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"Near Cleveland" vs. "in Youngstown, Ohio"

By Todd Franko (Contact)

Published June 25, 2009

The national media, this time MSNBC, needed an example of industrial decay, and they found “Youngstown, Ohio.”

The story came out today. Click here to check it out.

There’s nothing new about the story or the media modus operandi. But the timing of this story is funny to me because of what I endured Wednesday.

On Wednesday, there was good economic news about our region, and this was the news alert that was moved across the country by the Associated Press:

LORDSTOWN - Even though it's living on government loans, General Motors is pouring millions into a huge factory complex near Cleveland. The Chevrolet Cruze compact car that the Lordstown, Ohio, factory will make is key to GM's plans to stand on its own after it emerges from bankruptcy protection. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher.

"Near Cleveland?"

When it’s a bad news story, national media has no hesitation using “Youngstown, Ohio.”

But a great industry story was happening yesterday, and The Associated Press could not summon up the conscience to cite us.

So I sent along an email to the AP complaining about it.

Here’s what happened the next time the news alert came out:

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - General Motors has a lot riding on Lordstown. A sprawling small-car factory in the town near Youngstown will be retooled to start making the Chevrolet Cruze compact car early next year. The car is a sleeker, lighter replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt. The market for years has belonged to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Now granted, it was corrected just for AP's Ohio news alerts. The alerts that went to the country still read “near Cleveland.”

Oh well. Little by little.


1redvert(2239 comments)posted 7 years ago

Well if you are going to be honest about it, the other steel mill towns have in most cases managed to rebound since the 70's, Youngstown has not. We have urban blight and more than our share of crime. We can take our pick of reasons why or try to deny the obvious ones. The story was written in a way to put a positive light on the plans. Hate to say it but that is the reason for mentioning Cleveland instead of Youngstown in the original writeup.

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2joly1584(25 comments)posted 7 years ago

The same thing happens to the west side of Youngstown. When something good happens in Youngstown along Mahoning Ave or Meridian Road the TV stations report it as Austintown. When something bad happens in Austintown they report the event as happening in Youngstown.

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3Ytownboy(142 comments)posted 7 years ago

The proportions of that article are correct. Please read "Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown." It lays out how Youngstown made mistake after mistake, while Allentown made the appropriate moves into economic diversification. What happened to this area was not inevitable.

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4Bellhop(2 comments)posted 7 years ago

Forget Lordstown. I hate to tell you--Youngstown is not only near Cleveland, it's becoming Cleveland: a geographic/demographic/economic "Invasion of The Body Snatchers." And, alas, we did everything except put out the "Welcome" mat. Greed, hubris, racism, and a confounding sense of entitlement have left the door ajar and now we got company.

The drumbeat for regionalization has long echoed through the community--get the suburbs to cooperate with the city, a unified school system, regional government, consolidation of services, etc. Nobody is buying in. So what happens? This area becomes a minor satellite of Cleveland/Akron while we were fighting amongst ourselves. They're heeeeere: Akron Children's Hospital, WKSU News on WYSU, Cleveland Clinic offices...now that's regionalization on a grand scale. The media have made steady inroads into this market as well. And let's not even bring up financial institutions.

As long as the fiefdoms of the Valley battle for autonomy and total independence, we will be at the mercy of larger, more progressive thinkers who will sense opportunity and suck every last bit of local identity from our veins.

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 7 years ago

We need more opportunities in the valley to bring jobs to Youngstown. Businesses know that union workers in this valley are the best in the world. Now all Mayor Jay has to do is find some manufacturers that want to come here to Youngstown.

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