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As others see us, 6.24

Part of the reason DVoice wanted to do an “As others see us” series is because Detroit receives so much unique attention nationally. And while the city still needs PR, Detroiters increasingly have much to say about the kind of coverage and what exactly is portrayed to the outside world. This engagement is more than welcome.

This New York Times article from last week featured several Corktown establishments that have led the pack in bringing back that particular neighborhood. There’s no arguing Slow’s BBQ and Astro Coffee really led the resurgence of the strip of bars and restaurants that are now beyond crowded every weekend (and while regulars might find the waits annoying, it’s definitely a good problem to have).

But it featured only white business owners. In a city that’s 80 percent African American, this oversight is noticeable. As Detroit re-surges, part of it’s draw is discovering the different cultures and races that comprise this very diverse city. It’s no wonder the readers reacted. So many wrote to the NYT that public editor Margaret Sullivan posted an additional article and apology on the controversy, and several other Detroit media outlets chimed in as well.

No doubt better and more thorough reporting on Detroit will come from the NYT in the future. To the paper’s credit, it has looked into the artistic and culture changes in Detroit more than any other major newspaper, and brought gravitas to many efforts around town.

This week there’s also been a feature piece from the Wall Street Journal on Shinola’s creative director, along with some reporting on Mayor Mike Duggan’s pledge to reverse the tide on Detroit’s population decline (while you’re at it, check out The News’ editorial today, which analyzes the slowed rate of population decline in the city).

For fun, this feature on charming Parker Street Market in Detroit’s West Village made it onto the Miami Herald online addition.

If you read something in outside media coverage that you’d like to see in this series, send it on over to

Kaitlyn Buss
Kaitlyn Buss is editorial page writer for The Detroit News. Prior to joining the News, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked in public relations, opinion writing, and ran communications for an association of state legislators. She's a native of Metro Detroit. Follow her @KaitlynBuss.