‘How’s Detroit Doing?’ — Reporters Discuss Tackling Simple Yet Thorny Question

Detroit Journalism Cooperative reporters talk about the role nonprofit journalism plays in the Detroit region.

Laura Weber Davis/WDET

You’ll hear us at WDET talk a lot during our fall fundraiser about the value of not-for-profit journalism in our community.

We also work with a number of other nonprofit news organizations as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC).

The DJC is working on a big project right now, asking how Detroit is doing three years after the city’s historic bankruptcy.

Some of WDET’s DJC partners join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about the work they’re doing and why non-commercial sources of news are vital for our city and our region.

“My neighbors in the Grosse Pointes, they think Detroit’s doing great,” says Nancy Derringer, reporter for Bridge Magazine.

“But, of course, they come downtown, they go to a game, they go to a play, they go to whatever, and they don’t see the rest of it.”

“There are enormous swaths of it that aren’t doing very well at all,” Derringer says. “It’s not that the decline has stopped, it’s that the decline has slowed. And so I believe that there is reason to have hope about even the poorest neighborhoods in the city, but don’t get distracted by the boom in the central core.”

Ed Moore, Detroit Public Television director of content, talks about how the DJC is able to handle the complexities of issues affecting Detroiters in a more in-depth way than many other media organizations.

“We’re going out to Brightmoor this evening… to look at the devastation that’s been wrecked on the school system there,” says Moore. “This is where nonprofit public journalism, I think, really benefits the city, because… it’s looking at all the underlying issues — the absenteeism, the lack of mass transit to help get these kids around.”

WDET Special Projects Manager Sandra Svoboda also joins the program.

“One of the things I like about us all asking this question is that everyone has an answer,” says Svoboda. “Whether you’re the mayor of Detroit, whether you’re in a federal government position, you’re a long-time resident, or you’ve spent 30 seconds in the city, you have an opinion and an observation to share with us.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.