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July 31, 2012 By Steven Greer
BatteryPark.TV has previously reported on the bias-by-omission in the local advertising flier called The Broadsheet. The bias and conflicts of interest, we reported, arose from payments from the BPCA to the publisher of the Broadsheet and online Broadsheet Daily.
BatteryPark.TV can now quantify those payments. We submitted a Freedom of Information (FOIL) request asking for details on payments or grants made to The Broadsheet. The first legal reply from the BPCA was grossly misleading and stated, “Battery Park City Authority has no record of it having made any payments to …the Broadsheet Daily or printed “Broadsheet” distributed in Battery Park City, or of any grants given to…the Broadsheet publication.”
The BPCA officer assigned to answering FOILS, under the supervision of CEO Gayle Horwitz, was clearly trying to use legal loopholes and separate the Parks Conservancy, an entity wholly funded and operated by the BPCA, from the umbrella of the BPCA. Knowing that the BPC Parks Conservancy has in fact placed numerous advertisements in the Broadsheet, we refined our FOIL request to mention specifically the Parks Conservancy. In a second reply, the BPCA answered with the data we were seeking.
The BPCA FOIL officer wrote, “The Conservancy has expended the following amounts for advertisements in the Battery Park City Broadsheet to advertise its programs in the years indicated (which is as far back as such records are maintained)
2012 to date- $350
Please be further advised that there are no records of any other expenditures as to which you have inquired…”
Given the sizable payments made to the publisher of The Broadsheet which comprise a significant percentage of total revenue for the business, The Broadsheet cannot be viewed as a reliable source of independent journalism. Much like the newsletters from the Downtown Alliance, which are funded by the LMDC funds and also the Battery Park City Authority (via payments to the Downtown Alliance), The Broadsheet is an arm of the BPCA. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that the BPCA media relations staff reaches out to the Broadsheet to have stories placed in favorable light, or that the Broadsheet fails to report on significant scandals ongoing with the BPCA.
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