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August 28, 2011

Extra! Extra! Pittsburgh Old Media Adds Value!

Our compliments to both Mayor Ravenstahl and the Post-Gazette, two names that are not often praised.
  • Kudos to Mayor Ravenstahl, who did the right thing and attended one of the funerals of the people who drowned in the rain on his street. (snark: Luke sorta likes going to funerals, once he got a new job after going to a funeral.)
  • Props to the Post-Gazette, who performed a public service and contributed to the discussion several times in today's paper.

Brian O'Neill did a marvelous job of adding historical detail and human perspective in his article, The Washington Boulevard disaster: Now we must Act. He provides historical facts not available to new-media Google, shifts into life-and-justice values, and ends with a clear call to action; we see too few Writers these days and we are consistently pleased by Mr. O'Neill's work.

We are enamored of Joe Smydo's article (and headline) Marked absences: Mayor Ravenstahl criticized for missing multiple major events. Mayoral defenders attempt to narrow the argument by saying the mayor's got a cellphone, it's an invasion of His privacy and family life, and it's a security risk if His whereabouts are known. The true point comes more from sampling theory than from knee-jerk parochialism; if somebody in a position of responsibility is frequently out of town and unavailable when random events occur, then they're probably out of town and unavailable more than they should be, if they're going to stay in that position.

Jonathan D. Silver wrote a great article, teased on the front page as "Other cities have flash flood alert systems", and headlined as "Flash flood warnings systems are costly" in the interior. The article approaches the question, "How come people in other North American cities don't drown in the rain?"

Paging Rich Lord, Chris Young, Chris Potter;
Call to Action for Mr. Lord, Mr. Young, Mr. Potter:
We particularly appreciate the photo caption in Silver's article, Mud-covered vehicles destroyed in the Washington Boulevard flooding were towed to the Pittsburgh Police Zone 5 Police Station, and we wish that Some Journalist would consider why the Zone 5 parking lots were empty - namely, the report that police dispatchers have been in the habit of warning employees to move their cars when flooding was imminent, ignoring the safety of the people on the streets.

Bravo, Post-Gazette, and chapeau Messrs. O'Neill, Smydo, and Silver.


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