News & Media Questions
What is the Research Triangle or Triangle?
It is a term first coined to refer to the proximity of three major research universities to Durham-based Research Triangle Park- Duke University in Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. "Triangle" also has been broadened to refer to the three college towns themselves (Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh) or the resulting region. The Research Triangle Region is "a family of communities" centered around two metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)-the four-county Durham MSA and the three-county Raleigh-Cary MSA.
What is meant by the term Raleigh-Durham?
"Raleigh-Durham" is the name of the international airport that serves two, distinct metro areas-the Durham MSA and the Raleigh-Cary MSA: the airport is co-owned by the cities of Durham and Raleigh as well as Durham and Wake counties. "Raleigh-Durham" is also a misused, shorthand term for the two-metro Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area, the former five-county Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill MSA (redefined in 2003), or Nielsen's Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville Designated Market Area (DMA). Shortening the region's name not only is misleading to readers, but also scientific surveys show it is objectionable to area residents. Over 75% of the people in the Triangle prefer to characterize their residence by a specific town or city name rather than the regional designation.
Does Durham have relationships with other cities?
Yes, in addition to being linked by geography with other communities in the polycentric Triangle, Durham has official Sister City relationships with County Durham, United Kingdom; Kostroma, Russia; Arusha, Tanzania; and Toyama, Japan.
Do you fly into Raleigh to get to Durham?
No, the municipal airport in Raleigh closed years ago. Both Durham and Raleigh are served by co-owned Raleigh-Durham International Airport, located midway between the two cities near Morrisville, N.C.
Is Research Triangle Park (RTP) located between Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill?
No, it is equidistant from the three major universities located in those cities, but the Park is based in Durham County and encompassed on three sides by the City of Durham. A relatively new portion is spilling down toward the cities of Cary and Morrisville. It is most accurate to say that RTP is in Durham and midway between Chapel Hill and Raleigh.
Is Durham a typical "Southern" city?
Not really. Durham has Southern traditions and hospitality, but it always has been a diverse and tolerant community. Durham has been enriched by several immigrations including Scots-Irish in the 18th century, African-Americans and Russian Jews in the 19th century, Latinos in the 20th century, and many others. Duke University and Research Triangle Park still bring Durham new residents from all over the world.
Does Durham have two daily newspapers?
Until the 1980s, the The Herald-Sun Newspapers published both a morning Herald and an afternoon Sun in Durham. Now simply a morning edition, The Herald-Sun is the only seven-day newspaper based in Durham. The News & Observer, based in Raleigh, has a Durham office with its own editor and staff: it produces a weekly Durham paper, The Durham News, and often has Durham editorials and front page. Durham is also home to several weekday, weekly, and monthly papers.
What is the media coverage area for broadcast media serving Durham?
The Designated Market Area (DMA) for Durham also covers 22 other counties, including parts of Virginia: it is huge in geographic area. It is officially called Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville for its three largest cities.
What news bureaus or services exist in Durham?
The Durham News Sources is based at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. There is also a Duke News Service. The 10-member Durham Public Information and Communications Council is another official source for news.
Why is Research Triangle Park (RTP) often datelined like a city by local media?
Despite its ever-growing reputation, RTP is simply a business park, not a city nor other municipality. To be most accurate, stories about RTP should be datelined "Durham, N.C.," the nearest major city. Stories also could be accurately datelined "Durham at Research Triangle Park." Some media get confused by the Durham postal substation called " RTP, NC 27709" and mislabel the Park as a city. No doubt other media that steadfastly insist on the misuse of datelines have an ulterior motive of signaling Raleigh's dominance in the region. Fortunately, the Triangle always has been distinctive as "polycentric," with no single dominant city-a geographical fact reinforced by the Federal government's 2003 MSA definitions, which created one metro centered around Durham and another called Raleigh-Cary.
Is a Raleigh-Durham dateline appropriate?
No, the dateline for Raleigh-Durham International Airport stories should be "Morrisville, N.C." or "Raleigh-Durham International Airport, N.C." A dateline for the region should be "Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill," "Raleigh-Durham-Cary," or "Research Triangle Region, N.C."
Why do some places in Durham have street addresses using the names of other cities?
A U.S. Postal Service official mis-assigned these addresses, and they are continuously being corrected. The official either believed that addresses don't need to synchronize with actual physical locations or mistakenly believed that Southeast Durham is Morrisville, Southwest Durham is Chapel Hill, Northwest Durham is Hillsborough, and Northeast Durham is Butner. In any respect, it has been a source of great confusion both for media and for visitors.
Are residents in Raleigh and Chapel Hill negative about Durham?
Scientific public-opinion polls show that, by 2 to 1, they have positive personal experiences in Durham. However, half believe that local media are more negative about Durham than other communities, and 36% say that, based on the way other people talk, they would expect a negative experience in Durham. The result is that, even though their personal experiences have been positive, a great proportion of Raleigh and Chapel Hill residents are left with a negative image of Durham. This wouldn't matter greatly, except people from these and other nearby communities hold half of all Durham jobs.
How are magazine rankings compiled?
In the best case, rankings are compiled objectively by an outside consultant, and in the worst case, they are compiled subjectively by a few people at the publication. Most rankings that treat "Raleigh-Durham" as a city are not really rankings of cities but of multi-community metro areas, such as the eight-county Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area (CSA). There are some rankings that do measure individual cities, but they should use the true name of a city (e.g., Durham or Raleigh). Some rankings that refer to Raleigh are really measurements of an entire region, which may include Durham, Cary, and/or Chapel Hill.