Preparing to meet with some journalism students, I began thinking: what is the main lesson of Atlantic Yards for journalists?
That lesson, I think, is linked to the five Atlantic Yards mantras I described in October 2017, which relate more generally to the project:
- “Atlantic Yards is a never-say-never project.”
- “The devil’s in the details.”
- “It’s a very tight fit.”
- "The culture of cheating."
- "Power defines reality."
- "Go beyond stenography and be wary of manipulation."
To many people, watchdog reporting is synonymous with investigative reporting, specifically, ferreting out secrets. But there’s another, maybe even more crucial form of watchdog reporting, especially in this age of relentless public relations and spin. It involves reporting what may well be in plain sight, contrasting that with what officials in government and other positions of power say, rebuffing and rebutting misinformation, and sometimes even taking a position on what the facts suggest is the right solution.
MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEARLY 300 AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS AT PACIFIC PARK IN BROOKLYNBut that press release obscured that half the building was designated for an upper "band" of middle-income households, earning far more than most people seeking below-market housing. That configuration departed considerably from the longstanding plans for that middle-income cohort to occupy only 20% of the overall affordable housing.
First 100 percent affordable building serves New Yorkers earning as little as $20,100, and up to moderate and middle income earners
NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, local officials, Greenland Forest City Partners and community groups announced the opening of 535 Carlton. The building’s 298 homes are all affordable, and reserved for New Yorkers with household incomes of between $20,100 for an individual and $149,000 for a family of three.
We learned more about exactly how that press release came about thanks to a FOIL request (from NY 1 and the New York Post) regarding mayoral emails to consultants the mayor dubbed "agents of the city." But the configuration--and reason for skepticism--was obvious at the December 2014 groundbreaking.
Then I followed up on a hunch and filed a FOIL request for the database of applicants, and spent a very long time (with some help) trying to analyze it. The conclusion: while a very large number of people applied for units at the building, very few sought those upper middle-income units, as I wrote for City Limits.
|From Greenland Forest City Partners presentation January 2016. Note that the Site 5 project actually would be more than three times the bulk of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, and the "green" space is neither green nor empty of structures|
The Barclays Center has generally drawn kudos from architecture critics (with a few exceptions) and been honored in other ways.
After just its second full year in existence, Barclays Center ranked in the top two of the highest grossing U.S. venues in 2014, according to the new issues of Billboard and Venues Today.But the arena, after a very prominent debut year, saw a drop of 27% in total tickets sold, and 28% in gross revenue.
In Billboard’s and Venues Today’s 2014 year-end reports, Barclays Center finished second in total gross of major U.S. arenas with capacities of 15,001 or more, and was fourth worldwide (Nets games not included). In addition, Pollstar ranked Barclays Center as No. 2 in tickets sold for U.S. venues.
New Humanitarian had standard subjects, like history and math, and Danya had many hours of homework a week. But [school founder Vasiliy Georgievich Bogin added courses like antimanipulation, which was intended to give children tools to decipher commercial or political messages. He taught a required class called myshleniye, which means “thinking,” as in critical thinking.As citizens, and as journalists, we should all be so aware.