Thursday, September 17, 2015

This may be the worst article about Millennials saving Detroit yet

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 11:05 AM

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OK, this is starting to get to be like shooting fish in a barrel. 

Lately, the national media is obsessed with Detroit comeback stories — which in itself isn't a bad thing. It's a welcome narrative shift from the "Murder Capital" rhetoric that has dominated for decades.

The problem is these stories almost always whitewash their coverage of Detroit. Literally. Like when the New York Times wrote about the rise of Corktown businesses (which all happened to be white) or when Vulture profiled nine artists who call Detroit home (again, all white). The media never seems to fail to ignore the 82 percent of the city which is black.

The trend has given us no shortage of blog fodder, and for that we are grateful. But a report posted to Fox Business on Wednesday might be the worst of the worst. 

Titled "Meet the Millennials Who Say Detroit Is the Place To Be," the story manages to get so much wrong in just some 500 words. In fact, it scores a swift sort of hat trick:

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• Note the ethnicities of the entrepreneurs featured in the photo.

• The article implies that Detroit's mass exodus occurred only after the city's 2013 bankruptcy filing — that "the aftermath left the once thriving city of Detroit with tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets." Anyone with any sense of history (or access to a census) knows Detroit's exodus started as early as the '50s, for a myriad of reasons.

• And just for good measure, the editors included a Reuters stock photo of a Model T in a city that is obviously not Detroit. Not to pick on other journalists too much here — let him that is without sin cast the first stone, etc. — but come on, media! You can do better.

(H/t to Detroit-based writer Aaron Foley for posting the article on his Facebook.)

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