Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why Concern Yourself With Positive News?

There's a perception among business people that a local daily newspaper in Roanoke chooses the negative angle whenever possible in reporting its stories and there's a nice example of that in today's edition. (It is on the third page of the local section, but I couldn't find it online.)

The story today is about Roanoke City's bond rating, which saw two of three ratings services maintain it at an AA level and one drop it slightly to an A1 in the worst economy since the Great Depression. By my figuring, that's an accomplishment. By the daily newspaper's, it's worthy of a report that concentrates on the A1 rating.

These bond ratings are important to governments because they determine the rate at which money can be borrowed. The better the rating (the state has a AAA rating, for example, which I suspect the Republicans will threaten again, or maybe even lose) the less expensive borrowed money is. That is reflected in lower tax rates. Therefore, the maintenance of the rating in this economy is pretty impressive.

This particular report (which Valley Business FRONT covered two days ago here) reminds me of a story from a few years ago when Center in the Square won a major national downtown revitalization award and the story in the paper the next morning led with something like this, "Center in the Square announced it had won the [name of the award] yesterday, but that it does not come with money."

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