Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Filling in Some of the Holes That the Paper's Stories Opened

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Filling in Some of the Holes That the Paper's Stories Opened

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Clark, Times-Union Reader Advocate

Readers must have had a good Thanksgiving, because they were reading the newspaper with intensity last week.

Readers found holes in stories large enough to drive a Hummer through. Here are a series of misses:

How many passengers? Monday's story on the JTA's rapid transit plans never reported how many passengers would be served. So I called Ed Castellani, JTA's rapid transit manager. Under a typical scenario, he said rapid transit during peak hours could handle 1,000 passengers an hour per lane when compared to 800 passengers an hour per freeway lane in autos. Castellani said that the low price of the fare seems to have little attraction when luring riders out of their autos. Offer fast and convenient rapid transit, and you should attract commuters, as has occurred in many cities in the Southeast, he said.

How much revenue? A reader was not impressed that the controversy over the use of advertising at Alltel Stadium was relegated to the back page of Tuesday's Metro section. And the story left him hanging. How much revenue is at issue? The story did not say.

Misleading headline: A reader challenged a headline from Saturday, Nov. 27, that said, "Neighbors fail in bid to stop 2 superstores." Underneath was this: "Target, Wal-Mart get green light for land." That had a sense of finality that was not reflected in the story about the proposed Target and Wal-Mart stores at Beach and Hodges boulevards. As the story indicated, there may be an appeal. And the stores might qualify as a development of regional impact, which means a new round of permitting. When space for two headlines is available, the secondary headline should be used to add additional sides and shadings rather than repeating the point of the main headline. For instance, "Appeal, new permit may be coming. …

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