By Micheline Maynard
The Columbia Journalism Review gave us a forum this month to talk about Curbing Cars. Its editors also weighed in on the way mainstream media covers the transportation story.
It notes that the automobile industry spends $14.8 billion (yes, with a “b”) on advertising last year, making it the second biggest category behind technology and communications. Cars are the single-biggest television category.
Given that, it’s no wonder that newspapers, magazines and TV networks lavish coverage on the car companies. But that’s happening at a time when the public is turning away from automobiles as a preoccupation to many other activities.
“Much of transportation coverage, meanwhile, remains stalled in the 20th century,” CJR writes in this editorial.
“We cover Detroit as though it were 1993, not 2013. A story about transportation infrastructure typically means the sorry condition of bridges and roadways. In 2011, Businessjournalism.org published a “How-to” column about covering transportation that could have been written 30 years ago.” Continue reading