Thursday, September 24, 2009

Massive Coverage

If you spend your time on any of the websites that I do (Time, CNN, Sports Illustrated, Ken is Great), you are likely to notice a very odd trend from these media outlets. They are all focusing incredibly heavily right now on the great city of Detroit. Well, that is a slight exaggeration in that they do not seem to view the current status of the city as "great", but they are definitely focusing on the city. A couple months ago, there were several reports that Time Warner actually purchased a home in Detroit and they were going to filter various writers and reporters into and out of the house and then they would write about their hands-on experiences "in the trenches". Today, the first major report hit Time's website called "Detroit: The Death - and Possible Life - of a Great City". Of course I read the piece and I thought it was pretty decent, but mostly I'm struggling with figuring out how I feel about all this media coverage. OK so I don't actually live in the D, but I clearly know and have written several times about the way people outside of Michigan view the state is massively influenced by what goes on inside our city. I guess this is why I currently approach this project with fear - fear and slight anger that they haven't yet contacted me for my invaluable input. They even have a Detroit Blog and a Detroit landing site dedicated to this project, and yet, no references to me. This is even more bullcrap than the Lucky Charms thing from a couple days ago.

It's only been about a week since I've been aware of the project's physical (digital) existence on the web, but already I'm realizing how difficult it is to have the microscope pointed directly at us - and for a whole freaking year. It's like the summation of every feel-good and feel-bad story I've read about the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan from the last 5 years compiled in one place with a dose of optimism, cynicism, hope, despair, and desolation in varying amounts. I'm going to continue to follow this effort very closely because I think it is incredibly valuable to know how outsiders view our situation, or perhaps how outsiders may be influencing how others view our situation. I don't even know if people care about what's going on in our beautiful peninsulas and have the time or energy to read these stories, but if you want stories about Michigan minus the humor and my general sexy style, this project may be for you. Don't get it wrong, Time.

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