by jude galligan
The Austin American Statesman is one of two local papers (the other being the Chronicle) that reach Austin’s masses. These newspapers set the agenda and guide the discussion on topics of their choosing. The words printed on the pages of the Statesman, Austin’s most widely read newspaper, have the power to affect the home values and lives of thousands of Austinites. With that power comes responsibility.
Wednesday morning I picked up a Statesman at Jos Coffee and in big bold black letters “Condos caught by crisis at last”, “Breakneck rate on sales of units, construction slows as credit and capital dry up”.
Curiously, neither of those dramatic headlines exist in the online version of the article. In the print edition, immediately to the left, in much smaller font, was the news – the government is injecting $800MM to expand the credit markets.
Shonda Novak is a staff writer at the Statesman and wrote the above article. Shonda has been reporting on Austin real estate for years. If Shonda writes that the sky is falling on Austin real estate, then 100k+ Austin readers look at their spouse and say “Hon, did you see that article in today’s paper about Downtown condos? I’m telling you, Babe, those developers will never sell all those condos! Just wait and they’ll be selling them at twenty cents on the dollar!”
I read and re-read the article. Seeing the print edition headline, I expected catastrophe. Instead, I found nothing at all particularly newsworthy.
Is it possible that the Statesman’s headline was overly sensational?
Taking a similar approach to how I dissected this article, after the jump, I’ve cut/pasted a handful of quotes from the article, and then I explain if that quote is, generally speaking, true, false, or if the quotes are generalizations or simply editorial in nature.