Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Memphis Stagnant? Hardly.

Is Memphis really a stagnant urban area

This Commercial Appeal headline is dubious at best.  Case in point?  The very first article linked to this "stagnancy" article is a piece about the new Electrolux plant headed to Memphis.  

Memphis is far from stagnant, especially when it comes to quality of life issues and culture. The recent opening of the Shelby Farms Greenline, the opening of the new Wolf River Pedestrian Bridge, pledges of bicycle lanes most recently installed on Southern Avenue, and headlines for amazing local dance and art programs in the Washington Post and the New York Times prove that Memphis is far from "stagnant."  Memphis Mayor AC Wharton's efforts to hold property owners presiding over blighted and neglected properties accountable for the negative impacts of such properties on our communities demonstrate that even amidst serious problems the response is far from "stagnant." 

This headline is an excellent example of how many reporters have been reporting bad news for so long that they've lost their ability to provide nuance to their arguments to help Memphians understand why this era is so special in Memphis' history.  They just assume they can report that Memphis is "stagnant" alongside some numbers from the past ten years and provide an accurate appraisal of the city's state of being.  And that is just patently false.  Not to mention this kind of press is headlong in the opposite direction from where we need to move with press coverage about the city.

With the exception of the building boom in the first 20 years of the 20th century, or maybe the post-war era, Memphis has never been further from stagnant than it is right now.  
In addition to the great national press we've received and the local efforts to promote livability, Auto Zone recently reported big profits, we landed Pinnacle downtown, the Electorlux factory is coming, and economists boast that 2011 is expected to be an excellent year.

Stagnant?  Hardly.  Flood the Commercial Appeal with the "good news" about all the wonderful things happening in our city.

No comments:

Post a Comment