sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cone was right to chastize the lead in the NY Times article on the International Civil Rights Museum. He shouldn't be surprised, however, as the national media is still obsessed with portraying the South as a backwards region. Specifically regarding Greensboro's image in the national media, the publicity surrounding the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project didn't help matters any. (By the way, after giving this some thought, I asked myself: Is it really a good idea to model ourselves after South Africa, where the murder rate is one of the highest in the world?)

We also have a bit of an image problem in the local media, as evidenced by the News & Record's recent "Dividing Line" story. Greensboro resident John Beaman eloquently addressed the issue in his letter to the editor in this morning's N&R.

There's a fact in the Times story that I question: "The museum expects to attract 100,000 visitors to Greensboro annually and create 300 jobs."

I hope 100,000 people do visit the museum every year. That's not an outrageous expectation. But where dothey get 300 jobs? I'd have trouble believing the museum itself would create 300 jobs. Maybe they mean 300 jobs would be created as a result of the economic development surrounding the museum. But why 300? Since this is an estimate at best, why not 500, or 1,000, just to make the museum look really good? Maybe it's 300 jobs over the next five years, which would average out to 60 a year.

It seems to me this is another figure floated out there that goes unquestioned by the media. Though it sounds like it, I'm not judging anyone. Trust me, I've printed plenty of figures that were based solely on someone's word. Sometimes it's just easier to write the damn story and make deadline. Editors like figures, you know.


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