Sunday, October 25, 2009

How an editor can ruin a project

Seventy-eight years ago today, the George Washington Bridge opened to traffic, beginning a process that would change northern New Jersey forever.
George Washington Bridge, view of the roadway ...Image via Wikipedia

Three years ago, on the bridge's 75th anniversary, The Record produced a special tabloid to explore the impact this glorious span had on our suburbs and our lives, and assigned one of its most talented writers to it. (A lower level was added in 1962, and many North Jersey residents refer to it as Martha Washington.)

You'd think the front page of this tabloid would carry a photo of the bridge, which it did, and maybe the magnificent Jersey Palisades or even the high-rises in Fort Lee. No. Due to project editor Tim Nostrand's colossal lack of editorial vision, photographer Tariq Zehawi brought back images of the bridge and upper Manhattan.

And no one noticed until after the tab was published. When this was pointed out to Publisher Stephen A. Borg, who doesn't pretend to be a journalist, he said readers would look at the cover photo for only a few seconds, so it was "good enough." It certainly wasn't worth hiring a helicopter for, he added.

Guess what? The Record did hire a helicopter for that shot.

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