STAR: The wonders of METRO

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Several days ago, the Chronicle‘s Lifestyle & Features (STAR!) section ran an advertisement for METRO posing as news.

Owen Courreges promptly took issue with the cheerleading, as did Laurence Simon. Here’s an excerpt from Laurence:

Owen Courreges of Lonestar Times shares his METRO experiences after reading this advertisement for METRO posing as a news article in everybody’s favorite local major paper.

That’s odd. I thought that Lucas Wall was in Boston.

Yes, it’s good to promote public transportation, but I’d love to see a few reporters putting their car keys away and taking METRO themselves to see how wonderful and convenient the system really is. No, really, join me or some other METRO rider for a week or so in leaving the driving to METRO. See how great it is firsthand.

I cannot believe that Kristin Finan and Kyrie O’Connor have not taken up Laurence on his offer, since they are big advocates of “first-person journalism.”

Incidentally, as Matt Bramanti pointed out, the column by Louis Parks contained this big error:

For years the bus folks — Houston Metropolitan Authority, or Metro — have been trying to reverse declining ridership.

As future reference for those features editors and blogHOUSTON readers who have the time to correct typos on this blog but refuse to answer polite email questions about the journalistic ethics of impersonating evacuees, the organization is the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). Maybe that tidbit could be shared with the colleagues who let that gaffe get through.

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Kevin Whited
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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX