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Sean Crawford

Editorial Director/ Community Advisory Board, Ex-Officio

Community Advisory Board Home - Bylaws - Meet the Board - Past Board


Sean has led the NPR Illinois news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois and other Illinois Public Radio stations. He spent more than a dozen years on the capitol beat.

Sean  began his broadcasting career at his hometown station in Herrin, Illinois while still in high school.  It was there he learned to cover local government, courts and anything else that made the news.  He spent time in the Joliet area as News Director and Operations Manager for a radio station and worked for a chain of weekly newspapers for two years.  Along with news coverage, he reported heavily on sports and did on-air play by play. 

Sean holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. 

  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker ended speculation about re-election, announcing he and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton will seek a second term. While the governor has been criticized by some for decisions he's made regarding the pandemic, Pritzker made it clear he will promote his record. State leaders are also watching the COVID-19 variants that are resulting in more cases. The concerns come as students prepare to return to classrooms next month. School districts have been given local control of safety measures and that's resulted in a patchwork of protocols across the state.
  • On this episode, gun violence in Chicago and many other cities has led to more efforts to go after gun traffickers. Officials say many of the weapons in Illinois come from other states, where laws are less strict.Also, a mother whose son was shot and wounded by police while having a mental health episode opens up about the incident.And it's not uncommon for prisoners to learn new skills while serving sentences. We'll tell you about some who are becoming beekeepers. Hear more reports and conversations from in and around Illinois on Statewide.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker has ended speculation about his political future. The governor says he will seek another term.
  • On this episode, we discuss the resignation of Carol Pope. The former judge resigned as Legislative Inspector General and had some parting shots for lawmakers. Pope said the recent legislative session showed "true ethics reform" was not a priority. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to end deceptive interrogation by police. It's a tactic some argue has led to wrongful convictions. And the Federal Election Commission has limited Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Democratic Party Of Illinois Chair, from certain fundraising activities. What does that mean for the party?
  • On this episode, the pandemic has sent many people to the hospital. Some wound up in intensive care on a ventilator. Others have faced long recoveries. That's resulted in higher costs for health care. And everyone will end up paying more for it. We also speak with a doctor from western Illinois, where vaccination rates are below average. And we hear from farmers who have found making a profit off of hemp crops to be challenging.
  • In a year that has seen the mass rollout of the vaccine and a reopening of the economy, there remain concerns about the pandemic and whether a more contagious variant could result in a setback. Illinois is making efforts to get more people vaccinated, but rates remain low in some parts of the state and state agencies. Also, President Joe Biden made a stop in Illinois to push his American Families Plan. He also spoke with Chicago's mayor, as her city struggles with gun violence. And, it's never too soon to talk politics. We'll get an update on next year's race to become Secretary of State.
  • On this episode, we learn about a woman who helped save millions of lives. Alice Hamilton fought industry leaders, politicians and even some employees to improve workplace safety. We also hear how some restaurants are having trouble getting enough employees. What does that mean for those who are back on the job? And the ethanol industry is pushing for changes to make it more viable as the country heads toward a future with cleaner energy. But researchers have doubts. Those stories and more on this week's Statewide.
  • Illinois got some long awaited fiscal news. Moody's gave Illinois a bond rating upgrade, the first since George Ryan was governor. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker celebrated the announcement. But his administration is also dealing with other problems involving state certain state agencies.
  • On this episode, we discuss a credit outlook upgrade for the state, the first time that's happened in nearly twenty years. While it may signal financial improvement, Illinois still has a large structural deficit. Also, the Democratic Party of Illinois is in limbo as it awaits clarification on the chair's ability to raise money.
  • It happens once a decade. Political boundaries are redrawn. The impact is huge. It will dictate who represents you in congress, the Illinois legislature and many other offices. It will also help determine what government decisions are made. Still, many voters are unclear about the process and its importance.