A City Divided: American University Special Report

19 Dec


[Photo via Washington City Paper]

Anyone curious about whether Anacostia’s rechristened River East neighborhood is on the verge of prosperity should check out the latest edition of the American Observer. On Dec. 2, the journalism department at American University stirred up some controversial press by releasing a series of articles and discussions tackling gentrification in the District. The collection is a special edition report, A City Divided, which addresses issues that emerged during the contentious mayoral election between Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray. In an interview with DCentric the Managing Editor of the American Observer, Jeremy Borden, says, “What we tried to do was hone in on the broader trends that came out of the September primaries. We knew there was all this divisiveness that had been written about in a broad way; we wanted to focus on specific narratives that exposed divisions in the city and also illuminated the big issues of that election.”

A City Divided’s contribution to the deluge of urban development press is the absence of value judgments and their microcosmic approach to reporting. You’ve gotta give props to any newspaper- even student run -willing to take on DC gentrification. It’s hard to find a more precarious subject among both DC’s wealthy professionals and historic working class. Although, maybe things aren’t that precarious. Borden says an inaccurate map of DC (the graphic placed U Street above Columbia Heights) received the most critical attention of all the special edition content.

American Observer Highlights:
Exploring the ‘G-word’ in Ward 8
Roundtable Debate
Priced Out In Columbia Heights
U Street Area See Collision Between New and Old
Different Worlds Reflected in the Barber’s Mirror

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