Frustration with Inaccurate/Misleading Geographic Locations in Media Reporting
April 29, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am #81410
I don’t want to derail the “Skate Naked” thread any further, so I figured this topic was one worth spinning off. I posted there earlier today:
Walker wrote >>
I’m usually annoyed for the opposite reason and get bothered when crime stories have inaccurate or misleading location information. I’ve seen shootings reported as “near Downtown” that have happened a mile southeast of Children’s Hospital and shootings on the “east side” that are closer to Reynoldsburg than they are Olde Towne East. These generic terms do little to define various areas around town.
I’ve often wondered if there needs to be some sort of AP-esque styleguide for Columbus/neighborhood location definitions to use by all local media.
And tonight I stumbled upon a perfect example of this problem:
Bad news for anyone who lives on the “East Side” right?
Well, the story goes on to say that this happened on Morrill Avenue, which essentially runs from High Street to 20th St (three blocks east of Parsons). So Morrill essentially runs between Merion Village and Hungarian Village. The exact location wasn’t given, but if it did occur east of Parsons, perhaps that is why it’s listed as the “East Side” although I’d argue that it’s more accurately a part of the “South Side”.
Either way, this example isn’t being used to beat up on the South Side or Merion Village or anything (I’ve seen plenty of “South Side” issues that were inaccurately mislabeled as well)… just pointing out how frustrating these common inaccuracies can be.
Most people want to know where these types of incidents are taking place, and I think it’s time for a more consistently accurate way of reporting that information. Otherwise, specific generic terms like “east side” “west side” “north side” and “south side” will always have a consistently and inaccurately unsavory connotation to them.
Thoughts?April 29, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am #365531
Sometimes I think the “___ side” locations are given to indicate “not in a suburb”. Maybe they figure most viewers don’t know smaller distrcits like peach or merion village or maybe even clintonville… Media could at least choose the proper cardinal direction.April 29, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am #365532
And the lack of mentioning the crime that happens in suburbs. Or not showing suspects in suburbs but willing to show those in urban areas with descriptions, and pictures. #petpeeveApril 29, 2010 12:41 am at 12:41 am #365533
racheltb wrote >>
Sometimes I think the “___ side” locations are given to indicate “not in a suburb”. Maybe they figure most viewers don’t know smaller distrcits like peach or merion village or maybe even clintonville… Media could at least choose the proper cardinal direction.
All I’ve been hearing is Clintonville break-ins and arsons for the past month. Its gut wrenching.April 29, 2010 1:30 am at 1:30 am #365534
racheltb wrote >>
Sometimes I think the “___ side” locations are given to indicate “not in a suburb”.
Exactly. Although it’s peculiar when many locations on the far ____ sides have more in common with their neighboring suburbs than they do with their Near ____ side urban counterparts that they’re usually associated with.April 29, 2010 1:32 am at 1:32 am #365535
Walker, Morrill runs between Merion Village and Vassar Village. Just saying :)April 29, 2010 1:40 am at 1:40 am #365536
Oops, yes. My mistake on that part. The news article left me confused. :PApril 29, 2010 2:02 am at 2:02 am #365537
I’ve mentioned this before I think but Fox 28 covered the Weinland Park Mobility Plan public meeting last July and the tag line was, “Columbus’ most dangerous neighborhood tries to take back the streets”. Right, taking back the streets from commuters from Clintonville. No mention of two-way street conversion, bike paths, cross walks etc. The whole story was about crime. Not that it’s not an issue but it wasn’t what the meeting was about.
And when the guy shot up the University District on 17th last year one station covered the story from Weinland Park. They could have stayed in the station parking lot for that one and reduced their carbon footprint.April 29, 2010 2:07 am at 2:07 am #365538
There seems to be a reluctance on the part of 10TV to identify the University District in their crime reports. They usually go with the more generic “north side”. Here, Tuttle Park gets the 10TV “north side” treatment:
COLUMBUS, Ohio Ã¢â‚¬â€ Police were investigating whether a man arrested for exposing himself to women at a north side park is connected to an attack at another park.April 29, 2010 2:12 am at 2:12 am #365539
rory wrote >>
And when the guy shot up the University District on 17th last year one station covered the story from Weinland Park. They could have stayed in the station parking lot for that one and reduced their carbon footprint.
That’s another one where 10TV went with “north side” in their coverage!
I’ve become so cynical that I just assume they’re either being pressured by OSU or paid by OSU to report that way.April 29, 2010 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #365540
Here’s another story using “North Side” (from NBC4) that looks to actually be in Linden:
I’d love to know what the boundaries are for the north, south, east and west or if this is a judgment call made up on the fly by reporters and editors.April 29, 2010 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #365541
I notice often that most crimes that occur south of Livingston and east of the Scioto River are labeled as “German Village.” It wouldn’t be a huge concern for me, but countless posters on the Dispatch’s forums seem to believe that going to German Village means that you should expect to be robbed, raped and murdered, and that Mayor Coleman will be behind it.April 29, 2010 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #365542
I’m in “northwest Columbus” or the “northwest side” which seems to be bounded by High Street, Fifth Avenue, and 270, beyond which is “far northwest” if not “Dublin” or the more generic “Dublin-area” or maybe “Hilliard.”
They don’t seem to use “Upper Arlington” for much outside of old Arlington itself.April 29, 2010 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #365543
My husband and I are constantly amazed at the lack of knowledge that reporters have of the city. I notice the ‘east’ reference, when it isn’t a near east neighborhood, and the northwest references as well. Hilliard is often refered to as the far west side.
Another thing they have a problem with is referencing I-270. I-270 and 33 meet up south of the city by Groveport, as well as north in Dublin. The same with 270/71 and 270/70. Can they not give us the side of town? Especially helpful when there is an accident.April 29, 2010 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #365544
I simply imagine a quadrant running up and down High St. and along Broad. anything East of High is EAST, anything West of High is WEST. right? North and South, use Broad.
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