We know Ryan Felton, who rose from modest beginnings (Livonia, Wayne State) through the usual journalism career starter kit (freelancing, stringing, Metro Times) all the way to New! York! City! where he now works for Jalopnik, the all-things-cars wing of the former Gawker Media.
Most days he's covering Tesla, but occasionally he calls upon his hometown kid experience and trains a withering gaze on the auto business here. And this week, there was a lot to wither.
Felton's post, Quick question: Did Ford buy a building this week? does little more than aggregate a series of tweets, headlines and other journalism -- some straight, some rapturous -- about June's biggest news around here, which caught the attention of media far outside Detroit. Of course it's newsworthy, but with so many stories, nearly all of them entirely positive, it's safe to say that if so-called earned media could really be redeemed for cash, it would probably be enough to renovate two, no, three floors of Michigan Central Station.
Ford's rollout and celebration of its station project dominated last weekend's news, and is likely to do so again this weekend, as the general public gets its chance to walk through the station before renovation starts. Maybe, now that the afterglow is starting to wear off, someone will venture into Southwest Detroit to ask grumpy house hunters how they feel about having rocket fuel poured onto the neighborhood's already smoking-hot real-estate market. That'll please Felton, no doubt, who signs off:
I’d love to get this kind of goodwill for buying an old property at a low cost and using public tax incentives to renovate it.
Stay in journalism, buddy, and you'll never get that chance. But journalists should always be outsiders, so: Win-win.