They just don’t get it.
The Ledger is my local paper. I love newspapers. Especially my local paper. I want them to do well.
But they’re not.
I think they’re trapped by politics. The politics of neighbors. The politics of competition. So trapped they shoot themselves in the foot.
His study showed that the proposed freight terminal would cause a budget deficit of $2.4 million over the first three years of operation in spite of the 8,500 jobs it would create. — Ledger reporter Bill Rufty
8,500? Even pro-CSX blogs are no longer using that inflated number. How about “in spite of the 8,500 jobs CSX originally claimed it would create?”
That would leave Winter Haven without a big economic development project and Orlando without a commuter rail project in order to appease Lakeland merchants. I want to sell tickets for that fight.. — Ledger reporter Tom Palmer
A misstatement as a setup for a poor joke. Cute, but not what we should get from our county newspaper of record. This isn’t “Lakeland merchants’ against a project for “the people.”
The CSX project is in place to help CSX alone.
End of story.
All this Lakeland versus Winter Haven and Tampa versus Orlando is just a smoke screen. it’s there to mask that Florida citizens are going to pay $491 million dollars to CSX to help that company’s bottom line.
$491 million dollars to follow CSX’s own 2004 plan:
In early December 2004, a month after Florida voters repealed the bullet train amendment, CSX officials visited the state Department of Transportation. The company, based in Jacksonville, unveiled a new business strategy for Florida. It planned to reroute its freight traffic from a line that ran into Orlando onto a parallel line that ran into Polk County, where CSX also wanted to build a major hub. — Tampa Tribune
I’m concerned the Ledger doesn’t have the backbone to assign a single reporter to really dig into this story. Either that, or they’re more concerned with politics than accuracy.