Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daily News in the tank? (redux)

The Daily News had a scoop yesterday--the explanation that the city would spend $100 million on land for the Atlantic Yards project as part of a $205 million contribution--far more than the originally contemplated $100 million in a 2/18/05 Memorandum of Understanding.

That story appeared only in the Brooklyn section. Don't they think it's news to any of their readers outside the borough?

Unfortunately, it's part of a pattern--as I detailed in December, the Daily News overhyped a story on a proposed new Brooklyn Tech High School, running it on page 2, while it relegated to the Brooklyn section important articles about the decline in projected tax revenues and the filing of the Atlantic Yards eminent domain lawsuit.

In the tank?

The question remains: Are the editors deliberately underplaying stories of civic importance and hyping the ephemeral?

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised: that can be a tabloid's m.o. But when they underplay and hype stories about the same topic, the disjuncture is grating.

In some ways, this gives News editors some plausible deniability. They can indeed say they covered this story, and those searching the Internet or various databases won't easily notice certain stories were limited to the Brooklyn section. But if you pick up a paper in Manhattan, you notice.

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