Sunday, November 22, 2009

No holiday for Hackensack

Hackensack University Medical CenterImage via Wikipedia

The Record of Woodland Park is filled with heart-warming holiday stories today, but the cold shoulder shown to Hackensack and other core Bergen towns just adds to a disturbing pattern.

With the move this year of the paper's newsroom and most top executives from 150 River St. in Hackensack to 1 Garret Mountain Plaza in Woodland Park, news and feature coverage also seems to have shifted west.

What other explanation is there for all the coverage of street and road construction in Woodland Park? Of all the stories about Paterson, Pequannock, Wayne and other Passaic and Morris communities that fill the Local section? They don't displace the Hackensack, Teaneck or Englewood news -- those Bergen stories are never even reported, written and edited.

I like the Page 1 story about the flu doctor at Hackensack University Medical Center, if for no other reason than I can kid myself into thinking it's a story about the city where I live.

Did you see the Page 1 story this week reporting that Jennifer A. Borg, vice president and general counsel of North Jersey Media Group, apparently will give up her seat on the hospital board, because the medical center and The Record do hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising business? How did Borg, a lawyer, overlook this apparent conflict, even after the newspaper reported in great detail on all the business the hospital gave her fellow board members?

On the front of the Local section is the "never-mind" story about the Grinch who stole Friday in tiny, inconsequential Ho-Ho-Kus that was splashed all over the front page Saturday. We learn the man who held off police for seven hours is "emarassed." But I didn't see an apology from the editors for running this crap as a front-page story, the same bone-headed move they made with that balloon hoax from Colorado several weeks ago.

Finally, I refer you to the idiocy compiled by Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung in Better Living on readers' "Thanksgiving kitchen disasters." The inviting headline says, "The dog ate my turkey," but if you read the story, you'll find nothing of the kind happened. Is the paper so desperate for readers, it used a misleading headline?

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