Journalists car-jacked in Detroit while reporting city struggles

Two Dutch reporters got an inside look at crime when they went to Detroit last week to report about the city and its struggles. The journalists were carjacked near Ford Field.
Detroit News reports the pair say that they will remain fans of the city. Jacqueline Marris, 50, and freelance photographer Daimon Xanthopoulos, 29, are used to being in rough and tumble towns. They have covered war-torn Africa and the Middle East. The story in Detroit begins on Monday on VPRO.

The series will be telling the resilience of Detroit residents despite living in a decaying city.

“It’s so (expletive) sad people have to live among idiots like that,” said Jacqueline Maris, 50, an award-wining senior foreign correspondent for VPRO, The Netherlands’ national public radio.

The two were at a former housing project when they were approached by armed gunmen wanting their car. The car was recovered later that day just blocks from the crime scene.

“I don’t like hit-and-run journalism,” Maris said, “I feel a lot of the reports I see and read of Detroit are like that. I always want to do stories about people and go out in the streets, whether it’s Africa, the Middle East or the projects of New Orleans. We found many people who give hope to (Detroit). They are not waiting for the City Council or anyone to take some initiative to change things for the better. It is those people who make up most of Detroit, not those stupid criminals.”

During Maris’ stay in the northern city she encountered drugs, gangs and garbage. The dirty side of Detroit struck her hard.

UPI reports:

“It’s very shocking. Wherever you go you see the houses that were once the houses of dreams. You see once there was a thriving life there,” Maris said, describing Detroit as a city where “many people are trapped.”

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