Al Jones Give Him 22 minutes. He'll give you new York.

As much as any Broadway musical, police car siren or subway train, all-news radio station 1010 WINS is part of the soundtrack of New York. It's distinctive top of the hour stinger and tagline, "Give us 22 minutes and we'll give you the world," seems perfectly in tune with the pace of New York City.

For more than 25 years, Al Jones has driven the streets of the city daily as a reporter for the station. He distills the stories he finds hourly into short 30-second reports and then moves on. Nearly every building he drives by reminds him of a story he has told in real time to 1010 WINS listeners. He remembers many in vivid detail.

Jones questions Mayor Bill de Blasio.

We spent a day with Jones in early January. Between back to back phone calls to the news desk and various sources, he ended up concentrating on two main stories: A news conference on the upcoming census with Mayor de Blasio and a rooftop shooting that left a man critically injured and bleeding on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

If he had a choice, Jones would spend most of his time away from City Hall and out in the five boroughs with cops, firefighters and average New Yorkers. And that's where he found himself on this evening, in Bed-Stuy, trying to track down the details of a shooting that happened earlier in the day. No one on the scene was talking so Jones had to make calls and knock on doors to get to the bottom of it.

After being shot in the chest, the victim made his way down 16 stories to street level where he stumbled for about a block until collapsing in front of a bodega where someone called for help. No one in the store would go on the record, but the counter man did allow Jones and others to watch surveillance video of the scene. Along with the report he filed for air, the station posted the raw video on its website, making users eyewitnesses.

Jones obtained this surveillance video showing the shooting victim collapsing near the crime scene.

Jones works almost exclusively from his car. Writing and filing reports with the windows cracked open so listeners can hear the streets of their city in the background.

Very few radio stations in the United States still field a team of reporters as the economics of the broadcasting industry have changed. For the most part, all-news stations are limited to the biggest cities with the largest potential audiences. Jones senses he may be one of the last to do this kind of work for radio, but he considers himself lucky to see real life New York every day and in many cases at the extremes.

Al Jones. 1010 WINS Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.


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