CBS News Journalists From National, Local and Streaming Collaborate on First Data-Driven Investigative Series

By Mark Mwachiro 

In what could be considered a first for company-wide journalism synergies, CBS News journalists from the national, local, and streaming news levels are working together to investigate the growing number of unsolved murders across the country.

Crime Without Punishment is the first joint investigative series that explores why police are seeing a steady decline in the percentage of homicide cases solved across the country.

The series launched on Wednesday and is a data-driven investigation made possible due to the collaboration between the CBS Investigative Unit and CBS Local News Innovation Lab. These units analyzed data and provided information to fuel reporting across all CBS News platforms.


CBS News chief investigative and senior national correspondent Jim Axelrod leads the series, with the first report airing on CBS Mornings. Additional reports will air throughout the week on CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, the CBS Weekend News, CBS News Streaming, CBS Newspath, CBS News Radio, and online at

On the local level, these reports will be broadcast and streamed across CBS Stations in 14 major markets and will air on all local newscasts. Coverage will include data analysis of the homicide clearance statistics for each market and interviews with local law enforcement officials, who will respond to the questions and issues raised by the investigation. There will also be interviews with criminal justice experts who have been sounding alarms about falling case closure rates.

CBS News Streaming will premiere “Crime Without Punishment: Fighting for Justice,” a 30-minute CBS Reports documentary centered on a case in Jackson, Miss., where an arrest occurred after CBS News paid attention to the case.  This documentary will air on Thursday, June 30.

CBS News senior investigative editorial director Matthew Mosk said, “We started this project to try and understand the ramifications of what we were seeing around us with the rise in violent crime, the mass shootings, the breakdown in trust between the police and the communities they serve. The project has now grown into something that touches nearly every corner of our newsroom.”

He added, “The combined resources of CBS News and Stations allow us to report important and previously untold stories like this, in a way no other news organization can. This is the first of many joint efforts to put a national spotlight on a significant issue of concern—and then have the teams at our Stations and data journalists at our Local News Innovation Lab advance our reporting across the local communities we serve.”