Something good

Dateline: Sat 08 Oct 2011

The Star's local living section is one of the daily newspaper's best features in a long time.

The section was introduced four weeks ago. It is published every Thursday under the direction of community news editor Kevin Morgan and local living editor Amanda Kingsbury.

So far, we've had the chicken coop tour by Will Higgins, a boat ride on the canal (Higgins with photographer Michelle Pemberton), the city's low-rent motels and who lives there and why (Higgins) and Thursday's Border Patrol, by Neal Tafllinger (Star correspondent, former youth-metromix-whatever writer). Border Patrol was about all the diverse and sometimes oddly-named neighborhoods in the city, and the efforts of two local men who spent two years identifying those neighborhoods, then creating an aesthetically pleasing map they are selling.

Technically, there is no longer a features section at the newspaper; reporters are divided up into Local Living, Free Time and Arts, and Life (see Staff on the Indianapolis Star website if you want an idea of how thin the ranks are).

But the features concept is still alive -- give the readers some relief -- and the new section is living up to its predecessors' attempts to entertain and inform.

A side note: today's Page 1 story about an "abandoned" neighborhood in Warren Township on the city's Eastside is also well done and informative. Chris Sikich wrote it as part of the paper's attempts to report from the trenches and learn what residents of stressed neighborhoods are thinking.

As always, I can live without the endless Colts hype, but thanks for the rest....

 

Comments

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2011-10-10 08:32:15

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Someone (above) is channeling Gov. Perry and/or Hank Jr.

Today's story was priceless. I drive through that neighborhood often--it's not far from Community Hosp. East. I'm still trying to figur eout why some hospitals are vigorously abandoning urban neighborhoods for suburban sprawl--patients will come to wherever the facility is. The answer is likely money--the money is suburban, even if the density is not. The Community East campus looks old and tattered. Quite different from their newer Northside Jetsons-style buildings.

The Neighborhood focus is welcome. It's difficult to find online. But it's worth the cost of a newspaper to read.

Sunday Star reading update:

Less than 20 minutes, cover-to-cover. Biz Section: Three local stories, two of them timeless profiles. Give up already. It's just pathetic.


2011-10-10 12:48:41

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

"But the features concept is still alive."

I only hope the future won't bring more of the type of Airhead First-Person Reporting represented in that
feature on the great "Quest To Find The Perfect Blue Jeans" (that had me running for the Pepto-Bismal).

I could have made it much easier for the readers. Go to your local Dollar Store. Buy a pair of jeans off the rack for $15. Give the rest of the $50-$100 more dollars you would have paid for designer jeans to your local homeless shelter or outreach to those suffering with AIDS.

You'll be glad you did.

2011-10-10 13:08:28

hendy [Member] said:

Amen, WB. Amen. I don't care how good your butt looks, the difference to others means a lot.

But this is about vanity and narcissism, right?

And TTT-- the Herald Tribune, nee Telephone, took almost an hour to read on Sunday. Ok, I actually looked at the coupons, too.

I'm reminded of the lyrics to an old R&B song: ".... the world is a ghetto...."

2011-10-10 15:38:16

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I kinda agree on the blue jeans. Except, my other half works at a storter that sells the expensive ones and, well, our house benefits. My butt is large enough in cheap jeans--I don't need to add to it by spending huge sums.

May I add to your list of good causes: those who fight for civil rights daily. It's lonely work.

And in this state lately, almost fruitless. Sadly.

But I take solace: pendulums rule. It can't stay this far-right and hateful too much logner. (Can it?)

2011-10-10 16:39:49

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

***store

See, Ruthie, we've taken your post about some good Star articles and shifted it to jean-butt references.

Did we do good?

2011-10-10 16:40:46

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

"I'm reminded of the lyrics to an old R&B song: ".... the world is a ghetto...."

Or maybe lyrics from Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins: "The world is a vam-pire!..." (smile).

You got it right, Hendy, vanity and narcissism. The American Way.

This blue jeans feature was a lot of what we have come to expect from The Star - high carbohydrate content for the mentally bloated.

2011-10-10 19:15:15

B2 [unverified] said:

"You got it right, Hendy, vanity and narcissism. The American Way."

You folks just love to hate on our country. And just where is that Utopia y'all yearn for?

2011-10-11 08:11:24

Homer [Member] said:

Amen on the Local Living section. Not only does it have a warm, community feel but it establishes a perfect outlet for Will Higgins. Will always has a personal, down-to-earth take on whatever he tackles and this section seems to fit his skills well.

2011-10-11 10:25:48

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Erika Smith is the Real Deal as a columnist for The Star. Much wisdom for such a young person. A breath of fresh air in the Indianapolis media.

2011-10-11 11:46:32

B2 [unverified] said:

And back to positive comments: Homer, couldn't agree more on Will. His piece about the canoe (or was it kayak?) trip down the canal was a story wonderfully written.

2011-10-11 11:47:37

escapedbeforebeinggannettized [unverified] said:

I'm with you Ruthie. I am sick of the ad nauseum coverage of the Colts.
I understand it being all over the Sports section, but why do they have to lather it all over the front page of Sec. A? Is it really "news" deserving front page coverage or front page "filler"? The jeans story is embarassing for a newspaper this size. If they are going to do that, do it on a more "fluff" day, perhaps Monday, so we won't be so embarrassed as a metro paper to some of the out of towners in for the weekend. Typical article for the dumbed down masses. How many twenty or thiry-somethings subscribe to Sunday's paper for them to reach with a lightweight, vanilla story like that?

2011-10-11 12:22:30

hendy [Member] said:

@B2, there is no utopia. There's unlikely to be a utopia in this life. When people are paying $125 for jeans and we've got people who can't afford insurance dying of cancer, there exists an inequity. Dana's rear and cute blonde looks appeal to the most banal of emotions-- vanity and sex appeal. And idiots applaud it.

People are caught in a never-ending spiral of consumption, one-up-(wo)manship, and keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality. We have odd "English" lawns, little box houses with a Waring Blender, a microwave, the latest kitchen gear, bathrooms of porcelain palaces.

We then complain about our property taxes, teacher salaries, and heaven-forbid, funding FEMA.

If each-other isn't our first priority, we're doomed to the banality of watching Dana's expensive jeans-covered rear. Frankly, if you've seen one, you've seen most of them. But wait until a tornado passes over your house. Or five days of 8" of rain/day falls on you-- or nearby. Watchya gonna do? Watch Dana's rear?

2011-10-11 12:48:23

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Wahhh-ling Blen-dahhh. Damn that was a good commercial.

2011-10-11 14:36:03

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Once again, great wisdom in your words, Hendy. Great comfort in knowing there are still sane people in this country.

Edwards turned out to be a knucklehead, but there was much truth in his "two worlds in America" mantra.

Think about the poor and lower income working class folks looking at that article about butts and jeans expensive enough to pay the monthly electric bills they can't afford to pay.

I realize a significant percentage of Indianapolis citizens are affluent, but, as a relatively poor person, I don't want that in my face on Thursday-through-Sunday mornings.

Features in The Star will be only as relevant as they speak to ALL socio/economic classes in Indiana, not just the affluent and near-affluent white population.


2011-10-11 17:17:41

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2011-10-11 18:53:57

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

As a former fashion writer, I was embarrassed for Dana et al by the jeans-butt story. Good for Cosmo, but for The Star?

Yes, when people are having trouble finding jobs, we're reading about designer denim?

2011-10-11 19:07:40

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2011-10-12 00:00:07

guy77money [unverified] said:

Yes there is a significant percentage of Indianapolis citizens that are affluent and a puff piece like this would be well received by the rich younger generation. Of course the problem is that the audience for the jeans piece probably is not reading the Star. They are getting most of their news online. Maybe they figure us older people will read the article and get a chuckle over it. That way they can grin and bear it when us old folks try to shame them (shaking the paper and saying you should read this article) for buying such outrageous jeans. ;)

2011-10-12 09:07:24

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Major problem with local living? It's zoned. I get the west. Yawn. Have no idea what's happening in the rest of town.

2011-10-13 09:48:15

Rita [unverified] said:

Ms. Cynical wrote:

"Yes, when people are having trouble finding jobs, we're reading about designer denim?"

Yes, because it was in the Living section and is a "features" story. Read about jobs in the main or metro. Come on, you should know that!

2011-10-13 15:45:25

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I hadn't thought about the zone thing. We're not a "whole city" any more?

Yuck.

If my candidate gets elected President next year, I want to be Ambassador to the Lesser Antilles. Wonder what Gannett zone that's in?

2011-10-14 07:53:44

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Rita:
There are many, many, many credible and interesting features that can be written about Indy in the "Living" section, none of which involves deciding which pair of pricy jeans makes Dana's butt look better.
Doesn't anyone remember Tom Keating?

2011-10-14 13:56:07

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Ms. Cynical. Your comment is, as they say, "on point."

When you think of all of the great feature stories waiting to be written out there, but then we get expensive designer jeans and butt comparisons......

2011-10-14 15:48:12

Rita [unverified] said:

I agree, there are many other stories that could be in that section besides butt/jeans stories. Comparing feature stories to each other is one thing, but Ms. Cynical's post compared butt/jeans to jobs. Apples and oranges. At least that's how I read it.

2011-10-14 19:59:43

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

I'll bet Dana was as embarrassed about that story as any journo would be.

She's a good reporter and writer, but wasting staff time and newsprint on that drivel just shows what Gannett has in mind for The Star.

And it ain't pretty.

2011-10-15 09:36:15

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