Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Enquirer Continues Anti-Urban Core Development Articles

I am just going to presume that the Enquirer is making a direct appeal to people in Price Hill, Madisonville, and Avondale to become subscribers by giving them lip service.  Here's the article on Price Hill, which is part two from Sunday's Fairmont Story and part three about Madisonville and Avaondale.  A simple fact brings out the underlying anti-ubran core development when these two sections appear in the articles. First from Part Two:
She and others are upset because they see massive development projects reshaping Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, while boarded windows and substandard rental housing spread in Price Hill. They want more help.
Here's the repeating of the dogma in Part Three:
As city leaders focus millions of dollars into remaking downtown and Over-the-Rhine, Madisonville and Avondale are in a battle to rebuild their aging communities.
Add these passages to this one from Part One and you get a Enquirer created narrative:
She and others are quick to point out that their neighborhoods have continued to decline even as tens of millions of dollars has poured into new housing and infrastructure in Over-the-Rhine, Downtown and the Uptown area.
What better way to create conflict than to fabricate it? The Enquirer is doing it all in the hopes of boosting circulation in these neighborhoods.  So is the Enquirer treating all of the communities it serves equally?  I think not.

This series is not news nor analysis, the Enquirer is pushing an underdog story and painting Over-the-Rhine, Downtown, and to a degree Uptown as the villains of a fable they are trying to construct. This is tabloid journalism in sheep's clothing. They have taken an editorial point of view and gone out and found people to fit their narrative.  This will get the Price Hill/Westwood/Suburban anti-city crowd in a frenzy, a market they want to reach, on an emotional level.

The odd element of part two of the series on Price Hill was how the black/white elements were discussed. The problem of white-flight was mentioned indirectly, but not as part of the narrative.  It can't be denied, but isn't the conflict that the newspaper is trying to exploit.


  1. I don't know if I agree. When I read the articles I did notice the feeling that there is a disparity in how city dollars are being invested, but I felt the stories have highlighted real problems within these neighborhoods.

    While I agree with you wholeheartedly that the Enquirer is very anti-urban core, I've always viewed it as also being anti-near city suburbs.

    I mean, Price Hill and Avondale don't get much press from the Enquirer normally, other than the community pages inserts.

    I think the main takeaway I have in all of this is that the urban core redevelopment is a very good, essential thing for this city, but the city as a whole is still dying and reconfiguring itself.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I don't see these issues as 'either / or' but rather interconnected pieces about the future of this city.

    1. By the way - great blog and I love your coverage of the city.

  2. Downtown + Uptown generate nearly half of the city's earnings tax, and so in a Tea Party dream world should receive that sum in return. Instead, most of that revenue goes to police patrols of Avondale, Price Hill, and the other high crime areas which generate virtually no income for the city.

    I always wonder what exactly these neighborhoods expect from the city -- More police patrols? In the Tea Party dream world where crime is eliminated by increased police presence, poor neighborhoods would rise in value, yuppies would move in shortly thereafter, and within a decade the poor would be pushed out of their neighborhood.

  3. I dunno Griff. I mean, I have zero doubt that the Enquirer is happy to print that sort of thing, but knowing a fair number of property owners in two out of those three neighborhoods, I gotta tell ya, I'm betting they didn't have to look very hard to find that sentiment. I'm not saying I agree with them, because I don't, but I think you may be overestimating the amount of journalistic fraud the paper would've had to commit to write something like that. Good read regardless, though.


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