ago, “Chicago Tonight” was born. Watch the premiere episode, featuring an interview with John Callaway and Mayor Harold Washington.

Cubs and White Sox broadcasters Len Kasper (left) and Jason Benetti recently had a meeting of the minds at Harry Caray’s restaurant. (@LenKasper / Twitter)

White Sox, Cubs Broadcasters Preview Upcoming Season

It might be cold and snowy outside, but pitchers and catchers report Wednesday for their first spring training workouts. We ask White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper about the upcoming season.

(Courtesy Neil Shapiro)

Jazz Enthusiast Brings Passion to New Book ‘The Jazz Alphabet’

We learn the ABCs of jazz with Chicago author and illustrator Neil Shapiro, whose new book is a “work of love” – and an ode to the greats.

Viewer Feedback: ‘An Example of Chicago Politics’

Viewers weigh in on Ald. Ed Burke’s attempted extortion charge and the firearms found in his offices.

Viewer Feedback: ‘We Must Reform Pensions!’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently laid out his prescription for shoring up the city’s underfunded public employee pensions. Viewers weigh in.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Fishing is Cruel and Inhumane in General’

Viewers weigh in on a controversial fishing technique called “snagging.”

Stan Mikita appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2011.

Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks Legend, Dies at 78

The Chicago Blackhawks legend played 22 seasons with the team, and is the franchise leader in assists, points and games played. He died Tuesday.

Former “Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review” host Joel Weisman throws out the first pitch Monday, Aug. 6, 2018.

Joel Weisman Throws Out 1st Pitch at White Sox vs. Yankees on Monday

After more than six months of anticipation, the former “Week in Review” host throws out the ceremonial first pitch as the White Sox took on the New York Yankees.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Keep Up With the Times Chicago’

Your thoughts on a new model of car-sharing that may come to Chicago called “free-floating” car-sharing.