Last week we informed you of Business Insider's piece, "A Depressing Tour of America's Cheapest Zip Code," about Detroit's 48208. Thanks to photos from Detroiturbex, we were able to show you that it is not so terrible over there. (And still, in our opinion, much cooler than the star of America's Wealthiest Zip Code, the home of Lil' Kim). Last night, via email from the original author of the post, Julie Zeveloff, we learn that our efforts also have her rethinking the piece. She even said so to BI readers in a blog post yesterday, in response to our Curbed coverage:
First, I never intended to insult the neighborhood. On the converse, I wanted to give our readers a glimpse at the flip side of the "most expensive" zip code, which I'd written a similar story about a few weeks earlier. Since that zip code, in Alpine, NJ, is a suburb of New York City, I was able to go and visit one weekend. I know Detroit has some beautiful and historic parts (though no, I haven't had the chance to visit), and I only intended to give readers some facts and details about the specific neighborhood where home prices were lowest at the time I was writing.
Which brings me to the use of Google Street View. Yes, this piece might have been more accurately called a Google Street View Tour Of 48208. Unfortunately I can't possibly get to all the places I want to write about with my point-and-shoot, and so I've found Google Street View to be a great tool for armchair travel. The images in the Detroit tour from Street View (not all of them are) are labeled as such.
She continues in email to Curbed, "I don't disagree with your criticism--I wish I'd had time and the opportunity to visit myself. I hope and expect that we'll have better Detroit coverage in the future, especially since we just added a transportation section."
And while this is not exactly a retraction, we have to say, she's rethought things and it seems like she gets it. We still take issue with the fact that tour was purposefully called "depressing" (there are a million other adjectives that apply) but she's pointing readers to the undepressing tour now and we applaud that. Is this the end of reporters who have never been to Detroit writing about Detroit? Likely not. But we think we all learned something here.
· About That Tour Of 48208: America's Cheapest Zip Code [Business Insider]
· The Real 48208 [Detroiturbex]
· An Undepressing Tour Of America's Cheapest Zip Code: 48208 [Curbed Detroit]
· America's Poorest Zip Code: Much Less Douchey Than Richest [Curbed Detroit]
· 48208: A Depressing Tour Of America's Cheapest Zip Code [Business Insider]