Dateline NBC segment does not depict the true Detroit

April 27, 2010 | Detroit

In the wake of an uneven Dateline NBC special last week on Detroit, we have been pleased to see a movement—led by Mayor Bing—aimed at putting forth a more balanced and positive image of the City, with words and tangible action. This includes a recap of the many projects and programs in place (including the demolition of thousands of abandoned homes in blighted neighborhoods) aimed at continual improvement. Such a stance and focus on progress is vital to Detroit’s image and revitalization.

 While Chris Hanson, a native of metro Detroit, never passed judgment in the one-hour special, the images and stories told did not reflect nor accurately depict the passion Detroiters have for their city and the many great things being done on a day-to-day basis, including the city’s many wonderful charitable and community organizations. More on a few of those next time.

 Hanson harped on foreclosures, which are an issue, yet did not take the time to explore programs such as the innovative and successful Wayne County Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program, designed to keep Wayne County residents in their homes. A few phone calls would have put him in touch with county residents who have had their homes saved because of local help.

 There is no denying the challenges facing Detroit. In many ways, they are more pronounced than most other urban centers. Yet, it can’t be all “doom and gloom”—because it is not.  Dateline NBC neglected to show what makes this town special, including the heart, soul and spirit of those who live and work here. Many need assistance, but none are helpless.

 So, here’s to positive change under the direction of a new mayor and administration focused on one thing: doing what’s right for the city and its people. What is your view on the piece, Mayor Bing’s response and the direction the city is taking today? We’d love to hear from you.

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