A Shipping crane near Jack London
Square in Oakland
OAKLAND | MEDIA | Crime is down dramatically in Oakland this year, and yet you’d never know it by reading the daily newspapers or watching TV news. Moreover, news reports often portray shootings and homicides as being citywide issues in Oakland, and not problems localized to certain sections of the city. And despite a renaissance that has led Oakland to become one of the most talked-about cities nationwide, the cacophony of negative news coverage in the Bay Area continues to cloud public opinion and is hampering Oakland’s ability to grow economically.
“People are getting a skewed perception of Oakland — it scares visitors away and [keeps] residents and businesses from coming here,” said longtime Oakland resident Elmano Gonsalves. “I think it’s unfair, and it’s holding us back.”
Gonsalves grew up in Oakland, and over the last several months has embarked on a campaign to set the record straight about his city. He has sent dozens of emails to local journalists and TV news directors, complaining about news coverage that ignores crime problems in San Francisco and San Jose, while perpetuating negative stereotypes of Oakland….
“Crime is down dramatically in Oakland this year.” Which crime? Yes, the homicide rate changes somewhat from year to year. Nationally homicides are down in our most violent cities–Oakland, Richmond, New Orleans. Year to year rate changes are not meaningful.
Some facts are needed: are robberies and burglaries down? Carjackings? Number of shots fired?
If you can't cite the facts, don't draw the big conclusions. Unless, of course, your advertising income is bolstered by your Oakland PR.