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Billboards: Signs of a digital divide

In the Twin Cities metro area, traditional billboard are being replaced by LED billboards that resemble televisions and change their messages every eight seconds. These new billboards are worrisome for several local municipalities, including both Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Minnetonka, while at least a dozen other states have already outlawed such billboards. Some worry that they will distract drivers, while others think that they are a wonderful step into technology.

The lead, "Billboards are getting a high-tech facelift that allows outdoor advertisers to get more bang for their buck. But cities across the country are going to court to limit or outlaw their use," is wonderful. It states what is going on and answers the "so what" question.

In St. Paul, the City Council has banned these new electronic billboards temporarily, according to the Pioneer Press. This temporary ban has been issued to provide the city time to analyze their pros and cons.

Both stories do a good job when read together. The Star Tribune story provides background and information about the new electronic billboards and their costs and benefits. This provides a perfect lead-in for the Pioneer Press story, printed two days later, which mentions St. Paul's ban of the billboards.