Newspapers: Civic Consciences

Renewal. Urban sprawl. Relocation. High rise v. low rise. Blighted areas. Glass-box buildings. Open space. Population density.

For big-city newspapers, some of the most important new language and news in recent years has concerned the condition of the city itself. As billions of dollars are spent on the revitalization of dying downtowns, as crumbling old neighborhoods are bulldozed away, as the past gives way to the present, a hybrid journalist is developing—the urban reporter-critic. Reporting, he keeps citizens abreast of what's going up and coming down, what city planners envision for the future. Criticizing, he serves as a civic conscience—denouncing the...

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