The Media and the Blue Line Derailment

Last week, a CTA Blue Line train derailed at O’hare International Airport, hopping up an escalator and injuring over 30 people. The general safety of public transportation is being considered as federal investigators and new sources alike try to understand what exactly happened early that morning.

A CTA spokesperson alluded directly following the derailment that the train’s conductor may have been exhausted during her late night/early morning shift, which could have been a leading factor in the accident. Because of this, many stakeholders have started to look into the work conditions that the train conductor was subjected to that night, and the general bureaucratic policies in place that validated those conditions.

Recently, the conductors name has been released; like in this Chicago Sun Times tweet.


First and foremost, is including her name necessary? Does this open up questions to this woman’s safety, or does naming her create a more personal, emotional character that the general public with sympathize with?

This article in particular, which is embedded in this tweet, aims at rallying sympathy for the conductor, who is a victim of poor shift regulation by the CTA. Evidently, she worked many long shifts, and the incident could have been easily prevented if the CTA was more conscious of the shift lengths and frequencies the conductors are scheduled for. Many new sources, not just the Sun Times, are calling the CTA to action to prevent further accidents like this from occurring.

The coverage provided by major news sources, not just this by this article written in the Sun Times, puts pressure on the CTA to reform their current work policies. This just reaffirms the power and necessity of modern day journalism, and the power buzz holds in our society.

Similarly, the videos, tweets, and Facebook statuses of those who the crash effected will further pressure the CTA to create reform.


The Chicago Sun Times. [Suntimes]. (2014, March 28). Driver of CTA train that crashed Monday at O’Hare is Brittney Haywood, 25, of Chicago, the Sun-Times has learned. [Tweet]. Retrieved from

One thought on “The Media and the Blue Line Derailment

  1. From the coverage I have seen, I definitely think that the media is almost more sympathetic to the woman conductor, not to the victims of the accident. In the articles I have seen, the ones covering the victims who are suing are much less sympathetic than those that are covering the woman who was driving and the unions representing her. This is a really interesting example of media bias.


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