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April 22, 2007

Anatomy of a New York Times AY error

Atlantic Yards Report

1. In an April 5 round-up article on Atlantic Yards, an underinformed Times reporter, abetted by underinformed editors, describes Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) as an organization "which opposes the scale of the plan."

2. The Times does not publish a correction, which would be attached to the previous article in the archive, but instead, on April 12, publishes a letter from DDDB's Dan Goldstein explaining "Our organization does not merely oppose the scale of the plan, we oppose Forest City Ratner’s project itself on many principled grounds."

3. Another even more underinformed reporter, who has no experience covering AY but (likely) just happens to be available on a late Friday afternoon, is handed the assignment of describing, in a paragraph, the decision by Justice Joan A. Madden to reject a temporary restraining order regarding demolitions. In Saturday's paper, abetted by underinformed editors, he writes that the TRO "had been requested by Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, which opposes the scale of the 22-acre project."

Not only had the TRO not been requested solely by DDDB, because it's part of a coalition of groups in the suit, but the organization does not simply oppose the project's scale. And the headline, "Atlantic Yards Can Proceed," is not correct, either, because only the demolitions can proceed; the project itself depends on the dismissal or resolution of three lawsuits.

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Posted by amy at April 22, 2007 11:40 AM