As people try to figure out what happens with the Rose Quarter “Improvement” Project now, I just wanted briefly to survey local reporting on the story’s latest turn; I’ve some familiar journalism peeves.
OPB headlined their story, “Big Name Proponents Back Out Of I-5 Rose Quarter Expansion”; here’s their lede.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and an influential community group pulled their support from the Interstate 5 Rose Quarter project Tuesday, delivering a huge political hit to the embattled freeway widening project.
The Oregonian headlined their story, “Community nonprofit, Portland-area elected officials say they no longer support I-5 Rose Quarter project”; here’s their lede.
A state project to expand Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter lost major support Tuesday after a community nonprofit leading an effort to revitalize the nearby Albina neighborhood and city, county and regional elected officials announced they no longer support the plan.
Portland Mercury headlined their story, “Commissioner Eudaly and Portland Racial Justice Group Pull Their Support for I-5 Freeway Expansion”; here’s their lede.
Portland leaders are starting to withdraw their support from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) plan to expand a portion of Interstate 5 in the Rose Quarter.
Willamette Week headlined their story, “Racial Justice Group Albina Vision Trust Withdraws Its Support for I-5 Rose Quarter Expansion”; here’s their lede.
Albina Vision Trust, a nonprofit that seeks to redevelop Portland’s largest historically Black neighborhood, won’t support the proposed expansion of Interstate 5 in the Rose Quarter, according to an email obtained by WW.
Credit goes to The Oregonian and Willamette Week for centering Albina Vision Trust in both hed and lede, although the former only has it as “community nonprofit” until the second paragraph. It was, after all, the nonprofit which walked away from the project first; political figures followed afterward.
The worst offender is OPB, who centered Ted Wheeler and Chloe Eudaly; this doesn’t even get the order between the two of them correct, let alone the leadership of Albina Vision which in OPB’s lede is just “influential community group”.
Somewhere in between is Portland Mercury, whose main offense is the headline centering the white woman instead of the Black nonprofit; while its lede goes with “Portland leaders”, the first such leader named, in the second paragraph, properly is Albina Vision.
This is a “quibble” I make a lot, but many people skim and scan just hed and lede. Especially in a moment like this, with Black individuals and organizations so prominently pushing for restorative racial justice, it matters if the way you initially frame a story like this centers the white politicians who followed Albina Vision out the door.