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What’s Wrong With Our News Media?

As the TSPLOST issue has gained more publicity over the last several months we have been treated to many working examples of the media-as-advocate instead of media-as-reporter.

As the TSPLOST issue has gained more publicity over the last several months we have been treated to many working examples of the media-as-advocate instead of media-as-reporter. 

The coverage seems designed to reinforce the Maven/ARC/Chamber message rather than to examine the facts about the project list objectively.  

Things you hear and see repeatedly:

  • Atlanta is choked with traffic.
  • TSPLOST will fix our congestion problems.
  • TSPLOST will fuel Atlanta’s growth.


Things you never hear or see:


The project list and many of the real facts about it are available at www.TrafficTruth.net. The ARC sites overwhelm you with soft data and studiously avoid any real analysis. Some questions a real reporter might ask (and that TLC representatives have asked repeatedly):

  • What are the underlying assumptions used in the ARC model to project ridership and increased jobs?
  • Where can we find the backup detail to analyze the projected project costs for the projects on the list?
  • How much money that was already allocated to these projects will be reclaimed and used for other projects?
  • How many of the proposed transit projects will not be completed within the 10-year window?
  • How are the ongoing operational costs of the transit projects going to be funded? 


The hard truth is that the TSPLOST is a massive tax increase that puts a gusher of funds into organizations that have little real budget oversight, to fund projects that, with only a handful of exceptions, will do little for congestion relief and much to enhance property values for the major developers funding the campaign. 

Our news media collectively owes their audience a much more professional investigation and presentation of the hard facts. 

Georgia, we can do better than this, and we must.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Martin July 16, 2012 at 02:03 AM
This entire initiative has been in the works for several years. Anyone on the site could have participated in that process to help determine what projects are on this list. ALL of this blather I find to be just truly sad. Its always the seems to boil down to us vs "those people" or "what's in it for me?".
Melinda Paris July 16, 2012 at 02:46 AM
I don't understand the above statement, "those people" or "what's in it for me?" Who is "those people"? I have paid higher taxes in some form, shape in the last four years, last year it was our milleage rate went up, the year before we had a "splost" tax, imagine that...Everytime, they put out what roads are going to be improved, or widened or etc,,,,they begin the project and then in a few years, people (CITIZENS such as I) WILL ask why didn't that "project" get completed? The answer is always the same, we ran out of money, ONE project that comes to mind is Hwy. 92 that runs through part of Cobb/Paulding/Douglas Counties. They (the state) as paid some of my friends money and purchased their homes to widened State Hwy. 92/ other's have NOT been approached yet, this has been going on for about seven or more years, but the latest according to officials is the project is out of money. Okay, so that means that they took money out of that special splost tax "pot" to burn somewhere else, cause they promised if we voted in more money that was one of the top priorities, now--the road is not widened to four lanes, and there is houses missing in spots, just a big ole' mess- I resent anyone saying that some of us are in for "what's in it for me?", Sir, I'M TIRED OF THE LIES from the politicians, I KNOW there is nothing EVER for me but higher taxes for the CROOKS TO SPEND ON THEMSELVES-Good citizens very rarely get their tax's worth!!
Melinda Paris July 16, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Wouldn't it be nice to go vote for a added tax and then see the actual work be done in a timely manner? Why does folks not get we're tired of the talking and receive no action? Most of the people I know and talk to feel the same way? Today, we attended a family gathering of about 30 plus, some live in Cobb, some in Paulding and some in Douglas/Haralson Counties, all that were there are voting, the ages varied from high 20's- 70's. NOT ONE HAS OR WILL VOTE YES!! Now, that was a pleasant gathering for once, we ALL agreed it is a bunch of lies and during a recession time, ANYONE that even talks about more taxes in this season of HIGH unemployment, and High number of business's that are in the toliet and are struggling is NOT the time to tax the people MORE. We're getting enough of that ryhme from the Federal Gov't. Most of the people I know are good, tax-paying, citizens and we feel we are being squeezed from every corner of the Gov't, where it be local, state and /or Federal. So, again, I say from this family ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We can't stand to be taxed anymore, they need to trim the fat, get rid of the waste, those numbers could change so much. Its called Greed from the top Dogs. Its not about any of us getting what we want, its about SURVIVING during this downfall economy, its about feeding our families and keeping a roof over our heads, we're at the point, we're worried about NEEDS, the WANTS are not even in the equation at this point. VOTE NO!!!
jimmie July 16, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Melinda Rocks. It is sad that we have reached a point where NO ONE trusts a darn word a politician says when they try to extricate more cash out of you. People in office now won't even be around when these projects finish f-ing us over and their replacements will just blame those who have gone before who are drawing paychecks from the developers for future "consulting" work. This project is nothing more than progressive redistribution repackaged...lets all chip in so the moochers can have more bus routes and more train routes to get around so they can spend government handouts that also come from those who are successful enough and work hard enough so they actually have to pay taxes on income, much less on consumption. Scre- the t-splost and all the liars who developed it.
Melinda Paris July 16, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Thanks Jimmie! BTW..Folks, I do know that its the T-Splost Tax, and I know I usually refer to it as splost, I do that to SAVE a stroke, so I can use every space that I can, I know how to SAVE whether its taxes, groceries and etc....Elect me, and watch all the moochers, takers, enablers, people who think they are ENTITLED, and people who think everything needs to be FAIR and more of the same kind, just all go away, I would clean house in local, state and Federal offices, til we wouldn't need all the Gov't space that we have now!! I would tell them all to take a vacation, and when they come back to their cushy job, it wouldn't be there, and they would be no reason for them to ever report back...I'M SICK of all the Gov't sitting around figuring out how they can take MORE AND MORE and give it to the sorry butts that don't work and contribute their part. I will have to work til the day I die to support all the sorry butts that WON'T WORK, but DESERVES to have the same as I DO!! B.S. to all of that, I work hard so I can play hard, and if other's choose to do nothing, then so be it, get nothing in return!! I still say VOTE NO!!

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