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NEW YORK CITY-The editorial director of Incisive Media’s real estate group, John Salustri, joined four other real estate journalists at the National Realty Club’s “Meet the Real Estate Media” luncheon Monday at Manhattan’s Williams Club on East 39th Street. Real estate professionals listened to a panel discussion where Salustri and his fellow panelists offered insight to the pitches that grab their attention and often end up as stories on their respective publications and websites.

Moderating the event was David M. Grant, president of public relations firm LVM Group. As the capacity crowd finished plates of Mexican food, they heard the necessary particulars and nuances of stories sought by each publication’s real estate media gurus. All spoke to opportunities offered by online journalism, but also the challenges presented by being timely, while still accurate and fair.

After singing print’s praises, reporter Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post revealed that the newspaper would in fact be unveiling a new website that was being designed by the same team as the Wall Street Journal. Both publications are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

New York Observer’s Dana Rubenstein said reliable blogs have an editor with editorial oversight, and cited the popular website “Curbed” as a place that maintains credibility by always attributing content’s original source or publisher. She also told the group that upon hearing a tip, a good blogger will pick up the phone, call relevant parties or reach out to a source for comment. Rubenstein also told the group that sources should never be afraid to call reporters. “We won’t bite.”

Speaking to the relatively new pressures of being first and getting a potential scoop up on a publication’s website, The Real Deal’s Stuart Elliot cautioned that it is still a good idea to report on items fully. When asked by an audience member about advertising’s influence on editorial content–even in a time when media is arguably as challenged as real estate–Elliot said that for reputable publications, there’s a strict separation of church and state.

Fred Eliason from the New York Times reminded the group that the standalone section in the old Gray Lady is more of a consumer friendly read that attracts an affluent audience primarily in the New York City region. He added that the paper is now publishing a new item called the 30-minute interview, which does focus on commercial real estate.

Salustri told the group that his goal of his publications–which include Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com as well as regional magazines–is to get as much information to its constituents as possible. He said pitches to the publication should be reasoned, be free of adjectives and offer a clear rationale as to why this should grab readers’ attention.

“One of the things we’re focusing on more, especially in this market, is people who are doing something different than anyone else,” Salustri said. “We’ve had doom and gloom, and there’s going to be more doom and gloom to come, but there are people doing opportunistic and creative things out there, things that are a little bit more risky. So we’re looking to tell those stories too.”

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