Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bogus Dangerous Claim, Bad Reporting Across the Board

So I know the discredited "study" really isn't news, but I wanted to make sure everyone got the truth and a press release from 3CDC sums it up well:
Statement from 3CDC in regard to the study by Location Inc, published today on AOL.com on the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America.

“The study released today regarding Over-the-Rhine (OTR) focuses on approximately 20 square blocks, some of them not even located in OTR and is based on data that is more than two and a half years old. In fact, reported crime through 2008 in the area of OTR south of Liberty Street, known as OTR Gateway, is down 37% since 2004.

"OTR is 110 square blocks and includes several neighborhood districts including OTR Gateway, centered at the corner of 12th and Vine streets. This area, and other OTR census tract areas, was not part of the study.

“It is unfortunate and intellectually dishonest that the entire neighborhood was labeled in such a negative way. The fact is, $84 million has been invested in OTR Gateway since 2004 and new home owners and business owners are investing in the neighborhood. This past Saturday, a 5K run and day-long Summer Celebration arts festival brought about 2,000 people to the corner of 12th and Vine to shop, eat and listen to music. The only problem was that some of our vendors didn’t anticipate such a large crowd and ran out of food.”
The website that published this list is out to sell subscriptions, so you have to pay to view the underlying data. For free you can see the most pathetic element: where the website made up a neighborhood. Out of thin air they have declared that something called "Central Pky./Liberty St." is a place that has meaning to someone. That's right, in other words, they CHERRY PICKED a part of OTR and claim it is the worst. I am sorry, but people really are going to tell me that our so called "small town" Cincinnati has the worst criminals in the country? Is anyone also going to tell me that zip codes 45210 and 45214 are based in OTR? It is clear the data used by this website is outdated and either manipulated or just mishandled. I think they complied a bunch of data, didn't check for its relevance, didn't make sure it was up to date, chopped it apart based on some magical method they don't disclose, then bam! you get the junk results. If you are a credible organization providing statistical information, you outline your methods and your data. You are not credible if you will only provide for a fee.

Since this website has no credibility, one might think that local media outlets would be skeptical of the results. I guess chalking it up to an act of god, the local Media, nearly across the board, played right along and created a hot controversial topic. The one thing the website did not do: claim "Over-the-Rhine" was the most dangerous neighborhood. Instead the local media refer to the Frankenstein's Monster of a neighborhood ("Central Pky./Liberty St.") as OTR. I guess no one in the media can read a map. The Enquirer, WLW, WKRC, and FOX 19 took no time to analyze what was a clearly a bogus claim.

For the details, check out UrbanCincy for the analysis that the mainstream media is lacking.

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