Cheryl Corley Cheryl Corley is a Chicago-based NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. She primarily covers criminal justice issues as well as breaking news in the Midwest and across the country.
Stories By

Cheryl Corley

Allison Shelley/NPR
Cheryl Corley at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

Cheryl Corley

Correspondent, National Desk, Chicago

Cheryl Corley is a Chicago-based NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. She primarily covers criminal justice issues as well as breaking news in the Midwest and across the country.

In her role as a criminal justice correspondent, Corley works as part of a collaborative team and has a particular interest on issues and reform efforts that affect women, girls, and juveniles. She's reported on programs that help incarcerated mothers raise babies in prison, on pre-apprenticeships in prison designed to help cut recidivism of women, on the efforts by Illinois officials to rethink the state's juvenile justice system and on the push to revamp the use of solitary confinement in North Dakota prisons.

For more than two decades with NPR, Corley has covered some of the country's most important news stories. She's reported on the political turmoil in Virginia over the governor's office and a blackface photo, the infamous Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, on mass shootings in Orlando, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago; and other locations. She's also reported on the election of Chicago's first black female and lesbian mayor, on the campaign and re-election of President Barack Obama, on the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and oil spills along the Gulf Coast, as well as numerous other disasters, and on the funeral of the "queen of soul," Aretha Franklin.

Corley also has served as a fill-in host for NPR shows, including Weekend All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and defunct shows Tell Me More and News and Notes.

Prior to joining NPR, Corley was the news director at Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, where she supervised an award-winning team of reporters. She also worked as the City Hall reporter covering the administration of the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington, and others that followed. She also has been a frequent panelist on television news-affairs programs in Chicago.

Corley has received awards for her work from a number of organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She earned the Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago's diverse communities and a Herman Kogan Award for reporting on immigration issues.

A Chicago native, Corley graduated cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and is a former Bradley University trustee. While in Peoria, Corley worked as a reporter and news director for public radio station WCBU and as a television director for the NBC affiliate, WEEK-TV. She is a past President of the Association for Women Journalists in Chicago (AWJ-Chicago).

She is also the co-creator of the Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program. The critics/journalism training program for female high school students was originally collaboration between AWJ-Chicago and the Goodman Theatre. Corley has also served as a board member and president of Community Television Network, an organization that trains Chicago youth in video and multimedia production.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Historic Former Publisher Of Ebony And Jet Magazines Files For Bankruptcy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/711951955/711951956" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chicago Voters Elect Their First African-American Female Mayor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/709348191/709348192" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

News Brief: FAA Head On Capitol Hill, Jussie Smollett

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/707093183/707093184" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chicago police officers line up outside the District 1 central headquarters during a protest of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The shooting death became a rallying cry for activists calling for police reform. Paul Beaty/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Paul Beaty/AP

'The Consent Decree Will Make Us Better,' Federal Oversight of Chicago Police Begins

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/699439896/699624735" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Consent Decree Goes Into Effect For Chicago Police Department

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/699514367/699514368" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

2 African-American Women In Runoff Election To Be Chicago's Mayor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/698474335/698474338" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

R. Kelly Bond Set At $1 Million In Sexual Abuse Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/697401669/697401670" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Universities Scour Yearbooks After Northam

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/695420281/695420282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Political Crisis Continues In Virginia's State Government

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/693668116/693668117" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Virginia's Legislative Session Proceeds Amid State's Political Crisis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/693417762/693417763" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ex-Chicago Police Officer Sentenced To 81 Months For Laquan McDonald Murder

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/686830503/686830504" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Former Chicago Police Officer Sentenced To Nearly 7 Years For Laquan McDonald Murder

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/686794632/686796168" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

3 Chicago Officers Accused In A Police Cover-Up To Learn Their Fate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/686124054/686124055" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Flanked by attorney Ben Crump, Emantic Bradford Sr. discusses the results of a forensic examination on his son Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr., who was fatally shot by police after a shooting in a shopping mall on Thanksgiving Day, after being mistaken for a suspect. Jay Reeves/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jay Reeves/AP

More Police Training Key To Determining Who Is A 'Good Guy' With A Gun

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/675764865/675987914" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript