Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where's the Brooklyn Paper on the "green cards for investors" story? And the Times?

There's been a lot of news about Atlantic Yards in the past week or so, including coverage by the New York Post of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's planned (and aborted) trip to China in support of Forest City Ratner's "green cards for investors" scheme, and the New York Daily News of the claims behind the scheme and the construction jobs at the site.

The New York Times, which has a tiny Brooklyn bureau and a real estate/development reporter far more concerned with Stuyvesant Town, has ignored the stories. Dismaying, but not surprising.

(The Sports section, however, is all over the Nets' trip to China.)

It's more surprising that the Brooklyn Paper (and its now-mirror, the Courier-Life chain) has missed those stories.

(The EB-5 story has been picked up by a couple of blogs devoted to the topic.)

Selective coverage

It's not that the Brooklyn Paper doesn't cover Atlantic Yards--the lead story this week (PDF) is on crowd control at the planned plaza--it's that they're way behind others.

Once upon a time (2007) the Brooklyn Paper earned awards for its aggressive coverage of Atlantic Yards. Not anymore.

Is it the ownership by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation? (How can it be--after all, the Murdoch-owned Post has covered the story.)

Atlantic Yards fatigue?

Failure to read other newspapers and blogs?

Short staff?

Unwillingness to cover stories that others break first? (If so, that's just not serving the reader.)

Battle of Brooklyn documentary filmmaker Michael Galinsky writes:
I am troubled by both the print and TV media’s inability or unwillingness to engage in any level of real reporting on this story.
The big picture

Noticing New York's Michael D. D. White, who proposes that the MTA get in on the EB-5 visa game, ties it all up:
So by that measure [Mikhail] Prokhorov did make his money legally because there were no rules to break. But you know it can be interesting what gets imported along with the immigrants entering the country. Based on what we have seen of the handling of this EB-5 program we would suggest that Prokhorov (and his buddy [Bruce] Ratner) right now, here in the U.S., are very much a symbol of an era when there are absolutely no rules and public wealth is just being turned over to a bunch of insiders. Now that we’ve imported Russian practices to America it’s all happening again.

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