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March 22, 2009

What Direction Will The Brooklyn Paper Take?

Noticing New York, Tales of Two Landlords Bridged by an Iconographic Clash

This item includes concern as to whether the Brooklyn Paper's perspective will be skewed by having Bruce Ratner as a landlord now that the paper has been bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Some questions were raised by an earlier endorsement by the Brooklyn Paper for a plan for then-landlords David and Jed Walentas.

The issue of Walentas as Dock Street developer and Brooklyn Paper landlord came up in sharp relief at the City Planning Commission’s Wednesday, March 4, 2009 hearings on the Dock Street project. (See: Saturday, March 14, 2009, At the City Planning Commission Hearings on Proposed Dock Street Project: A Reprise.)

At the CPC hearing, pages of the Brooklyn Paper were introduced into testimonial evidence as substantiation for the supposition that the Dock Street project would not deleteriously detract from the public experience of seeing the bridge. We noted above that the paper editorially supported the project. Pro-Dock Street testimony was delivered that averred that investigative reporting by the paper also substantiated the fact that the “iconic” views of and from the Brooklyn Bridge would not be impaired. That pro-project testimony was thereupon followed up by testimony from those opposing the exceptionably large project pointing out that the Brooklyn Paper’s position and reporting were suspicious and ought to be discredited due to the fact that the Walentases were the paper’s landlord.

Atlantic Yards Report, Will the Brooklyn Paper start distributing Brooklyn Tomorrow?

How could I have forgotten? Perhaps the clearest dependence on/capitulation to developer Forest City Ratner by the New York Post is the production of, by the Courier-Life staff, the annual Brooklyn Tomorrow advertorial distributed by both the Post and the Courier-Life.

That advertorial has included rapturous coverage of Atlantic Yards and, not coincidentally, significant advertising from Forest City Ratner.

That raises a question: will the Brooklyn Paper, now a part of the Post's Community Newspaper Group, start distributing Brooklyn Tomorrow? Will its reporters write for it?

We'll see in June.

(Thanks to longstanding Ratner foe Patti Hagan for the reminder.)

Posted by steve at March 22, 2009 9:21 AM