Sunday, February 07, 2010

In this week's Courier-Life, street closures article on p. 4 is contradicted by news brief on p. 12

Does the Courier-Life chain have any editors?

This week's print issue of the Park Slope Courier includes an article (p. 4), headlined Closures around Barclays Center site begin, which is flat wrong.

It states, seemingly unequivocally, "Effective Feb. 1, sections of both Fifth Avenue and Pacific Street will be permanently closed."

Stephen Witt's article was posted online at 8:09 pm on January 29 with a different headline, Downtown street closures explained at cop meeting. That 78th Precinct Community Council meeting was January 26.

Now it might have been plausible to write, as of the time of the meeting, that streets were expected to close on February 1.

Closures on hold

As of 8:09 pm on January 29, however, the Courier-Life should've known that state Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges earlier that day had put condemnation plans on hold and that the Empire State Development Corporation had said streets wouldn't close as planned.

Witt's article did not appear in the print edition--at least not in Park Slope--on January 29, but instead was held another week.

Misleading the public

Rather than updating that article to explain the delay, a headline expressing more certainty,
Closures around Barclays Center site begin, was added to the article appearing in this week's issue.

And, bizarrely enough, a newsbrief in the same print issue explains what's going on (p. 12):
The court hearing came as several streets were expected to close last week around the Flatbush/Atlantic Avenues intersection to accommodate ongoing construction of the project.

ESDC told the judge that it would delay closing the street until the matter is settled

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