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A bone marrow drive for a Forest City employee (and "Deputy Chief") gets much press attention. The Barclays Center fine for noise does not.

It's always public spirited, isn't it, when a news publication devotes valuable real estate to trying to save lives, especially when the person was a 9/11 responder.

So on one level it's admirable that so many New York City news outlets have spread the word that members of the public can help Barclays Center head of security Steve Bonano and others by registering as a bone marrow donor today and tomorrow in Downtown Brooklyn. (Details below; here's general info on the "delete blood cancer" drive.)

But the widespread and in some cases very prominent placement of the news also say something troubling about the press's willingness to accommodate the p.r. efforts of developer Forest City Ratner and the ease of filling space with press release information.

After all, it's quite easy to rewrite a press release and slap it into print (and pixels).

But without a press release, exactly zero of the press outlets have published some even more legitimate news: informing the public that Forest City Ratner, via an affiliate, last week paid a $3200 fine for a noise violation at the Barclays Center, though concert noise is still leaking into residences. (It's not hard to learn of that news, even without a press release. I reported it, and the word was spread by outlets like Curbed.)

In the Daily News

The most prominent coverage, Bone marrow drive to benefit 9/11 hero cop battling blood cancer possibly tied to Ground Zero work,  as noted in the screenshot above right, was even promoted near the top of the New York Daily News home page:
The clock is ticking for a hero in distress.
Retired NYPD cop and 9/11 first responder Steven Bonano is battling a rare form of blood cancer believed to be tied to his time working at Ground Zero.
Now his new employer is racing to save his life.
Forest City Ratner, which last year enlisted Bonano to head security at the Barclays Center, will host a bone-marrow registry drive in downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Could that have anything to do with the fact that the Daily News is the Barclays Center's business partner, sponsoring the arena plaza?

The "Deputy Chief" poster

Part of the prominence in the press may have been nudged by the way Forest City and its affiliates framed the issue, describing the retired Bonano as "Deputy Chief" and picturing him in his former rather than current uniform.

The New York Post

The Post got the ID right.

From DNAinfo

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

From Metro

From amNY

Note three (!) typos (Ratner, driver, Barclays) yet uncorrected.

From Patch

This was posted by a staffer at BerlinRosen, one of Forest City's public affairs consultants.


This is the website of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, in which Forest City has significant influence.