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Monday, July 25, 2005

Chron reports on downtown bus crash, sort of

Your tax dollars at work.
This, apparently, is a Metro "solution:"
Two Metropolitan Transit Authority buses collided downtown this morning, sending four people to the hospital. An articulated bus traveling south on Smith apparently ran a red light and slammed into a bus headed east on Dallas about 8:30 a.m., said Ken Connaughton, Metro spokesman.
I have a few questions about the crash, answers to which aren't even hinted at in the Chron story:
  • Was either driver cited for a violation?
  • Will either driver be disciplined by Metro?
  • Is there a Metro policy for incidents like this?
  • Was there any damage to the hotel, or does Metro only damage buildings by using stray current?
Now I have a few questions about the story itself:
  • Why didn't the Chronicle ask any of the above questions? (Hint: Because press releases don't answer questions.)
  • Why isn't there a byline? (Hint: Because the story is a rehashed press release.)
  • Why is the hotel incorrectly identified as the "Hyatt Hotel" when it is actually called the "Hyatt Regency Houston?" (Hint: Because Metro identified it that way in its press release.)
  • Why is the hospital incorrectly identified as "St. Joseph's Hospital" instead of "Christus St. Joseph Hospital?" (Hint: see above.)
  • Why does the photo's cutline list the time of the crash as "around 8:40 a.m." when the story has the time at "about 8:30 a.m.?"
The story was posted 16 hours after the crash, yet it contains barely more information than the photograph (which wasn't even taken by a Chron staffer). Come on, guys, y'all can do better than this. UPDATE: Kudos to the Chron's Todd Ackerman, who knows how to write the hospital's name as well as a good story about the facility's questionable prospects.

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