Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cincinnati Chinatown buses

Chinatown Bus RoutesYesterday, The Atlantic Cities shed light on Chinatown buses, the intercity curbside bus services that gave rise to competitors such as MegaBus and BoltBus.

According to the map, there is direct Chinatown bus service between Cincinnati and New York — something that MegaBus doesn’t offer.

It turns out that two Chinatown bus services offer daily routes. Both pick up passengers in the northern suburb of Springdale, near the Tri-County Mall.

Update: John Yung provides more details at UrbanCincy.

Wired Magazine on texting and driving

But I’m not convinced the [texting while driving] bans will work, particularly among young people. Why? Because texting is rapidly becoming their default means of connecting with one another, on a constant, pinging basis. From 2003 to 2008, the number of texts sent monthly by Americans surged from 2 billion to 110 billion. The urge to connect is primal, and even if you ban texting in the car, teens will try to get away with it.

So what can we do? We should change our focus to the other side of the equation and curtail not the texting but the driving. This may sound a bit facetious, but I’m serious. When we worry about driving and texting, we assume that the most important thing the person is doing is piloting the car. But what if the most important thing they’re doing is texting? How do we free them up so they can text without needing to worry about driving?

At some point, we will have to face the facts and realize that we’ve been making a huge mistake for the past 70 years by building for cars first and humans second.

The Post incorrectly attributed a quote to Toni Braxton in an article published on March 25. Braxton did not say: ‘I have a big-ass house, three cars and I fly first class all around the world. Some say I have the perfect life.’

The New York Post (Did the Post make up this quote entirely? Or, to whom is the quote correctly attributed?)

‘Facts’

Last week, the New York Times asked a question that I found to be absurd:

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

Yes, and always. It is the job of journalists to research the claims that their interviewees make, and report on the facts.

The problem is that, in an effort to appear unbiased, many news sources simply report what both sides say without doing any fact-checking.

A local politician claims the world is flat, but one scientist disagrees. Who’s right? We report; you decide. Tonight at 11.

The New York Times adds:

Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign debates, The Times has employed a separate fact-check sidebar to assess the validity of the candidates’ statements. Do you like this feature, or would you rather it be incorporated into regular reporting?

The problem with the “fact-check sidebar” is that it implies fact-checking is not real reporting, but analysis or opinion that must be kept out of the article to remain unbiased. Fact-checking someone and reporting that they are wrong is not bias. It is good journalism.

NPR’s On the Media covered this very topic in 2010, and here’s the quote that summarizes it all:

Ultimately, it’s the reporting that matters, reporting that is undistorted by attempts to appear objective, reporting that calls a lie a lie right after the lie, not in a box labeled “analysis,” reporting that doesn’t distort truth by treating unequal arguments equally.

Here’s Vanity Fair with the comic relief:

Just as New York Times public editor Arthur S. Brisbane is concerned whether his newspaper is printing lies or the truth, we here at V.F. are looking for reader input on whether and when Vanity Fair should spell “words” correctly in the stories we publish.

One example: the word “maintenance” seems like it should only have one “a” in it. It should be “maintenence,” right? But it’s not. So is it our job as reporters and editors to spell it correctly?