Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Brooklyn Paper's curious choices when it comes to front-page treatment of Atlantic Yards

Curiously enough, this week's Brooklyn Paper (right) includes a front-page story on Atlantic Yards, while last week's issue (below left) did not, though the front-page did point readers to an article on p. 2.

(Click on graphics to enlarge)

Let's compare. This week's front-page news concerns the newspaper's effort, via the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), to find out how the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) determined its low-ball market value of Atlantic Yards opponent Daniel Goldstein's apartment.

It's legitimate news, but why is it on the front page? Likely because the editors want to play up their exclusive.

Last week's Brooklyn Paper coverage of the Court of Appeals' eminent domain decision didn't make the front page. It should have.

However, the editors apparently thought that coverage of Jonathan Lethem's effort to read his new novel aloud and a drug bust in Williamsburg constituted more important news.

This week's print issue of the Brooklyn Paper does not contain the newspaper's online coverage of the bond rating for the Atlantic Yards arena.

Maybe that was a space issue, but the newspaper's coverage also was two days late. The Courier-Life's notorious Stephen Witt does have a fawning article on the bond rating, which begins:
It’s all systems go for the Brooklyn Nets arena, and perhaps an NBA championship banner hanging from the rafters following the 2011-12 playoffs in the borough.
The idea did not seem that far-fetched to current Nets owner Bruce Ratner...
The rival weeklies, last week

The front pages of the other two Brooklyn weeklies last week straightforwardly highlighted the eminent domain decision. In fact, the Courier-Life, using tabloid shorthand, even called the Court of Appeals' ruling a "land grab." Did that have anything to do with the fact that Witt didn't write the article?


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