Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Indianapolis Star Fails Its Readers...Again; Newspaper Opines for Mass Ave Project Without Even Mentioning $5.4 Million Giveaway of Public Property

Jeff Taylor, Editor-in-Chief, Indianapolis Star
Once again, the Indianapolis Star fails its readers. Once again, the Indianapolis Star fails in its role as watchdog.  One again, the Star demonstrates why it - deservedly - is losing readers.

A few days ago, the Star's editors published an editorial entitled "It's flashy, but it might just work," a piece which discusses the design of the Mass Ave development and concludes, of course, that the City has made another good development decision:
In a city that's long had safe -- or, to be blunt, boring -- architecture, the proposed design of a $43 million development on Mass Ave. is indeed startling.
But in a good way. 
Such projects are important for the city's future for multiple reasons, including a stronger tax base, higher-population density in core neighborhoods and a more vibrant urban feel that's attractive to highly sought-after young professionals.
So, yes, the city is taking a small risk with a flashier-than-ordinary design on Mass Ave., and even bigger risks by backing other developments. But playing it safe, with design or development in general, won't move Indy forward.
What the Star fails to even mention in its editorial is that the project involves the City simply giving away public property worth millions of dollars.  This is a paragraph from a previous Star story, I reported on
The city is selling the property to developers, officials said, for $5.4 million. Those funds will be placed in escrow, according to a release, and can be accessed by the developer to help fund construction on the site
That's not a "sale."  It's a giveaway of public property worth millions of dollars.  Of course though, the Star's editors can never bring themselves to criticize the giveaway of the public's money to private developers. Like the Broad Ripple Parking Garage, the Star's editors offered zero criticism of a giveaway of our tax dollars to a politically connected developer. 

Can anyone remember a corporate welfare project that the Star's editors ever opposed?  I can't think of one time the Star stood up for the public, i.e. its readers, against the giveaway of our tax dollars.


Pete Boggs said...

It's probably been said a time or few, but what's the name of the anti-2nd amend "judge" do we need to ditch & what's the voting process for doing that?

Had Enough Indy? said...

I maintain the Star is looking for public dollars to sweeten the sale of their old building.

But, even if that weren't the case, they would still favor public money and heavy handed decisions by two or three people over the opinions of the neighborhoods.

I think these folks would rather make Indy into a NYC replica, rather than let Indy be unique and add to its inherent strengths. Too, bad for Indy.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I think that's very possible.


I think you mean 4th Amendment, and I think you're referring to Justice David who is on the ballot this election for a retention vote.

M Theory said...

LOL! I was on the phone last night with a friend and we talked for a split second about writing a letter to the editor.

We nixed the idea upon remembering that no one reads The Star.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I want a good local newspaper, a paper that acts as a watchdog and protects the citizenry. Although we now have blogs, I don't think there is any substitute for a good local newspaper doing its job. The Star is not.

Jon said...

The Star isn't the only inept news source in Indy, most the local tv stations also spout the same rhetoric.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Did you see the little piece in today's Star about its drop in circulation?

"The Audit Bureau of Circulation reported a circulation drop of 7.9 percent for the printed Sunday Star and 8.7 percent for the other days of the week."

"A report from Scarborough found that readership of The Star fell 1.9 percent, to 794,000 readers a week, in the eight-county metro area."

No where in the article is a CIRCULATION figure mentioned. The # of readers divided by days of the week comes out to slightly more than 100,000 (circulation? something less by an unknown factor).

I remember the Star's Sunday circulation around 450,000. How the mighty have fallen!