Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The New York Times of November 16 has an article entitled "the Two Americas of 2016", splitting the country in two by counties, based on whether or not they went for Clinton or Trump in the recent elections. (Article here). Why counties? Why not Congressional districts, why not voting districts, why not by elevation? (Who knows! Is height above sea level positively correlated with election results?)
The Times let me down with this article. It said nothing new. Urban areas tended to go democrat and rural areas republican. Who didn't know this BEFORE the election?
Maybe the times should display a rainbow map where colors indicate percentage of population with Twitter accounts, or maybe Facebook accounts. Maybe show us a colored contour map colored so that height relates to available broadband speed and color to election results.
There are many ways in which creative maps could be used to educate the public about its country. This creation may be unique, but not newsworthy.
What would be newsworthy would be for the Times to show a map that encourages some form of unity between urban and rural areas. Perhaps displaying by creative use of color the average drive time to the nearest supermarket. (Maybe the urban people might realize they have a distinct advantage here. Perhaps the Trump vote's underlying cause was accessibility of grocery stores!)
However a newspaper packages its news, let it first be sure that it is news, and not just beating a dead horse.
PS: I would have written this as a comment on the Times web site, but the article had no such option.