August 13, 2007
Dailies fall down on Ward Bakery incident follow-up
Atlantic Yards Report
Norman Oder reviews who covered the Department of Buildings' Ward Bakery Parapet Collapse report and, just as importantly, who didn't:
The news that the Department of Buildings (DoB) had investigated the collapse of the Ward Bakery parapet on April 26 and issued violations was a scoop last Friday for the Daily News; I quickly followed up.
But where's the rest of the press? Why was it news for one publication and not another? After all, the initial incident was covered by the Times, the Daily News, the Post, NY Newsday/AM NY, Metro, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and a gamut of weeklies and blogs. Oddly enough, the New York Sun missed the story.
How does one explain the media's silence when they get scooped (which primarily benefits the developer)?
“News organizations are habitually slow at responding to stories broken elsewhere,” Mr. Keller said.“The easy explanation, and one that contains a good measure of truth, is pride,” he acknowledged. "Reporters (and editors) don’t enjoy being beaten.”
...“But it’s not just pride,” Mr. Keller stressed in his e-mail. There is, I agree, the nagging and legitimate question of how much a competitor’s sensitive scoop can be trusted...
In this case, the competitor's scoop was easily verifiable; while the DOB did not issue its report as a press release--which might have led to a round of simultaneous reportage--it was readily available on request after the publication of the Daily News article.
Posted by lumi at August 13, 2007 8:55 AM