The daughter of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is hot water over a recent column that alleged Flint, Michigan, was “apocalyptic” and used a photo of a run-down Israeli street as evidence.
In her PolicyMic article titled “This is America’s Most Apocalyptic, Violent City — And You’ve Probably Never Heard Of It,” Laura Dimon writes that Flint — which was the birthplace of General Motors — “drowns in the hell that has become of much of America’s Rust Belt.”
The article includes a number of photos that show Flint in shambles, but readers soon discovered that several of those photos were of other locations.
A Reddit thread criticizing the article first pointed out that something wasn’t right.
“I thought I was hallucinating at first, but this picture is not actually from Flint,” Redditor samiam25 wrote. “I know this because I lived in the place pictured almost my entire life. It’s a city in Israel called Ramla. I’m really confused as to why this picture is featured in the article and I’m a little creeped out.”
A Google street map view proves that the photo matches the street in Ramla.
Dimon was also forced to replace a photo that turned out to be of Detroit after an email exchange with the website Deadline Detroit.
An editor’s note on the PolicyMic column pointed out that the photo of Detroit had been incorrect, but no correction was published for the Israeli photo.
Deadline Detroit’s Alan Stamm observed that PolicyMic is similar to Buzzfeed or Upworthy in that it uses a “a behavioral analyst” to create viral headlines and then assigns a writer to come up with a matching story.
“That cart-before-horse reversal — ‘do a clip job on Flint as America’s most apocalyptic, violent city’ — is not how things typically work at new media or those with print roots,” Stamm wrote. “But while traditional editorial practices may point the way to an ethical high road, they’re not necessarily the route to a high-traffic path in journalism’s reshaped landscape.”
Laura Dimon’s article had been viewed about 600,000 times by Monday afternoon.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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