Thursday, July 19, 2007

New York Times Shows How To Do Less With More With Steam Pipe Explosion Coverage

A Time To Put the New York Back Into The Times

Thankfully, it was only an explosion of an ancient steam pipe near Grand Central Terminal and not a blast that would have led us to call yesterday 7/18, or something like that.
Still, when a massive pipe bursts in midtown Manhattan during the height of rush hour, sending plumes of brown steam containing who knows what as high as the nearby Chrysler Building, it's a big deal.
The New York Times metro staff realized that -- up to a point.
A large photo ran above the fold, along with a story that jumped to the Metro section, which was entirely fronted with some graphic photos from the scene.
Inside, there was a full inside page and half of another. All told, 20 reporters and photographers were credited with working on the coverage.
So, how come then, there were only three stories on the blast?
Yes, it was an explosion. No, terrorism was not to blame. Still, one person died and at least 30 were injured. Not only that, but subway service was disrupted for hundreds of thousands of riders, while midtown streets and avenues were put in a "frozen zone" that made already-lousy traffic a miasma to unnerve even the most grizzled of city drivers.
The three articles are decent enough, but with so many people on the story, you can't help but wonder if they could have fleshed out more stories instead of combining so many snippets.
It is for times like these that the Times needs to remember the New York in its title is not just a holdover from some bygone era when the paper actually sold more copies inside the city limits.
Three articles also mean that's one less piece than was devoted to preview coverage of the British Open.
Priorities, anyone?

1 comment:

Little Blue PD said...

Good point, if it had been terorism, the Times would have written lots more stories, including ones about how it was ultimately all Bush's fault.

New York! What a town!

So now we have Con Edison and terrorists to worry about.

It happened on the West side of 41st and Lexington Ave. I was like a block away in the office. At first I thought it was thunder, but it just kept going for like over 20 minutes it seemed, then I was out of the area, but they say it lasted for hours, and it was very very loud.

Very scary, the NYPD says it was not terrorism. They say it was a steam explosion. Smoke and steam went up over the 45th floor. There was no black smoke like a fire though. Out the window I saw people running from the area. It was pretty scary, I was positive while in the area that it was terrorism.

There are pictures of a big craterish hole in the middle of the street with a red tow truck sitting in the hole. Terrorists would have had to go under the street to plant some bomb there. That's not the way they would have done it. We all can think of much more effective and easier ways, and better places.

It happened right around the corner from one of the biggest creators of traffic congestion in NYC.

Will Mayor Bloomberg do anything about Park Ave. being blocked off at 42nd street?

I think Mayor Nanny Bloomie is a very arrogant man. I also highly doubt he rides the subway that much. He's the mayor, I want someone driving him around so he can work and make calls and stuff. New Yorkers shouldn't want him wasting all that time on the subway.

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and then people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

It's true, Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion and Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg?

It certainly supports his claim that the city is hugely congested.

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