Out of the 5,000 or so journalists who showed up from around the world to cover this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it figures that some of them will linger around town to look for other, non-automotive stories about the city.
There are plenty of them. There has long been a ravenous global appetite for Detroit datelines, partly because of the Big Three automakers and their ongoing rebound from near-extinction, but also because the city’s long decline from its industrial heyday and all the attendant issues — abandonment, fiscal crises, crime, struggling schools, etc. — make for incredible stories. And hey, bad news sells.
But in recent years the tenor of the stories has begun to change, and not only because the automakers are healthy and churning out praiseworthy products.
Today, major outlets like the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Atlantic routinely report more balanced, hopeful stories about how businesses, residents and boosters are working to revitalize neighborhoods and the city’s downtown.
FOX 2 ran a story about how two organizations — Arise Detroit and the Detroit Regional News Hub — invited out-of-town reporters covering the auto show to a seminar highlighting good things about the city. Take a look:
It’s great that these organizations are encouraging journalists to go beyond the usual blight-and-crime headlines. At the same time you have to hope that some day, efforts to deliberately point out the good won’t be needed.
Photo by stirwise