This Kick May Go Through Uprights

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By: Joe Strupp

Vowing to improve their hometown’s tarnished image as a fading rust-belt city known for its snowstorms, Super Bowl-losing football, and a decaying downtown, Buffalo (N.Y.) News editors have launched a tough-love project that promises to go after most of the city’s problems and offer some solutions this year. When the project — titled “Why Not Buffalo?” — was launched Jan. 2, Editor Margaret Sullivan, a Buffalo native and 24-year veteran of the paper, asked: “Can mere journalism really turn around a city’s destiny? Maybe not. But we plan to give it our best shot.”

Initially, the News is assigning two reporters to the project nearly full time, with plans to run a large spread of stories and photos on the first Sunday of each month throughout 2005. Related articles will be mixed into different sections of the paper, from sports to business, during the week as needed. “We are not an economic development agency,” Sullivan tells E&P. “We are a newspaper, but we can cast a broad view of the whole issue.” As with any good promotional effort, there is also a logo: a winged buffalo, perched and ready to fly.

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