CBS News National Correspondent Byron Pitts will report on the growing crime rate in US cities for a multi-platform series beginning next week. The first installment, which addresses the rise of homicides in Philadelphia, will broadcast on Monday, July 23 on the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric." On Tuesday, national figures from the political, spiritual, law enforcement and business arenas weigh in on the nationwide epidemic of gun violence amongst inner-city youth on the broadcast. In addition, the series will extend to "The Early Show" and include a web component on CBSNews.com featuring extensive coverage of Pitts' reports.
Pitts begins by focusing on the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, where unemployed and under-educated young people are ruling the streets with illegal weapons. Since 2001, there have been 10,000 gun-shot victims in Philadelphia, and most of the gunmen are under the age of 25.
CBSNews.com will expand coverage of the story online with Web-only extended video interviews with those living day-to-day in communities plagued by gun violence. The site will encourage readers to get involved in the dialogue by sharing comments and offering potential solutions. In addition, Pitts will offer additional context and perspective on the story through a Reporter's Notebook.
Rick Kaplan is the executive producer of the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric." Michael Bass is the senior executive producer of "The Early Show." Mike Sims is the Vice President, Editorial, CBSNews.com.