Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wasting the front page on sports

As has been the practice on too many days in recent years, a big part of  The Record's front page today is wasted on a sports story.

When I was still there, Editor Frank Scandale, at a staff meeting, shared the results of the latest reader survey. What has stuck in my mind is that readers listed sports in 12th spot among what they wanted to see most in the paper. But before and since, sports often dominates Page 1.

You can almost imagine Scandale and the other jocks among the male editors slapping each other on the ass at the end of the afternoon news meeting, which determines the "play" of stories.

Today's Page 1 story, which continues onto more than a half page inside, concerns a ticket stub from a 1923 World Series game at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, Staff Writer John Brennan fails to say how much the ticket cost anywhere in this unusually long story. You have to squint at a photo to barely make out the price.

A story on A-4 reports that Governor Corzine again has outspent his opponents by a wide margin. This is news? As far as I know, The Record has never examined a system that bars everyone but the rich from running for county, statewide and nationwide office. In fact, it's lack of investigation on this issue is tantamount to supporting a system corrupted by money.

A letter to the editor on A-12 seems to draw a comparison between former Republican Gov. Christie Whitman and another (Chris) Christie, the lawyer and former prosecutor who is the Republican candidate running against Corzine. Have The Record's reporters drawn that parallel before?

Whitman defeated the incumbent, Democrat Jim Florio, by promising to cut taxes drastically, then had to loot the pension fund of state workers and borrow heavily, according to the letter, which warns readers to be wary of "politicians who yell about our high taxes."

On another aspect of the campaign, The Record has criticized the governor for mentioning Chris Christie's "weight." But the paper hasn't asked whether as governor, Christie would serve as a good example to both children and adults during the obesity epidemic (another subject the paper does its best to ignore).

The Local section contains no news of Hackensack, Teaneck or Englewood, the three most diverse towns in the paper's circulation area. Or Ridgewood. Or Wayne.

In Better Living, on F-2, we read about an "authentic" Greek place that serves burgers, mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings. I and many other North Jerseyans shop frequently at Korean markets, but an item about Korean black garlic lists no Korean store that stocks it.

These two food reports, an illustrated recipe and a story about wine ($12 a bottle and higher) are all the newspaper could muster on a Wednesday, when readers in the past could feast on an entire Food section.

The Food section was dropped by Publisher Stephen A. Borg, who promised readers food coverage "every day." Unfortunately, despite an occasional house ad touting "every day" food news, there is no food coverage on Thursdays and a vast majority of Saturdays. Monday's coverage usually consists of a single recipe for vegetarians.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.