NEW YORK CITY—Some 50 members of the local chapter of theMortgage Bankers Association convened last night at the offices ofFirst American Title to learn about the working press—and how towork with the press.

An hour-long Meet the Press panel discussion was lively andinteractive and gave the MBA a chance to see the way commercialreal estate editors approach their craft. The panel—mostlyworking editors—featured Real Estate Forum editor-in-chief SuleAygoren and representatives from such outlets as the New York Postand Crain’s New York Business.

Questions from the audience dominated the session and thequestion naturally turned to pay-for-play, the practice of givingfavored editorial treatment to advertisers. To a person allof the panelists described the “Chinese Wall” that exists betweeneditorial and sales. But Aygoren kept it real. “Let’s befrank,” she told the crowd. “None of us panders to advertisers. Butif we did not cover our advertisers, we would not report on theactivities of CBRE or Cushman & Wakefield or Jones LangLaSalle. We’re serious journalists.”

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John Salustri

John Salustri has covered the commercial real estate industry for nearly 25 years. He was the founding editor of, and is a four-time recipient of the Excellence in Journalism award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.