Ypsilanti Citizen Opinions Lincoln Schools

Thank you Ypsilanti
By Dan DuChene & Christine Laughren
Jun. 23, 2010   ·   5:07 p.m.

Christine Laughren and Dan DuChene, co-owners of the Ypsilanti Citizen, pose in front of their company's banner at Frenchie's during the Citizen's one-year anniversary party.

The Ypsilanti Citizen was launched in November 2008 to inform the Ypsilanti community about the news and events that were happening in their area.

Since our launch,...read more

Crossroads Summer Festival; rockin’ ladies night
By Dave Heikkinen and Frank Wright
Jun. 23, 2010   ·   4:37 p.m.

Barbara Payton and the Big Boss Trio rock Washington Street.

A special Ladies Night was held Friday at the 2010 Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Just...read more

Crossroads to hold Ladies Night for Relay for Life
By Dave Heikkinen and Frank Wright
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   9:13 a.m.

On June 11, the 2010 Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival featured a rousing opening set from roots and blue grass band Dragon Wagon.

Dragon Wagon was joined on...read more

Electric rail pollution leads to dirty laundry
By Laura Bien
Jun. 15, 2010   ·   11:42 a.m.

From the approximate vantage point of the present-day Materials Unlimited, the interurban car barn and powerhouse on Michigan Avenue loomed large.

Maggie Smith was not looking forward to a forenoon of sewing pleats.

She put down her newest customer’s summer dress. Downstairs, she offered to get potatoes...read more

EMU students in wartime
By Laura Bien
Jun. 1, 2010   ·   10:32 a.m.

The 1942 Aurora yearbook, the 50th
anniversary edition, included images that contrasted modern and
old-time students.

Leroy Grindle was an Ypsilantian soldier who lost his life in WWII. He was a member of the Michigan Normal (EMU) class of ’41, and is memorialized with a black...read more

News coverage in Ypsilanti since AnnArbor.com

Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Editorial

By Citizen Staff
Dec. 11, 2009    ·    11:25 p.m.


There has been a rather heated discussion concerning media coverage in Ypsilanti over at AnnArbor.com.

The conversation began with a story the site ran Saturday about Ann Arbor’s Midnight Madness, a similar event to Ypsilanti’s Starlight Shopping Spree that ran on the same weekend. Apparently, comments on the site started criticizing the publication’s coverage on the city to the east.

A comment from someone named Cash said, “I feel transparent! Am I the Ghost of Christmas Ypsi? Transparent to all Ann Arbor.com writers?”

Eventually, AnnArbor.com staff removed the comments and created a separate opinion piece featuring the readers’ thoughts. This was created Tuesday and 38 comments have amassed since.

The discussion is nothing new to the area. Most Ypsilantians have at least some feelings of being the often-neglected stepchild of Ann Arborites. And the criticisms directed at AnnArbor.com are nothing new either. Similar complaints about over-reporting crime east of Carpenter Road and under-reporting the positive features were made toward the Ann Arbor News while it still existed.

Every coffee shop, restaurant, bar, grocery store and news room in Ypsilanti has had the same exact conversation for a long time. Longer than anyone at the Citizen can reference.

A man on the street that had just moved his family from New York to the area had already noticed the situation, and he literally just bought his house.

The question though, is it any different? Since the area lost the Ann Arbor News, has coverage changed at all in Ypsilanti?

Being on the reporting side of the coin, there have been evolutions. At one point, an Ypsilanti City Council meeting would have press from the Citizen, Ypsilanti Courier, Eastern Echo, WEMU and Ann Arbor News. Now, the Citizen usually attends the meeting alone at the press table. An AnnArbor.com or WEMU reporter will probably show up and sit in the audience.

Before attracting press associates from five different news outlets, it was just the Courier and News at the meetings. So, things change.

Obviously there was a lot of repetition in the press when so many publications were reporting on Ypsilanti. A reader might find the same story in all five different outlets. Occasionally, however, there might have been a story in one publication that wasn’t in another.

So the question here is; what is Ypsilanti missing? Obviously the repetition isn’t as common as it had been, but have stories slipped through the cracks? Is this from lack of press or lack of market penetration?

While paper circulation has probably decreased in recent years, there are still two major print publications serving the area. One, a weekly that has dedicated itself to the Ypsilanti area, the other a twice-weekly that has just started to venture back across US-23. There is no daily newspaper in the market anymore, but there are two Internet news sites reporting in the area.

Additionally, professional media in the area are working together more now than they had been in the past. The Citizen’s stories appear in print through the Eastern Echo and stories and content are shared between the Citizen, Echo and AnnArbor.com. Theoretically, then anyone interested in local news should be able to find the stories that matter wherever they turn.

The Citizen believes stories probably are slipping through the cracks, but always have. This isn’t a good answer though. This site was launched in response to the same problems being discussed now. We hope the problem is less intense than it had been, and we don’t believe we can tell every story in the area, but we do want them all told.

What we want to know from Ypsilantians, and always have, is how can we help? Let us know, we’re always willing to listen.

The difference between the Citizen and AnnArbor.com used to be coverage area. Since its launch, the Citizen has been dedicated to serving the city of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and Superior Township. This has and will be our area of coverage.

When AnnArbor.com launched, they were very geographically centered in Ann Arbor. However, since that time they have looked to expand their market into surrounding communities, both editorially and through advertising, starting with Ypsilanti.

The Citizen welcomes this expansion because as previously stated, we cannot tell every story in our community no matter how much we try. However, this expansion was not immediate and AnnArbor.com’s coverage of Ypsilanti has been less than complete. Tony Dearing, chief content officer for the site agreed.

In the discussion, Dearing said, “I want to reaffirm my acknowledgement that we are not providing a comprehensive level of coverage in Ypsilanti or other communities outside Ann Arbor, but our goal is to increase that coverage and get to that point as we continue to grow.”

As pointed out by staff and readers, AnnArbor.com’s expansion into Ypsilanti has been somewhat crime-heavy. This brings up a similar argument people had with the Ann Arbor News, that they only report on the negatives of our community.

While this might not have been the best place for the site to get its footing in Ypsilanti, to win the hearts and minds so to say, the Citizen is willing to give AnnArbor.com the benefit of the doubt and looks forward to seeing a larger presence in the community.

However, if the people at AnnArbor.com wish to report on Ypsilanti, they should do just that. They should define their coverage and report on it. Otherwise the reporting will look deficient, or worse – biased, and we may continue to hear the same arguments that have perpetuated in this area for a long time to come.

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