Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Metro, special section "in association with Barclays Center" sure looks like advertorial


I called Metro to ask whether in fact the Barclays Center sponsored the four-page coverage. (Note that the arena will not look like that because 1) the towers haven't been built and 2) the building is way larger than that, unless you're in a hovercraft with special spectacles.)

I haven't gotten a confirmation, but on the fifth page, you see, there's this ad. (Update: the one article published online later added this explanationThis article is part of a sponsored special section Metro ran on Tuesday, Aug. 28 about the Barclays Center.)

(Yes, this is part of the Culture of Cheating.)


Fact-checking jobs

Eagerly regurgitating a press release, Metro reports that "the arena will create about 2,000 in-house jobs."

There's no mention that these are part-time, low-paying jobs.

There's no mention that the total FTE (full-time equivalent) employment is, according to Forest City Ratner, 1,240 jobs.

So of course there's no mention that the 1,240 figure is, shall we say, questionable.

What the residents say

Wouldja believe that Metro quoted two people on the street, and both are excited about the arena because 1) they can walk to the arena and 2) "live sports bring such an infectious energy and cameraderie"?

Paul Zumoff is quoted in the article at bottom as saying the arena would "add value to the arena." Could he be the same Paul Zumoff who works as a real estate broker?

Maybe take a peek at the comments on the New York Times article regarding the arena for a broader cross-section of opinion.

More articles

Below, I've pasted in a couple more articles. Note this description of Bruce Ratner:
When it comes to the Nets, minority owner Ratner wears many hats.Serving as Barclays Center’s developer and visionary, Ratner has been the driving force in seeing the $1 billion project come to fruition. To do so, he sold majority ownership of the Nets franchise to Russian billionaire and businessman Prokhorov back in 2010. Overcoming years of hurdles and delays in development, Ratner is the man behind the new arena.
Or this one of Mikhail Prokhorov:
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov turned heads in 2010 when he bought 80 percent of the Nets franchise (and 45 percent of the arena) in a $223 million deal. The team’s majority owner, who could pass for a player at 6 feet 8 inches, is a skilled businessman who recently ran in Russia’s 2012 presidential race. He is known for his sense of humor and for taking jabs at his rivals – he made headlines when he referred to Knicks owner James Dolan as “that little man” in a New York Magazine piece.

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