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Renaissance story marred by errors

Dear Editor:
Your story on Renaissance Square published Feb. 15 (“City plans closer look at progress on Renaissance”) had some unfortunate errors. These included the amount of federal funding scheduled to “sunset” on Sept. 20 and a reference to state Assembly funds that never were committed to Renaissance Square (see correction on page 4).
In addition, the article stated that “$195 million in state and federal funding was pledged.” While others may understandably have calculated this number in the past and cited it to media, the correct amount of state and federal funds identified is now $137.2 million. This was made clear at a public meeting a week before your story was published.
This story fell short of the Business Journal’s high standards of accuracy and balance. It’s troubling whenever a pack mentality evolves in news reporting. That is, news organizations begin to report a developing story the same way. Regardless of the announcement, they look first for critics, and make them the top of the story. RBJ has a proud record of resisting this temptation. But your story did omit some positive developments regarding Renaissance Square that occurred in just five days preceding its publication:
–For the first time, all of the partners in the project signed a joint memorandum of understanding that lays out a path forward.
–The board of directors of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority voted unanimously to continue looking into the feasibility of Renaissance Square.
–A detailed report on the project to date was presented to the public at a meeting of Main & Clinton Associates, the project planner.
It’s too early to tell if Renaissance Square will be built or not. It depends on information that develops as a preliminary design is completed. The public will have opportunities to join the discussion, too.
Everyone will be counting on accurate and balanced information.

Mike Power
Renaissance Square spokesman

02/29/08 (C) Rochester Business Journal

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