PLANK JULY 9, 2012
A few years ago, national journalists discovered Detroit—or, rather, discovered that the city of Detroit was a dream subject. Its ruins of abandoned buildings made for astounding photo spreads of an apocalyptic wasteland, and writers big and small tried to wrestle with the question of how the former auto capitol of the world could have turned into this shell of a city.
Detroiters hate these stories, say they’re the journalistic equivalent of rubber-necking. But what about when one of their own covers the blight and produces some seriously depressing reports about the state of the city?
Charlie LeDuff—Pulitzer-prize winner and former New York Times reporter—has been doing just that since he quit the Times and moved back to Michigan, first to write for the Detroit News and now with the local Fox station.
LeDuff’s first Fox report on the sorry state of the city’s EMS became an instant classic. And he produced another winner last week, golfing 18 miles across the length of Detroit, often down the middle of deserted thoroughfares, to produce the most unique city profile you’ll ever see.