July 29, 2007
The Times’s continued blind spots in its eminent domain coverage
Atlantic Yards Report looks at the missing stories in today's New York Times eminent domain article, and explains why the article only appears in regional sections (Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut):
Maybe the placement of the article made it easier for the Times to fail to acknowledge that its parent company is a beneficiary of eminent domain, for the new Times Tower in Manhattan. Or to mention the eminent domain donnybrook concerning Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and developer Forest City Ratner, the same developer that has partnered with the Times Company in building the Times Tower.
Sure, reporters have to pick and choose, but the Times does point out how, in the wake of legislative inaction in all three states, in New Jersey, the courts have stepped in, assisted by the state’s Public Advocate, overruling the designation that “unproductive” properties—as in, not built out to full zoning rights—are blighted. That’s further stopped a major development plan in Newark. As I’ve written, were Atlantic Yards in New Jersey, the new rules might stymie the project.
And the Times, of course, never covered the May 3 court hearing in the suit challenging the Atlantic Yards environmental review, during which Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden expressed skepticism about the designation of blight.
The pattern is dismaying. In a front-page round-up article on eminent domain in February 2006, the Times similarly failed to mention Atlantic Yards or the Times Tower. However, three months later, when Mayor Mike Bloomberg defended eminent domain as a priority, the Times in its coverage acknowledged the newspaper company's own history.
Posted by amy at July 29, 2007 10:59 AM