Area transportation gets the ChronDiary treatment

We frequently refer to the Chronicle's junior metro/state columnist as a diarist, because so many of her columns resemble the personal diary of a teenager.

Unfortunately, that style of "journalism" seems to be spreading at the ever-shrinking newspaper.

Last Monday, the Chronicle's transportation column (hereafter to be known as the transportation diary) began as follows:

I shudder when I recall the "distracted driving" behaviors I engaged in as a 16-year-old in suburban St. Louis.

Dear Diary
I would often eat a bagel as I sped (late) to school. In a stick-shift car. I remember applying mascara in the rearview mirror. I hope I only did this while at a stoplight, but I can't say for sure.

Once I ran a red light while chatting intently with a friend in the passenger seat. Luckily, no one was crossing. A collision could have been deadly.

And here's the start of this week's transportation diary:

I'll quit tomorrow.

Isn't that what smokers sometimes say? I recently chatted with a woman who was "getting ready" to quit when she began her vacation. She told me this while puffing away during a coffee break.

I felt like that this week. I couldn't break my cell phone habits in the car. Today is the start of "Heads Up Driving Week," and I've pledged to turn off the phone while behind the wheel. So I thought I'd practice last week, get ready for the Big Unplug.

If all this column is going to be is a personal diary and a vehicle to quote Christof Spieler/Robin Holzer* ad nauseam, wouldn't the newspaper be better off killing the thing and redeploying the news resources? Wouldn't readers be, as well?

Dear Diary image by flickr user incurable hippie, used via a Creative Commons license.

* The CTC tandem seems to show up in Chron stories nearly as often as Bicyclist Bob Stein these days. A major metro daily really should work harder to cultivate a more diverse, robust group of sources.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 10/05/09 11:09 PM | Print |

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